Scores of Occupy Wall Street protesters angry about what they call corporate influence in politics demonstrated outside a Manhattan fundraiser for Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney Wednesday.
More than 150 protesters, some donning suits and ball gowns while feigning support for Romney, marched around the Waldorf-Astoria, where Romney was scheduled to meet with donors over lunch.
Protester Stuart Leonard, who was among more than a dozen of the faux Romney supporters, criticized him while holding a sign that read, “Will work for caviar” and “Romney’s mine, get your own politician.”
“He’ll say whatever he needs to say to get elected,” said Leonard, 52, an English professor. “I don’t know who he is, and that scares me a little.”
Ruth Rodriguez, a laid-off teacher, said she wanted to “warn New Yorkers” that Romney would make a terrible president.
“I lived in Massachusetts when he was governor, and I’ve seen what a flip-flopper he is,” said Rodriquez, 65, who now lives in Jackson Heights. “He’s all full of big money. He doesn’t care about the poor. He doesn’t care about the working class.”
A spokesman for Romney’s campaign did not return messages for comment.
A heavy presence of police and Secret Service officers kept the crowd from entering the hotel during the peaceful protest. Police said there were no arrests.
Todd Shapiro, a public relations executive who said he was going to the lunch Wednesday, said he supported Romney and believed he would become the Republican nominee.
“He’s a business man. You don’t need a guy that’s so shiny, so polished — an actor,” Shapiro told reporters outside the hotel. “We need a president to solve the economic problem.”