MURRAY HILL — Occupy Wall Street protesters lashed back at Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich Monday, camping outside a Murray Hill fundraiser with signs that said, "Newt Your Money Smells" and, "Newt Needs a Bath."
The placards were in response to Gingrich’s remark last month that Occupy Wall Street protesters should “go get a job after you take a bath.”
“We are clean, Newt is dirty,” protesters chanted as Gingrich departed the Union League Club on East 37th Street just before 3 p.m.
“He rolls in dirty money,” said Ben Campbell, 28, who lives on the Upper East Side, and showed up to the protest wearing a bathrobe and holding a sign.
"We are here to let him [Newt Gingrich] know he has no ethics," said Alexander Penley, 41, a lawyer from the Upper West Side. "He's bought and sold by Wall Street."
Gringrich did not respond to the protesters. But at a press conference inside the club, he tried to quell criticism of another divisive comment he’d made on the campaign trail, this one about the work habits of poor people.
In an event in Iowa last week, Gingrich said: “They have no habit of showing up on Monday and staying all day, or the concept of ‘I do this and you give me cash’ unless it’s illegal.”
At the Union League Club, Gingrich said his comments had been “distorted,” and that he’d met with Donald Trump earlier in the day and suggested that the reality star of the TV show "The Apprentice" create a real-life apprentice program for children in the poorest sections of New York. Trump agreed.
“When you have 43 percent black-teenage unemployment, there's a very, very serious challenge in making sure people get the work habit and learn the skills of being successful. I thought that was a positive step forward," Gingrich said.