By Josh Lederman - 10/07/11 02:12 PM EDT
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) described Wall Street protesters as a mob on Friday and implied Democrats were egging them on.
In a speech to the conservative Values Voter Summit, Cantor said he was “increasingly concerned by the growing mobs” and criticized Democrats who have showered praise on the protesters in New York and other cities.
“Some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans,” Cantor said.
As the phenomenon has grown — and been characterized as a liberal version of the Tea Party movement — most Republicans in Congress have been hesitant to directly criticize the activists, instead blaming President Obama and Democrats for economic policies they say have hurt the country.
Some GOP presidential candidates have taken a harder line. Mitt Romney called the movement class warfare and said it was dangerous, while Herman Cain called the protesters "un-American."
Rick Santorum offered Obama some unsolicited advice, recommending that he distance himself from the protesters.