Occupy protesters gathered in Littleton, N.H. on Thursday.
Occupy protesters gathered in Littleton, N.H. on Thursday. Ari Shapiro/NPR
On the trail with Mitt Romney in New Hampshire Thursday morning, I encountered the first Occupy protesters of the three-day bus trip.
One of them, Bob Broadhurst, grew up in Boston but now lives in nearby Littleton, N.H. He's been one of the Occupy protesters in New York since September, but returned to New Hampshire to protest along Romney's route.
A fourth-generation electrician, Broadhurst is an IBEW union member and his main issue is what he calls "the attack" on unions and labor. Romney represents a convenient target for his ire.
"He's part of the problem," says Broadhurst. "These guys are taking millions and millions of dollars. And it's not right. We have no voice, the 99 percent. I can't compete with that. Even the unions lobbying is outspent easily 20 to one versus corporate America."
Broadhurst knows Romney well from his time as Massachusetts governor — and is still not a fan. "He's so wishy washy on the health care system — the new health care reform, which he helped put in place in Massachusetts. And the national one is very close to it," Broadhurst says. "His stand goes back and forth, back and forth."
But Broadhurst's anger is not reserved for Romney. "In general, it's all these politicians, they're just out of control," he says, citing low approval ratings for Congress. "It's the two parties — there's not much of a difference right now. There's very few ... Democrats or Republicans who are with the 99 percent or even care about the 99 percent."