- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2011

NEWTON, Mass. Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that the Wall Street protests were “independent” and “organic,” conceding that she misspoke during an earlier interview in which she seemed to be taking credit for the movement.

“What I meant to say was, I’ve been protesting Wall Street for a long time now,” the Democrat said following a campaign appearance in the Boston suburb of Newton.

“The Occupy Wall Street movement is organic, it is independent, and that’s how it should be,” said Ms. Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and longtime consumer advocate.

In the earlier interview posted on the Daily Beast website, Ms. Warren said her work over the years provided the intellectual groundwork for the demonstrators.

“I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do,” she said in the interview. “I support what they do.”

Republicans sharply criticized the remark, pointing to the arrests of protesters and clashes with police at Occupy sites in Boston and at other sites around the country.

On Thursday, the Massachusetts GOP released a new attack video, titled “Matriarch of Mayhem,” that intersperses Ms. Warren’s supportive words about the protests with images of arrests and interviews with a few of the more radical demonstrators, including one man who calls capitalism a “cancer.”

Ms. Warren, who advised President Obama on financial regulation before jumping into the Senate contest against GOP Sen. Scott P. Brown, said demonstrators must obey all laws.

“Everyone has to follow the law. That’s where we start all conversations,” she said.

Ms. Warren’s status as the Democrat most likely to take on Mr. Brown next November was further solidified with the decision by another Democrat, Alan Khazei, to withdraw from the race. Mr. Khazei, the co-founder of the nonprofit City Year, made his announcement Thursday at his campaign headquarters in Boston, surrounded by family and supporters.

Mr. Khazei said he wanted to avoid waging a “divisive” Democratic primary that would only help Mr. Brown in the general election.

While congratulating Ms. Warren for having “struck a chord” with voters, Mr. Khazei stopped just short on Thursday of endorsing her, saying he planned to meet with her in the future.