Dems call out Romney for foreclosure remarks
October 25th, 2011
10:20 AM ET
3 years ago

Dems call out Romney for foreclosure remarks

(CNN) - Democrats are painting Mitt Romney as deaf to Americans' housing hardships in a new broadcast and cable television commercial rolling out in Arizona Tuesday.

The ad, called "Underwater," uses comments the former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate made at an editorial board meeting with the Las Vegas Review-Journal earlier in October.

"As to what to do for the housing industry specifically, there are things that you can do to encourage housing," Romney said on Oct. 17. "One is, don't try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up."

The ad, produced and paid for by the Democratic National Committee, juxtaposes Romney's comments with images of foreclosed proprieties and a male narrator relaying facts about Arizona's housing market. The DNC says the spot will run for six days in Arizona on network and cable channels, including CNN.

"Almost half of Arizona homeowners underwater, foreclosures everywhere, and what's Mitt Romney's plan?" the narrator asks, before playing Romney's soundbite.

In a statement, the DNC said the ad highlighted weaknesses that extend from Romney's background as a management consulting executive.

"Romney's position is appalling, but not unexpected from a former financial executive who wants to let Wall Street – the same guys whose recklessness crashed the housing market and our economy – write its own rules, even if it means hanging the middle-class out to dry," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement. "It is irresponsible, but not surprising coming from someone who made a fortune firing workers and sending their jobs overseas."

Romney's campaign was quick to respond to the DNC ad, saying it was President Obama whose record on foreclosures deserved more scrutiny.

"Under President Obama, American homeowners have dealt with falling home prices, rising foreclosure rates, and one of the worst housing markets in recorded history," Romney's spokesperson Andrea Saul said in a statement. "Twenty five million Americans are out of work, underemployed, or have just quit looking. President Obama and his campaign will continue to try and distract Americans from his disaster of an economic record over the next year but it's not going to work."

The release of the ad comes the day after Pres. Barack Obama outlined a plan to help troubled mortgage-holders refinance their homes. Obama announced the plan in neighboring Nevada, a state hit particularly hard by the housing downturn.

Arizona, where the ad will run, has been similarly affected by America's housing crisis. As the ad points out, the state had the nation's second highest rate for foreclosures in 2010, after Nevada.

It is also a state that the Obama re-election campaign hopes will be for grabs in the 2012 presidential election. In 2008, Sen. John McCain of Arizona won 54% of the vote in his home state, but the Obama campaign hopes that without a hometown favorite in the race they may be able to carry the state in the 2012 election.

On November 30 CNN will host a GOP presidential primary debate in Arizona, in cooperation with the Arizona Republican Party. Arizona holds its presidential primary on February 28.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. george of the jungle

    Well noone ever said Romney was a bleeding heart. He will let you all go under. Sounds like a good ad to me. No name calling just the facts.

    October 25, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Former Democrat

    So let me get this straight.........Liberal Democrats and ACORN force banks to give mortgages to people who cannot afford them with the threats of racism and boycotts. But when those same people who couldn't afford the loans in the first place default on their loans and foreclose, everyone else is supposed to bail them out? So now you want to attack Romney for the problems that you caused? What a joke this supposed political party has become. I used to be a democrat until I saw first hand what their policies produce. People receiving entitlements (my tax dollars) living in better conditions than me (home, food, clothes, education, healthcare) and I am footing the bill and they pay nothing. That sounds fair doesn't it? Hope and Change?

    October 25, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Letmeknow

    Republicans will continue to put the failed economic policies of GWB that caused the mortgage debacle on the present President, but I know most voters are smart enough to see through their smoke and mirrors!

    October 25, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. tstorm

    The more I hear these Republican candidates speak, the more strongly I feel about re-electing Obama.

    October 25, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. PA_outof work

    Democrats calling Romney deaf, what a joke, people are in this mess because of the Democrats in Congress and Obama doubling down on spending. The Democratic party in Congress created laws/rules and forced banks (Fanny and Freddie, the quasi-government housing lenders) to give people mortgages that had no chance of paying on the mortgage, rather than allowing the conventional banking rules to apply to customers loans. Then came Obama and the trillions upon trillion of out of control spending.

    October 25, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. tigerakabj

    That's right DNC. It is what it is. All you have to do is just play the video of these guys running their mouths, folks who are hoping and doing their best to make this economy crash so that they can benefit politically. No negative advertisements, just them on camera being themselves.

