Afternoon Fix: Peter King calls Occupy Wall Street protesters ‘losers’ who ‘were living in dirt’

at 05:38 PM ET, 11/16/2011

Peter King isn’t an Occupy fan, a former Romney adviser isn’t impressed, Kevin Smith is running for governor and an ex-Gingrich staffer is surprised.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* Long Island-area Rep. Peter King (R) is not sympathetic towards the Occupy Wall Street protesters kicked out of their camp in downtown Manhattan. “These are people who were living in dirt,” he told Bloomberg Television today. “They’re angry people who are losers.”

* In an interview with NPR today, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) talked about the recall campaign against him. He said the campaign was driven by “national unions” and “really about power,” not an “organic movement that just popped up.” In defense o the anti-collective bargaining legislation that sparked the recall he said, “ [C]ollective bargaining’s not a right. In our state it’s been an expensive entitlement.”

* An ex-adviser to Mitt Romney on health-care reform says the former Massachusetts governor is “just lying” when he draws a distinction between his health-care mandate the one Obama signed. “The only big difference is he didn't have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it,” Jonathan Gruber said. “Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes."

* The founder of the conservative blog network Pajamas Media did some work for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign, he told Ben Smith today. "I just stopped doing it because I felt weird about the whole thing," PJMedia CEO Roger Simon said. "I regret that I did it, because I think it wasn't my business to do that."

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Former Cornerstone Action executive director Kevin Smith will run for governor in New Hampshire, setting up a Republican primary with attorney and former Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne. Both candidates have deep ties to grassroots conservative advocates, so it should be interesting. Gov. John Lynch (D) is retiring; former state Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan is the likely Democratic nominee.

* Former Newt Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler is “surprised” by his former boss’ comeback, he told the Huffington Post. “I had my doubts early on," Tyler said, but "he's been remarkably disciplined in these debates." Tyler, who left as part of a massive staff exodus in June, said he would consider working for Gingrich again.

* In Iowa today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called for raising the Social Security eligibility age, and proposed that tax rates for individuals and corporations should max out at 20 percent. Perry proposed a 20-percent flat tax.

* The Chamber of Commerce and a trio of unions are both up on the air with Senate ads. The Chamber is going after Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jon Tester (D- Mont.),  while praising Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Service Employees International Union, and Americans United for Change are targeting Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Heller, along with Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who is challenging Tester in 2012.

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