Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is taking some credit for the Occupy Wall Street protests.
The Democrat and longtime consumer advocate said her work over the years against Wall Street abuses provided the intellectual groundwork for the demonstrators.
"I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do," Warren said in an interview posted on The Daily Beast website. "I support what they do."
Republicans Tuesday pounced on Warren's remarks, saying she was praising them at the same time that the Boston police have arrested at least 141 protesters after they threatened to tie up traffic downtown and refused to abide by their protest permit limits.
Brian Walsh of the National Republican Senatorial Committee cited a news report that two Occupy Boston protesters living in the camp have been arrested and charged with dealing heroin, in the company of a six-year-old child.
"Professor Warren has yet to comment on whether these were also some of the individuals that she's now claiming to have provided the 'intellectual foundation' for as well," Walsh said in an emailed press release.
Kyle Sullivan, a Warren spokesman, said in an emailed statement that Warren was making the point that she has been protesting Wall Street's practices and policies for years — and working to change them. Sullivan added that Warren has called for demonstrators to obey the law.
"Wall Street's tricks brought our economy to the edge of collapse and there hasn't been any real accountability," Sullivan said. "She understands why people are so angry and why they are taking their fight to the street. She has said repeatedly everyone has to abide by the law. Elizabeth is working for change a different way, to take this fight to the United States Senate."
Democrats have accused Brown of being beholden to Wall Street interests, so Warren's comments are sure to provide campaign fodder for both sides.
"It's no wonder that Forbes called Scott Brown one of Wall Street's favorite senators and it's no surprise Brown's cronies are attacking any candidate who wants to fight for the middle class," Matt Canter of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said in a statement.
Warren has emerged in recent polls as the leading Democratic challenger against GOP Sen. Scott Brown for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's former seat.