Republicans who have been urging the Occupy movement to protest President Barack Obama finally got their wish Tuesday.
At a campaign event in New Hampshire, the president waited patiently as he was “mic checked” by a group of protesters.
“Mic check!” they shouted. “Mr. President, over 4,000 peaceful protesters have been arrested. While bankers continue to destroy the American economy. You must stop the assault on our First Amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.”
But the rest of their message was quickly drowned out by Obama supporters chanting, “Fired up, ready to go!” and “Obama!”
“It’s OK,” the president assured the audience. “It’s alright. Listen, I’m going to be talking about a whole range of things today, and I appreciate you guys making your point. Let me go ahead and make mine, alright? And I’ll listen to you. You listen to me.”
“A lot of the folks who’ve been down in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration, a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American Dream… feels like it’s slipping away,” he later added.
“[F]amilies like yours, young people like the ones here today — including the ones who were just chanting at me — you’re the reason that I ran for office in the first place.”
The “mic check” is a reference to the system of communication used by the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in New York City’s Zuccotti Park.
Unable to use microphones because they lack the proper sound permits, the protesters repeat in unison what a speaker says. The speaker begins by saying “mic check.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Newsroom, broadcast Nov. 22, 2011.
With earlier reporting by Eric W. Dolan.