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Rep. Eric Cantor chose to skip a speaking appearance in Philadelphia on Friday targeted by Occupy Philadelphia protesters.
Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor pulled the plug on a Friday speaking appearance at Wharton Business School in Philadelphia.
The Congressman decided not to speak in front of a crowd that would likely contain protesters aligned with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Prior to the speech, a Philadelphia political group announced a march called "Occupy Eric Cantor" to coincide with the speech.
Rep. Cantor's office wrote in a release:
“The Office of the Majority Leader was informed last night by Capitol Police that the University of Pennsylvania was unable to ensure that the attendance policy previously agreed to could be met. Wharton is a educational leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, and the Majority Leader appreciated the invitation to speak with the students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the UPENN community."
The Congressman was scheduled to speak at 4:30 p.m. Friday as part of the Wharton Leadership Lecture series.
Part of the agreement with the business school was that the audience would be limited to Wharton students, faculty, and other members of the UPenn community. However, the Virginia congressman's office learned that the university would allow a group of several hundred protesters on campus near the event.
Speaking to a conservative audience in Washington D.C. on October 7, Cantor derisively referred to the Occupy Wall Street protesters as "mobs." He has since walked back from that comment, telling Fox News last Sunday that the protests were a symbol of "growing frustration across the county and it is warranted."
However, his modified comments did not seem to mollify political activists in Philadelphia. Organizers for the group Occupy Philadelphia arranged for their "Occupy Eric Cantor" to wind up in front of the the congressman's scheduled lecture.
On the Facebook page of the group Occupy Philadelphia, posters were calling the cancellation a victory.
Steven Vetterlein wrote, "Didn't think he had the guts to face real Americans."
Another poster, identified as Marc Train, wrote, "I guess he was expecting some Brotherly Love in his warped world of giving to the Haves."