December 7th, 2007
05:47 AM ET
15 years ago

Bush gives out wrong hotline number

Bush accidentally gave out the wrong number Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Harried homeowners seeking mortgage relief from a new Bush administration hotline Thursday had to contend with a bit of temporary misdirection from the president himself.

As he announced his plan to ease the mortgage crisis for consumers, President Bush accidentally gave out the wrong phone number for the new “Hope Now Hotline” set up by his administration.

Anyone who dialed 1-800-995-HOPE did not reach the mortgage hotline but instead contacted the Freedom Christian Academy - a Texas-based group that provides Christian education home schooling material.

The White House press office quickly put out a correction moments after the President’s remarks. After dialing the correct number, 1-888-995-HOPE, CNN was connected to a “counselor” within three minutes. White House: Bush Subprime plan offers help to 1.2M

- CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. Tom Dawson, Pacific Palisades, Ca.

    So what else is new? Isn't there anyone in this administration who can do anything right? It/they would make a very fine, very funny musical comedy if they weren't messing up the U.S.A. and the world so tragically.

    December 6, 2007 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Laura, Minneapolis, MN

    Drew, Good one!! But who says Juan is self-respecting? He couldn't be if he is still shilling for bush. And doesn't he know that there is no more communist threat? Now it's those pesky environmentalists. He's so behind the times.

    December 6, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Well he knows all the words of "Hail to the Chief"., hm,hm,,hm,hm,hm,hm,,hm,hm,hm,hm,hm,hm,hm,hm,,hm,hm,hm

    December 6, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. J. Stiles, Trenton, NJ

    He probably was deathly afraid of saying "1-666..." and offending his ultra-right-wing base!

    December 6, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. JohnGalt Sturgis, SD

    War or finance...when Bush opens his mouth, inaccurate information spews out. He will be gone soon, his (Bush 43) perverted intepretation of the U.S. constitution will hang on Americans backs like over-wieght apes.

    December 6, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Kate, Aurora CO

    I think it is ridiculous our government is doing anything to aid irresponsible people. No one forced you sign a mortgage you couldn't afford. Please don't feed me the line about the lenders being shady. You are adults. You should read before you sign and you should do the math before committing to a purchase as significant as a home. Thanks to you irresponsible idiots, people like myself who knew better, couldn't afford a starter home because of the whole madness. I had to wait almost 3 years for the prices to go down. Even then, I hired an attorney to help me understand everything I was getting into and an accountant to make sure I could afford my home and still live comfortably. Since Bush is helping those who were irresponsible and ignorant, maybe those of us who did the right thing should get a check. Whatever happened to personal responsiblity?

    December 6, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Don Tampa, FL

    Well, what did you expect. This guy is NOT the sharpest tool in the shed and his driveway does not go all the way to the road. The U.S. will be looking forward to 'Scrub' and Dick ' used car salesman' Chaney leaving office and NOT finding their way home... another example of 'lost in disgrace... I mean space'.

    December 6, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Melissa, Dallas, TX

    So what's the correct number? And was it similar to the incorrect number?

    Like no one here has ever misread a phone number. C'mon.

    December 6, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Melissa, Dallas, TX

    Oh, 1-800 vs 1-888.. big whoop. Even I misread it.

    December 6, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Jim - Tucson

    Does his plan include teaching lenders and borrowers addition, subtraction and the ever feared multiplication.

    December 6, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I like the angry left...they all get together and talk about how the government left us down and there are simply not enough entitlement programs....people today talk about the "mortgage crisis" – we used to call it people buying beyond their means....and the Democrats will discuss the "Healthcare crisis" – we used to call it people who made a choice to not work for Walmart, Staples, Starbucks or others that provide healthcare – I guess healthcare wasn't that important to we are also being asked to help the people in New Orleans who lost their homes in Hurricane Katrina – we used to call that "people who built below sea level and decided not to buy flood insurance are plain dumb" – we seem to be asking for public funding for bad choices...making your bad choice my tax liability....what happened to JFK's party "ask not what your country can do for you" – all the Democrats are embracing a socialist model...very scarey....its time you take accountability for yourselves

    December 6, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Arthur, Mathews VA

    This is what happens when you take a dolt that couldn't manage a Denny's and use his daddy's connections to make him president. So much for democracy.....

    December 6, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Andrew, Atlanta, GA

    Wow – what a weird "coincidence", huh? Normally I'd say this was just an example of Bush's incompetence – or just an honest mistake – but WOW. The incorrect number was a CHRISTIAN HOME SCHOOL materials group IN TEXAS? Who wants to bet that we find out some connection between Bush or someone in his administration and this company?

