Add Russ Feingold to the list of prominent names backing Occupy Wall Street.
The former Wisconsin senator sat down for an interview with the Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent and stated how the protests will outdo its right-wing counterpart.
“This is like the Tea Party — only it’s real,” he said. “By the time this is over, it will make the Tea Party look like …a tea party.”
“I’m really encouraged by what I’m seeing. People around the country are finally organizing to stand up to the huge influence of corporations on government and our lives. This kind of citizen reaction to corporate power and corporate greed is long overdue.”
Feingold expressed disagreement with critics who say that the protests have lacked a coherent message.
“The guys who are protesting are not filing legal briefs,” he said. “They are expressing the populist, genuine view that people have been ripped off. It’s a fundamental identification of the fact that people are getting taken for a ride by powerful interests who are getting away with murder.”
Feingold also urged President Barack Obama to understand how pivotal the movement could be for his chances at a second term.
“The White House should realize that this would be beneficial to the president and his reelection chances if he recognizes how correct the protesters are to be upset,” he said. “It would be a mistake to try to coopt this. I’m hoping a mass movement will encourage the White House to listen to and respond to these concerns. It would be politically smart and the right thing to do.”
Feingold joins House Dems and Progressive Caucus figures Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) as the most well known Democratic figures to support Occupy Wall Street.