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. Dan, TX

    Posted By Kate, Aurora CO : December 6, 2007 3:35 pm

    But Kate, not everyone is as intelligent, well-educated, or savvy as you are. I know it is hard to believe that someone would sign a mortgage just because someone told them that they'd have "no problem" affording it. But some people are very trusting. Or perhaps they had a job and were laid off, etc.

    Another example. You wouldn't imagine getting in a car and driving without car insurance. It would be extremely unwise, even foolish to do so. Yet, even though it is required by law, there are millions who drive without buying car insurance.

    However, protecting the mortgage companies and their investors from their employees making loans to people who can not afford them is important. This bailout is to help save the mortgage companies as much as the people who took the loans.

    December 6, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Lee-Glendale,CA

    President Bush today unveiled a foreclosure relief plan that he said could help 1.2 million distressed homeowners.
    Does this include the speculators that got multiple properties under the cheap up front ARMS hoping to sell for big profits prior to balloon? If thats the case, its wrong. Only single homes for borrowers should see any relief. That is if you believe any of them should.

    December 6, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Jaik , chicago, IL

    Of course the president would give out a christian evangelical hotline. if you are in financial trouble, he'd like you to turn to the church and be a good little lamb.

    December 6, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Amanda Orlando, FL

    I don't blame lenders, I don't blame the economy, I don't even blame the president for giving out the wrong number. My issue is with the millions of Americas who were DOPES for signing onto these ridulous ARM's and committing to payments they could barely afford, just because buying a home rather than renting was such a fad five years ago. Anyone with half a brain knows that ARM's are risky, and I can't believe so many people would buy into the home-buying craze with complete disreguard for the reality of their financial limitations. It's not an investment, it's a gamble. A gamble that a lot of people are now losing, a lose that is now being dumped onto tax payers. If you thought that buying a home even if you couldn't afford the payment was a wiser financial decision than renting YOU are the idiot. I don't feel sorry for these people at all.

    December 6, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. Chris, St. Paul, MN

    It is times like these that I miss Jon Stewart and the daily show!

    December 6, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Freedom Christian Academy in Texas? Hmmmmmm.......sounds tooo coincidental to me.

    1 more year of America being embarassed by the most powerful idiot in the world!

    December 6, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. jms58

    He is such an embarrasment to this country.

    December 6, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Aaron, Minneapolis MN

    We need more people like GW's in this country. He's a patriot.

    December 6, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. B. Nightengale, Dallas, OR

    Give the guy a break, will ya? After all there are one heck of a lot of digits to keep straight when reading that cue card. Just remember how well he keeps the budget deficit and national debt numbers straight. Not to mention all those numbers he smoked during his college days.

    December 6, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. never make any mistake

    888 instead of 800 ?? Big deal. We had to change the prefix in our office from "9" to "8" to dial out because people kept dialing "911."

    See what you get for trying to help people Mr. President?? lol

    December 6, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Deborah Landes, Sarasota, Florida

    What makes you think it was a mistake?

    December 6, 2007 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. Kate, Aurora CO

    Firstly, retaining the services of an attorney for maybe the max 3 hours, is not as expensive as you would think and if you can't afford to pay $300 for an expert to help you understand one of the most important financial decisions of your life and to not fall victim to shady lenders, then perhaps you shouldn't be signing on to repay a $500K mortgage. The home prices in So. Cal soared to record highs in 2005-early 2007. This coincides with the low interest and artsy mortgage deals people were getting. Companies were offering mortgages to unemployed people. So now you think its fair that the rest of us who made wise decisions, pay for that? Where do you think the "aid" to the poor victims is going to come from?

    December 6, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Uber Bitsy, Vero Beach, FL

    I think that Bush is one of the worst things ever to happen to our country, and I can't stand to see his face or hear his voice. That said, his mistake with the phone number is a common one, and very easy to make. It does not make him stupid or an idiot; almost everything else he's done does.

    December 6, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. Laura -Tulsa OK

    How many people who criticize the President have not made a mistake in the past 24 hours?

    December 6, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. JB post falls ID

    Your right Mellisa it was a simple mistake. My 2 year old sometimes messes up her numbers too.

    December 6, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. J. D. Miller

    It's been seven years now and can anyone remember Dubya ever getting anything right.

    He'll never be late for a "Mensa" meeting, maybe a kindagarden Reading Class, but certainly not a Mensa meeting.

    December 6, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Alex, Rockford, Illinois

    Is this really news or just pandering against the GOP?

    December 6, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Notice the organization Bush knows the number to ... wonder if this is the group that sells his brother's educational software through ...

    December 6, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. Bob Ostapovich Scottsdale AZ

    Your caption under the photo says President Bush made his speech on Tuesday. Duh!

    December 6, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    "Yeah, Bush is dumb... (hee hee hee). Bush is goofy (hee hee hee)."

    Geez, you guys sound like a bunch of petulant, sniveling 14-year-olds. Grow up.

    Who among us has never verbally mixed up "1-800" and "1-triple-eight?" Who among us has never dialed a wrong number? Ever transpose a number or a letter?

    "Yeah, but Bush is still dumb... (tee hee hee, tee hee hee...)." Go back to your iPods, kids.

    December 6, 2007 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Becky, Euless, TX

    thsi is what I have been talking about, he can't get anything right!

    December 6, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. john williams san diego, ca.

    Drew from Oakland...i reckon you are a just a young college whippersnapper when you state that bush is the worst president is a fact that jimmy was the worst and will ever be the WORST ex-president ever unless 'her royal majesty' is elected.

    December 6, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. Providence

    I think it all makes sense. The Rapture is close, it is better to convert than to think about silly financial matters. That's why the incorrect number was provided.

    December 6, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. Evan, Norwalk Connecticut

    anyone else find it amusing that CNN points out bush giving the wrong phone number, but the photo caption says "tuesday" when it was really thursday?

    all in good fun...i still like you cnn

    December 6, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  25. Ron Paul, Washington, DC

    a hotline? for hope?

    what have we become?

    Wake up America, we cannot rely on the government to solve our problems. It is dangerous.

    December 6, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
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