    This is right up his alley too. It's no secret to me that he's pretty much for home and private schooling, especially religiously-based schooling, and decimation of public school education in the U.S. (Bush isn't honest about anything, so you have to read between the lines here and actually look at his behavior to make this connection...).

    December 6, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Vinny C., NYC, NY

    I couldn't help laughing at this. Not at President Bush, just at the situation. Picturing a dude calling for mortgage help and getting advice on home schooling.

    It's probably not Bush's fault. He's most likely reading from a tele-prompter which had the error. Even if he misread it, not a big deal.

    December 6, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Andrew, Atlanta, GA

    And shame on CNN for reprinting where the ACTUAL number leads a person. You've just advertised this for Bush! You played right into his hands!

    December 6, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Andrew, Atlanta, GA

    WHERE the original number leads a person, not actual :)See, we all makes mistakes. But methinks this was deliberate on Bush's part.

    December 6, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Jeff, Schaumburg, IL

    Kate from CO, I couldn't agree more.

    Not only will the rest of us not be rewarded, we will be punished. These homes not foreclosing (which would have) would have been the appropriate reaction to a bad financial move. The foreclosures are the proper corrective action. Those people would have gambled and lost. The lenders will be able to sell the property, aiding in the retrenching of prices.

    Instead, that is further money tied up. Lenders will need to charge higher interest rates to offset their "losses", and the "Fed" will print even more "money", thus further taxing us all through inflation to pay for the ARM-indiscretions of 1.2 million.

    I feel as though I should be able to throw a bunch of money into an options play, and if it doesn't work out, I should charge everybody for a portion of my mistake.

    ALSO: I think G-Dub is the worst president of all time, but this was not just him/them. Both sides of the aisle were lining up for this one. Very un-American, very un-equal, very socialist.

    December 6, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Travis, Columbus, OH

    What outrages me more than his two-digit mistake (easily preventable by this invention called a cue card) is that Bush felt the need to insulate both the foolish buyers who bought something they couldn't afford and greedy lenders who took advantage of them from the consquences of their actions. Maybe I'm a bit harsh, but as Kate pointed out, anyone looking to buy something as expensive as a house should be willing to shell out the comparatively minimal expense of hiring a competent real estate attorney and enlisting the help of a realtor. When will we learn as a country that we, not the government, are responsible for ourselves? Thanks, Great Society.

    December 6, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Bud, PA

    Is our children learning?

    Bush, you are a miserable failure as a president and as a human being.

    December 6, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. John C Marietta, GA

    Really this is no big deal, tis is a mistake anyone could easily make.

    This is a man that has made more costly and deadly mistake than any president in recorded history. This one is not even on the radar.

    December 6, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. richmerritt

    It went to a Christian home school textbook supply place... in TEXAS? And we're supposed to be believe it was an accident?

    December 6, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Laura, Minneapolis, MN

    Kate – I don't see how other people's buying a home with a sub-prime mortgage affects your ability to buy a home at all. Interest rates are very low and the actual price of the home is something completely different and wildly variable.

    Also, not everyone can afford to hire an attorney to buy a house, and not everyone understands the finances involved. Are you saying they should be denied the American dream?

    I'm a homeowner as well and I can tell you that I was seriously PUSHED to buy more than I could afford. Because I have a very strong will and work in the real estate field I understood what I could afford and resisted. Not everyone is like that.

    December 6, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Kurt Corpus Christi TX

    W, the gift that keeps on comedians

    December 6, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. aaron Smithsburg, Maryland

    Yep honest mistake I didn't see the difference in the numbers at first glance either. Just like all those zeros in his paycheck, and all those zeros on Iran's nuclear capability, and all those zeros in the weapon inspectors reports for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. He did get it right though that North Korea wouldn't have a nuclear weapon in ten years. They have them now! It's clear this man is a vessel of divine intuition.

    December 6, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Mike, Warren MI

    To Kate, Aurora CO

    To some extent, I agree with you. I purchased my home, took the time to understand my responsibilities, retain a good job, etc.

    However, look at your own statement. You said you hired an attorney and an accountant to make sure that you were doing things right. Don't you think that is a bit expensive? I mean, your average middle class family/middle class single-parent family/middle class single person cannot afford to hire an attorney and an accountant to buy a home.

    December 6, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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