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Protest Planned for Cantor Visit to Penn

By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer

Hundreds are expected to rally against GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor this afternoon when he makes an appearance at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.  His speech, which will focus on the widening gap between the nation’s rich and poor, is being organized through the University as a Wharton Leadership lecture.

The Virginia Congressman will focus on income disparity and the Republican perspective on how to fix it.  An aid to Cantor told Politico, “He’ll talk about the various socioeconomic classes and how Washington should stop pushing different people down the economic ladder and instead can work together to ensure that all people have the ability move up.”

Cantor is expected to criticize Democratic “class warfare” policies which he says pits the nation’s highest paid workers against the less fortunate and he will focus on the GOP plan for unemployment insurance and jobless benefits.

Keystone Progress is coordinating the protests along with other organizations including Philadelphia AFL-CIO, the Center for American Progress, Fight for Philly, Progress Now and AFSCME.  Occupy Philadelphia was also invited to participate in a related march.

The protesters strongly oppose what they call Cantor’s “trickle down” theory of economics.  Keystone Progress expects hundreds of people to attend, including constituents of Rep. Cantor traveling from Virginia to confront him at the rally.

The talk is being organized through the university, but the protests are not.

Penn College Democrats President Isabel Friedman said, “Although we stand in solidarity with many who feel discontent with the Republican party, Penn Democrats will not be supporting the protests in response to Eric Cantor’s event tomorrow.  We respect his right to speak on Penn’s campus and hope those who are speaking out against him do so as well.”

She and her fellow College Democrats helped to welcome Vice President Joe Biden to the school on Friday.

Penn GOP President Charles Gray said he and his fellow CRs are looking forward to hearing Cantor’s conservative strategies for economic recovery.

“In general, students want our government to work again.  To do that, the government needs to realize that they need to adopt pro-growth policies, not the anti-growth policies supported by the Occupy Wall Street movement,” Gray said.

“Our generation needs to focus on how the government is not the solution to our problems.  In fact, there is a strong argument to be made that the government created our economic problems,” he said.

This speech will mark the latest in a series of speeches Cantor has given at prestigious universities across the country.  Cantor spoke at Harvard and Stanford earlier this year.

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