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. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Willard will prefer for the bottom to fallout rather than try to keep people in their homes. It sounds like he's back in his Bain Capital days. Screw the little people and make them suffer. That's not th ekind of leadership the country needs.

    October 25, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. MIke smith

    It is unfair that you are holding Mitt Wrongme to this higher standard. He inherited everything from daddy, having to save and buy things is for your hired help. He was ceo of Bain capitol, They bought companies and laid people off until their return on investment was good or they closed the places and sold the pieces. Why would you expect him to understand home ownership or job issues?

    October 25, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Cary

    This is exactly how Romney and other republicans would take care of this economy. Let everyone except the "Elite" go bankrupt . He makes me want to vomit. Shame on you Romney. You'll never get elected.

    October 25, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. westward

    Wouldn't vote for Mitt Romney if he were the last candidate standing – which he won't be.

    October 25, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. james Miller

    Can`t everyone afford a second mansion ????? I can, I`m very wealthy.

    October 25, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    Ouch. Mittens is on the defensive....again and in damage control mode. You can't take back what you said

    October 25, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Bill from GA

    It isn't just Romney; ALL of the repugs are going to leave us "On our own". In Georgia, there's a huge battle over a toll road; if you want to get to work faster than ten miles per hour, you gotta pay. And the tolls will be pretty high, once commuters get used to them. And more of those toll roads to come.

    You want health care?? Pay for it. My generation and older retirees have paid high taxes all our lives. Now, so taxes can be lowered, America's government(s) are getting useless.

    October 25, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Sandy

    Romney can't stop putting his foot in his mouth. LOL

    The problem is that he is really out of touch with ordinary Americans and doesn't know how he should respond to their situations.

    October 25, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Little Jimmy Truth

    DNC should quit to bully.

    Oh, DNC loves to blame GOP as they think GOP already works in that state.

    October 25, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Clwyd

    Besides his remarks we have to remember that Mitt and Huntsmann are members of a religious cult!

    October 25, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. Mike

    I'm always amazed when Romney tries to beg the housing bust and economy on Obama. Yes, Obama owns the economy now, but he owns the fix. The Republicans own the massive collapse at the beginning of 2009, and it's going to take even longer to dig out of that hole as they continue to block any active measure beyond letting it "run its course and hit the bottom."

    By the way, the best strategy for Obama now is to go after Romney hard before the primary, so even his own party rejects him. The GOP field is so weak that Obama can likely defeat Romney, but it will be a cake walk against any of the other candidates.

    October 25, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Doug

    At first I thought this was a statement from the Executive branch telling Arizona that they were on their own for ILLEGAL immigration...I mean they might as well put it in print, right? (Waits patiently for someone to photoshop Holder/Obama/Napalitano in place of Romney)

    October 25, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. John

    Romney is out of touch and has no solutions to the foreclosure problem except let home owners continue to lose their homes. Romney had no trouble helping out the Wall Street gang when they got in trouble and who destroyed the American economy but when it comes to helping out the ordinary American person well you are on your own Jack..........

    October 25, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Sniffit

    Mittens has no argument and no credibility on this issue. None. Last week, as the ad points out, he called for the foreclosure epidemic to "run its course"...but now this week he's complaining about Obama not doing something "bold" to halt it.

    Note that Woodhouse talks about WHY we're actually in this mess, while Mittens' puppet spokesperson avoids it and merely cites statistics in a vacuum in order to accuse Obama of being at fault. The GOP/Teatrolls don't want to learn from the mess and mistakes caused by their broken ideology, BECAUSE IN THEIR MINDS IT'S NOT A MISTAKE...they ACTUALLY WANT to break the middle-class and turn the US into a third-world labor supply. They decided long ago, oh, say, 1964 or so, that if the 1% can't have some people as slaves, then they'll have ALL the peopel as slaves.

    October 25, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Dave

    I sure hope voters are smart enough to know that the housing meltdown started under the Bush Administration. So did the Wall Street meltdown. So did the massive job losses. This administration is trying to stem the tide and turn the corner. The Republicans clearly don't want that to happen and will do anything they can to hang this noose around Obama. I love all of their promises "just vote for me and I'll change this day one in office". Really? Do you realize that you have to pass stuff through Congress?

