NEW YORK — Occupy Wall Street activists targeted a Mitt Romney fundraiser at a luxury Manhattan hotel on Wednesday, denouncing the Republican presidential candidate but also taking shots at all the contenders.
Several hundred protesters circled the Waldorf-Astoria that hosted Romney and his supporters. The demonstrators walked behind a coffin marked with gold dollar signs and topped with an urn shooting out flames they said represented "job cremation."
Some posed as the "grim reaper," wearing Romney masks and black tunics and carrying sickles to make their claim that the presidential hopeful made a fortune as a consultant pushing job cuts at struggling companies.
College professor Stewart Leonard held up a sign that read: "Will Work for Caviar" — poking fun at Romney's position that he would create more jobs.
"The original message of Occupy Wall Street is still true now — that banks got bailed out and we got sold out," said Leonard, 52, who spent a few nights in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park last fall as part of the Occupy movement.
But Leonard said, "I'm fed up with Obama, too, because he's still in bed with the corporations funding campaigns."
The overriding theme of the rally was that big money is boosting candidates into office, and "all the candidates are guilty," said Diane Moxley, 43, who billed herself as a "public-interest attorney."
She said the protest could have been staged for any candidate. "But Romney happens to be in New York and he's blatantly 1 percent fundraising," Moxley said.
Near the Park Avenue hotel, protesters chanted that the wealthy candidate "is the 1 percent!" They said money being raised for him comes from privileged Americans, not the other 99 percent.
An Occupy Wall Street banner spread out on a sidewalk read: "Romney: 100 percent Out of Touch."
Signs sprinkled among the protesters read: "Multimillionaires for Romney."