NBC's Gregory: Occupy Wall Street Will 'Dovetail Nicely' With Obama's Campaign Message

Appearing on Sunday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory proclaimed that the Occupy Wall Street protests would "...dovetail nicely into a big message that the President's selling, which is that the wealthy should pay more....that banner of going after Wall Street and the banks, talking about unfairness that a lot of protesters that are complaining about." [Audio available here]

Gregory's observation was prompted by co-host Lester Holt wondering: "...the protesters are calling for the wealthy to pay for more taxes. Should we look for the Obama campaign to embrace that message as it – as it takes the stretch to November?" Gregory went on to declare: "I think the President's in a mode right now where he'd like to get out in front of this parade and really harness some of this energy."

On the October 7 Today, Gregory urged the President to "harness this anger" of the protests and combat "unfairness" in the economy.

In a brief report prior to Gregory's appearance, correspondent Mara Schiavocampo cheered the latest protest rally:

It was like New Years's Eve in Times Square yesterday. Thousands gathered for what had been dubbed an "occupation party" and those crowds surprised even organizers themselves, who thought the entire event would be over in an hour. But an hour after it started, crowds were still pouring in, carrying signs, chanting things like "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," in a continued protests against big banks and corporations.

The headline on screen read: "Occupy Movement Spreads; Demonstrators Pick Up Steam Nationwide." Co-host Jenna Wolfe introduced Schiavocampo's report by asserting the left-wing demonstrators: "descended on Times Square Saturday in another sign that the movement may only be growing."


Here is a transcript of the October 16 coverage:

8:02AM ET

JENNA WOLFE: Let us get started first with those demonstrators in New York. They've descended on Times Square Saturday in another sign that the movement may only be growing. NBC's Mara Schiavocampo is live with much more. Mara, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Occupy Movement Spreads; Demonstrators Pick Up Steam Nationwide]

MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO: Jenna, good morning. It was like New Years's Eve in Times Square yesterday. Thousands gathered for what had been dubbed an "occupation party" and those crowds surprised even organizers themselves, who thought the entire event would be over in an hour. But an hour after it started, crowds were still pouring in, carrying signs, chanting things like "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out," in a continued protests against big banks and corporations.

Now, 92 people were arrested yesterday in New York. Police say that some were taken into custody for charging police barriers in Times Square. Two officers were injured in Times Square, one with a head injury, one with a foot injury. They have both been treated and released. But by and large, the protests that took place in New York and around the country were peaceful. They were held as part of a global day of protest in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Jenna.

WOLFE: Alright, Mara Schiavocampo. Mara, thank you. And now here's Lester.

HOLT: Jenna, thanks. From the protests to the campaign and beyond. A lot of politics to get to this morning. David Gregory is moderator of NBC's Meet the Press. David, good morning, good to see you.

DAVID GREGORY: Good morning, Lester. Thanks.

HOLT: This Occupy Wall Street movement seems to be embracing at least one political message, in that the protesters are calling for the wealthy to pay for more taxes. Should we look for the Obama campaign to embrace that message as it – as it takes the stretch to November?

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Occupy America; What the Movement Means For the 2012 Campaign]

GREGORY: Well, it certainly is going to dovetail nicely into a big message that the President's selling, which is that the wealthy should pay more. He's also sort of picked up that banner of going after Wall Street and the banks, talking about unfairness that a lot of protesters that are complaining about. Unfairness in the economy and the tax code, in the ways of Wall Street with bank fees. So, yeah, I think the President's in a mode right now where he'd like to get out in front of this parade and really harness some of this energy.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC