Cantor backs off calling protesters 'mobs'

October 11, 2011 - 3:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is no longer saying that Occupy Wall Street protesters amount to "mobs," but he says they're divisive in ways that tea partyers are not.

In comments to reporters Tuesday, the Virginia Republican refused to repeat or renounce his comment over the weekend that the protests in New York and Washington are being carried out by "mobs." But, he said, these protests are "very different" than the tea party protests last year, in that they are pitting Americans against other Americans. Tea partyers, Cantor said, directed their ire at the government.

Democrats noted that Cantor didn't object to the tea party's in-your-face confrontations with lawmakers last year.

The Wall Street protesters say they represent all Americans except the wealthiest 1 percent.