Bruce Springsteen Says Newt Gingrich Inspired By Occupy Wall Street

Singer Bruce Springsteen (AP)

Over the weekend, singer Bruce Springsteen was in Paris, France, where he introduced his album “Wrecking Ball” to reporters. But rather than focusing solely upon his music, he used the press conference as an opportunity to delve into his leftist political views. Of course, he also took a bit of time to shower praise upon the Occupy movement, while crediting it with inspiring some of GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich’s rhetoric.

“Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push back at all saying this was outrageous — a basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, a complete disregard for the American sense of history and community,” he said. ”The temper has changed. And people on the streets did it. Occupy Wall Street changed the national conversation — the Tea Party had set it for a while. The first three years of Obama were under them.”

These comments weren’t surprising, though. After all, Springsteen has a history of leftist allegiances. It was what came next that is particularly noteworthy.

“Nobody had talked about income inequality in America for decades — apart from John Edwards — but no one was listening,” he continued. “But now you have Newt Gingrich talking about ‘vulture capitalism’ — Newt Gingrich! — that would not have happened without Occupy Wall Street.”

While he won’t be campaigning for Obama during the 2012 campaign, here’s what Springsteen had to say about the president’s performance thus far:

“He kept General Motors alive, he got through healthcare—though not the public system I would have wanted—he killed Osama Bin Laden, and he brought sanity to the top level of government. But big business still has too much say in government and there has not been as many middle- or working-class voices in the administration as I expected. I thought Guantanamo would have been closed but now, but he got us out of Iraq and I guess we will soon be out of Afghanistan.”

Watch Springsteen discuss his politically-charged album, below:

(H/T: Gothamist)