    October 25, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. RoseTN

    At least Obama is trying to do something to help the people, even though the greedy banks don't want to. The GOP plan is to let the middle class fail, so the top 1% can take advantage of it and make themselves even richer at the expense of the 99%, while cutting funding to programs that actually help the 99%. What a lovely choice they're forcing the people to make come 2012.

    October 25, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    The Republican viewpoint strikes me as a strange one for a group that needs all the votes it can get. Electrocuting Latino migrants is funny, foreclosing on peoples homes and throwing them into the street is a good idea, praying the gay out of lesbians and homosexuals is a business opportunity, raising taxes on the poor and middle classes with a 9-9-9 plan is how you cut taxes for the wealthy, removing controls on the bankers and Wall Street investors is the best way to keep us out of another money disaster and legislating conservative morals is the way to be inclusive.

    Is it just me or does it seem like the asylum might be short a few guests this political season?

    October 25, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. The Elephant In The Room

    It is telling that when we look at the banking & financial services industry, which was irrepsonsible and needed a federal financial hand out, Mr. Romney DID NOT call for true capitalism; allow a Wells Fargo, a Bank of America, a Goldman, A JPMorgan, etc.. to fail while "other investors" bought up the assets of the bank and "put renters" in those assets to make them perform once again.

    Citizens money in banks is protected by SPIC & FDIC, so Mitt wasn`t doing the little guy any favors by supporting bank rescues. All he did was save the over-inflated salaries & bonuses of him friends in high paying jobs that would have gone away if the rule of the jungle was applied there as he is suggesting for housing. Why didn`t he call for the vultures to pick the banks bones? Corporations are people.

    October 25, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    If people bought houses they couldn't afford who's fault is that? We've had 75 years of social engineering. The problem should have been fixed by now. If not I have to ask, Wha Hoppen??? The Tax Payers can't keep Bailing out everybody The housing bubble would have never hapened if the Government didn't pressure the Banks to make Liar Loans. Our inventive politicans have put the tax payers on the hook for millions and millions thru Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

    October 25, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. really?

    "Let them eat cake", wow what a presidential canidate. He doesn't deserve to even run down the street, much less run for president. This just kinda backs up how OWS is feeling, let the have die, as long as the have can have.

    October 25, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    Romney is, unfortunately, correct. You cannot solve the problem, with hand outs to those who can't afford to stay in their homes.

    That IS the bottom line, and nothing we do, will change that.

    Any effort to skirt the problem, is simply going to waste tax dollars, for nothing, as throwing money at this problem, will NOT solve it.

    October 25, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Mitt Romney @ Bain Capital posing with Dollar Bill$$ like a Gangstar while shipping American jobs to China

    Romney, saying anything to anyone at anytime of the day to one group of people...and recounting same by saying anything to anyone at anytime of the day to another group of people!!

    Will the real Mor(M)on Roney please stand up? doubt it!!!

    October 25, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Mike Hawthorne

    Romney truly is out of touch with average people. He thinks the free market (ie, Wall Street) should decide everyone's fate.

    October 25, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. $$$$ Obama buying your votes $$$$

    Being "Underwater" does not mean you are loosing your home. It simply means your investment is currently worth less than what you initally agreed to pay for it. Left alone, time and the market should take care of that issue and the value should restore itself. If it doesn't, then you take the loss if and when you try to sell it.

    Obama is just pandering for votes, making it easier for people who are current on their payments to slightly reduce them. The problem is this is something those responsible people could easily do for themselves if they wanted. Its all a shell game to make it look like he is taking action when in reality, he is doing nothing.

    October 25, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Truth Dealer

    Romney is a corporate raider ! That is all he know's ! His solution to everything is let it get as bad as it can get and totally fail , then come back after it fall's apart and try to get it on the cheap ! It doesn't matter if people will suffer immensely while he is waiting for it to fail ! He said the same thing about the auto company GM ! He was completely wrong ! GM has rebounded and have virtually paid back all they borrowed ! Romney's solution to everything is let it fall apart !

    October 25, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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