    Notice the Romney campaign didn't (and couldn't) refute the ad, only deflect back to President Obama (who inherited this mess from Bush).

    Keep it up DNC. Therey's more where that came from (Social Security, Medicare, Foreign Policy, etc.). Youtube is a wonderful thing.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 25, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Bill

    The Obama administration has helped orchestrate one of the biggest transfers of wealth ever seen by levitating Wall Street at the same time that they threw household wealth under the bus. The total facade of a "mortgage rescue" program that they have had in place for the past 2-3 years is worse than a bad joke. Now they want to do round two during the election/campaign cycle so they can try to present themselves as being for the average American. Three years ago something might have been able to be done to rescue mortgages that weren't based on liar loans and zero down ARMs, but the damage has been done to the remainder of the housing industry a couple of years back and to try to come in now as the knight in shining armor to the "rescue" is just a shameless, cynical display on the part of the Democrats.

    October 25, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Dave

    What does Romney know about financial hardship? He was born with a silver spoon and made millions putting people out of work. His comments don't surprise me one bit.

    October 25, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. king

    these repugs are trying make the country a corporate run country, and the people are like cattle. lesson you cant run this country like how you run corporations mitten: first people are not corporations because when you through them out to pasteur "like you did those other companies you disolved to make profit, they just dont disapear", there is a tomorow they have to look farward to. second corporations have over seas resources to fall back on if demand is low in america they just can skip country to china. people have to do with what they have even if what they've got is dwindled down to nothing. you need to tax rich folks who are outsourcing our tax money in order to build china and allow it to circulate in america so folks can have some demand money. and tell your repugs friends to stop the war they have on the american consumers, since 70 percent of our economy is spending. you guys push this tarp crap and outsource almost all our factories and left us with a sales industry. then you want to cut the money from the folks that sales folks need to keep this country alive. stop cutting our middle class government jobs, and stop threatening consumers about cutting their spending money. STOP THE WAR ON CONSUMERS REPUG!!!

    October 25, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. rs

    While I still believe that Romney is the best hope Republicans have for victory, his comments probably reflect the kindest sort of feelings the GOP has to the common man, and that unfortunately is not much. But what can we expect from a "business man". The Gop has long tilted towards favoring the wealthy, but the worst of those instincts were often beat back in favor of more middle-of-the-road philososphies.

    The current clutch of GOP/TP candidates are at best anti-middle class warriors like Romney, and at worst idiots (Perry), kooks (Cain and Paul), certifiable liars and psychpaths (Bachmann), or smart folks with absolutely no morals or scrupples (Gingrich).

    These folks define why, now more than every, if we wish to preserve our republic, and our individual places in it, we must not vote GOP/TP. It simply isn't in our best self interests.

    October 25, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. al in memphis

    Let see how it sounds, if you take out the word houses and insert the word bank. Would Mitt have been so quick to say let things run their course and let the banks fail, Wall Street fail, AIG fail.

    October 25, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Romney's approach is the correct one. Only these imbeciles in the Obama administration and the Democrat Party think they can manage every problem by throwing money at it. It only makes the problem worse and lengthens the pain which is exactly what they have done to the recession.

    BTW, exactly why is it the federal governments job to bail ANYBODY out of real estate investments? The markets can take care of themselves. People who are underwater have to decide for themselves how to handle it without any government intervention. With investments comes risk of loss. Investments 101, page 1. Live with it.

    October 25, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. Laverne

    Can't believe he made those comments while in Nevada, the state that has been hit the hardest by foreclosures. Smart Mitt, real smart!

    October 25, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. gg

    the corperate states of america

    October 25, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. hmmm...

    Every thing takes its course. I don't know though...something just doesn't squeak right when the captain of the Titanic tells us he knows the best way out of the mess taking place while he stands at the helm and belittles another for simply making a comment about running a course. It just might be that you flood a town to save a city?

    October 25, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Robert jay

    "rs" response is an excellent example of how even repugs see their candidtaes and their party – class warfare – the only really sad thing is their are only so few repugs with a rationale brain to see and speak and possibly do something about it!

    October 25, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. TXJim

    I think its a long shot for them to carry Arizona.. large Latino population but I don't think he has much support there. That ad may be better placed in Nevada and Florida..

    October 25, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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