House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Monday said that he understands the "frustrations" of people participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests, according to video put online by Real Clear Politics.
When asked for his opinion on the movement, Boehner responded:
"I understand people's frustrations," he said. "The economy is not producing jobs like they want. And there is a lot of erosion of confidence in our government. And, frankly, under the first amendment, people have the right to speak out and protest. But that doesn't mean they have permission to violate the law."
He then urged Occupy Wall Street to avoid violence.
"Beyond that, I lived through the riots over the Vietnam War in the late 60s and early 70s, you could see how some of those activities got out of control," he said. "A lot of us lived through the race riots of 1968, that clearly was out of control. And I'm hopeful that these demonstrations will continue to be peaceful."
According to Politico, Boehner made the comments during a question and answer sessions following a speech at the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. During his speech, Boehner called on lawmakers to find "common ground” on jobs and the economy, Politico reports.
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When President Barack Obama spoke about the Occupy Wall Street protests earlier this month, he also said he understood protester's "frustrations."
“I understand the frustrations being expressed in those protests,” Obama told ABC News. “In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party. Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren’t looking out for them."