Sheriff of Wall Street Backs Occupy Wall Street

Throwing support behind protesters, Elliot Spitzer urged Obama to sack Tim Geithner

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UPDATE: ProPublica just posted a video of Spitzer's talk, embedded below. Check it out for his full remarks--the former governor begins speaking around the 60-minute mark.

A week ago, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who earned the nickname "The Sheriff of Wall Street" as the state attorney general, threw a bit of his weight behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, telling Keith Olbermann that he hopes it will encourage President Obama to begin speaking with "a new and progressive voice." Yesterday, he took it a step further, calling for the protesters to petition the president to get rid for the current Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, New York Capital reported. Prompted by a question from the audience, he told a crowd at the Tenement Museum on New York's Lower East Side (draw whatever symbolic connections you feel most appropriate) during a Q&A with ProPublica reporters Jake Bernstein and Jesse Eisenger that he's "intensely sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street folks," but that it wasn't really their job to come up with specific policy positions. He went on, though, to offer one himself, starting with Geithner's ouster.

"You know what I would like to see?" Spitzer asked the crowd. "I'd like to see a petition with a hundred million signatures, submitted to the White House tomorrow morning, saying, 'Give us a treasury secretary who understands reform.' Bring Paul Volcker in. Bring in Joe Stiglitz. Bring in Paul Krugman. Bring in Robert Reich. People who understand what can be done and are willing to flex their muscles in a meaningful way."

Though supportive enough of the protests on Wall Street to call for a petition, he isn't quite ready to join them in person just yet: "what's been wonderful about them is that they have not been taken over, as it were, by politicians and notable figures," he told the crowd. Though the talk wasn't televised, you can watch Spitzer's exchange with Olbermann on Occupy Wall Street from last week below.

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