September 27th, 2007
08:15 AM ET
9 years ago

Gravel to credit card companies: Charge this!

Gravel had some tough words for credit card companies Wednesday.

(CNN) – Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel defended his handling of his personal finances at Wednesday night’s presidential debate in Hanover, New Hampshire, saying that the bright side of a personal bankruptcy he had filed years ago was that credit card companies deserved to get “stuck” with his $90,000 in unpaid debts.

“Donald Trump has been bankrupt a hundred times. So I went bankrupt once in business,” he said. “Who did I bankrupt? I stuck the credit card companies with $90,000 worth of bills, and they deserved it. . . . ”

Gravel also attacked his wealthier Democratic presidential rivals.

“If you want to make a judgment of who can be the greediest people in the world when they get to public office, you can just look at the people up here,” he said, motioning to the other candidates on stage. “Many of them have done very, very well in public office. I left the Senate no better than when I went in.”

Filed under: Mike Gravel • New Hampshire
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Hal, Cleveland OH

    "Gravel to credit card companies: Charge this!"

    The last Gravel ticker line was "Gravel:Fatter and Dumber".

    This isn't a theme show. Do you think he didn't introduce policy on stage instead of this? Absolutely give him the same coverage or levity everyone else gets.

    September 27, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Ryan, New York, NY

    Wow. An Republican who's honest and PROUD of his ripping off the credit card company and making the rest of us pay for his debt. Give this guy a 'wide stance' on integrity and honor…. or lack thereof.

    Posted By Rurik, St. Paul, MN : September 27, 2007 11:26 am

    He's a Democrat

    September 27, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. James, Phoenix AZ

    Donald Trump has been Bankrupt a hundred times? Really... 1-0-0 times? (I predict a CNN headline today: Donald Trump: Mike Gravel is a loser)

    And the credit card companies DESERVED to be stuck with your bad debt?

    You, sir, are the empitome of arrogant irresponsibility. You fight to string together a coherent sentence and are quickly becoming the side-show nominee.

    September 27, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. RJ, SV, AZ

    Who is Mike Gravel, why should we care, and who is he going to stick with the bill when his pathetic campaign fails?

    September 27, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Smith, Somewhere OH

    Wonderful to see a person in service to his government promote a lifestyle that would allow people to go ridiculously in debt and then pass that expense onto the rest of us. Someone should tell him to take an economics class, and also look up the definition of "fraud".

    September 27, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. God help us, wpb , fl

    Thank you Ryan. Its small wonder why this country is in the state that it is, maybe George got in twice, cause people got confused which party he represents.
    Also, I have no love for the CC companies, but a presidential candidate shouldn't advertise his glee for screwing them.

    September 27, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. Mac, Severn, Md

    It doesn't matter which party this man belongs to – or if he is an independent. His comment about not paying his debt, and sticking it to his creditors is not good. I do not relate to those values. Perhaps he should try to explain what he was talking about (the press is not always accurate). I don't think holding public office should be viewed as a ticket to wealth – holding office should not be about making big, big, money.

    September 27, 2007 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Bob, Seattle, WA

    Honesty is the best policy. Good for you Mike.

    September 27, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Larry Hooper Oviedo, FL

    So, he thinks that "sticking" it to the credit card companies is okay. Look at the whole picture. This guy makes a contract with a "vendor." He turns around and asks the credit card company to trust him and loan him the money to proceed with the transaction. He then reneges on his contract with the credit card company and keeps the service for which he originally contracted with the vendor. Yep, I thinks he fills the bill for a politician! They never did know how to spend their own money.

    September 27, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  10. Martin, Washington, DC :

    It's quite funny how CNN cuts off the part where he said what he had been using the money for.

    Working to empower the american people to make laws and take control of your country.

    September 27, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Hallie Burton, Washington DC

    Did you see the way he tossed that rock in the pond?

    Obviously he is presidential material.

    September 27, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. Don F, Mount Prospect, Illinois

    I assume that if he were to become President, Gravel would also "stick it to" Americans who threw away their money on Treasury Bills and Savings Bonds by not honoring those debts too! Well, that's nothing new from tax-and-spend polticians of both parties. At least Gravel is honest enough to warn us that cheating others is his style!

    September 27, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    see i don't think mike gravel is a good example for our young people – to just blow off his debt because he hates big business. what message does he hope to convey to young people?

    September 27, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  14. leese , omaha, ne.

    Typical Democrat , exaggerting and making wild, unsubtantiated claims. Donald Trump did NOT go "bankrupt a hundred times." How can you even have a productive debate with someone who says that ?

    September 27, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Shawn, Iowa City

    Ummm yes, I guess I agree with both sides on this one. I like seeing cc companies getting the shaft as much as the next guy, but I also believe that once a debt is incurred it should be honored.

    However, more disturbing is the lack of knowledge that while Gravel speaks of doing this on the personal level our government has been doing it on the international level for a long, long, long, long time. What are the numbers since little Bushie has adopted the white house as a larger version of his mismanagement of the Rangers? 3 trillion debt per year? 8 years? 24 trillion dollars? Do you actually think this is going to be paid by our government? Heh, sure it is.

    September 27, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. Rob A., Eden Prairie, MN

    "This is classic liberal left – theres always someone else to blame and tax. Its like the universal healthcare debate – liberals are treating the symptom by tossing billions at it….more tax and spend mentality – exactly what this country doesn't need. Rudy 08 – is what we need

    Posted By Chris, Middletown, CT : September 27, 2007 11:29 am "

    Chris, this is not "classic liberal". This kind of attitude is not exclusive to any particular party, race, sex, religion, or any other label you might want to put on it. Crooks come in all types.

    September 28, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Jim, Jacksonville, FL

    Just what we need a President who believes in even less personal accountability and uses such a fine example to demonstrate what he has done right in his past.

    I have much more debt then you did however unlike you Mr Gravel I won't be trying to find some way to weasel out of it.

    September 28, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Geeeesh what next will we hear on American News?

    A Senator praising himself for going bankrupt and sticking Credit Card companies for $90,000. of his illustrious spending habits!

    Oh, no it was for his business spending habits.

    Oh no, I mean for his business necessities!

    Oh no, it was for his mis-management of his own finances!

    Oh well, at least he had the courage to say he has NO REMORSE for his nefarious deed! Shame On Mikey.

    An Eyebrow Raiser for sure!

    September 28, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Leighanna, Philadelphia, PA

    I love you Mike Gravel. You are my president.

    October 9, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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