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. Scott, Madison, WI

    This guy has been giving out wrong numbers for more years than he can even count. Seems his whole administration has a problem with numbers and (ac)counting. When it comes to body counts, they don't have a clue.

    December 6, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. Joe - Boston MA

    I can't stand the man but, c'mon, it's a mistake that's easily made. What I do have a problem with is CNN calling the correct number just to see how long the wait was, thus forcing others who truly need the relief to wait that much longer to start the process. Nice job CNN.

    December 6, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. no mo dynasties - wilmington

    ha ha ha ha

    December 6, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. Oscar, Rio Vista CA

    hmmm!! Provides Christian education home schooling material. I wonder which friend or family member runs this business.

    December 6, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. monkey, Raleigh NC

    Ok, I guess it's an honest mistake, but,man, glad I'm not the only one who saw the incredible irony of the wrong number connecting to the FREEDOM CHRISTIAN ACADEMY!

    Freedumb is on the march.

    Someone explain to me how there is not massive demonstrations of outrage in the streets of this country over just how badly this dude has screwed us over?

    Apathy kills.

    December 6, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. Oscar, Rio Vista CA

    To Kate: if you are not selling your home you have nothing to worry about. The value of your home has gone down, which means you will be paying less in property taxes.

    The businesses that supplied these loans are in trouble as well as the people losing their homes. There is a lot of blame to go around. I think the people who are hurting the most are those that have to sell their homes due to circumstances but can't because there are all these cheap houses that are in foreclosure around them. What about help for these people.

    December 6, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. Andrew, Atlanta, GA

    I posted a message about this hours ago. Where is it? I don't think this was an accident. At first I thought it was just due to his incompetence...or just a simple error. That is, until I read the wrong number was for a company that sells CHRISTIAN HOME SCHOOL materials based in TEXAS. Does this seem like a wee bit of a coincidence to you? How much do you want to bet that we find out some connection between this company and Bush or his administration? It wouldn't be surprising, since Bush is very pro-private (esp. religious) school, homeschooling, and eradicating public education (you have to read behind the lines here since Bush never tells the truth – but he is).

    What I find worse about this story is that CNN reprints the original number and where it goes – playing right into Bush's hands to advertise this place – instead of saying the old number was wrong and here's the new one!

    December 6, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. Thunk Different.

    u kant b serius

    December 6, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. Patrick Peavy Plano, TX

    Please people this isn't a poor reflection on our President or CNN. It is a newsworthy story because I am sure some people were very confused. I fail to see how this makes Bush dumb. Keep in mind this is coming from a die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter and not a huge Bush fan either. But I reserve my criticism for him on an issue by issue basis. Of course I also know how to respectfully disagree with people unlike most political bloggers.

    December 6, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. Raj, Seattle, WA

    Agree with Kate from CO the government should NOT bail out people who made irresponsible commitments. I don't have any fancy lawyers or accountants, but doing the math on a home is easy. If you can't do a simple monthly budget, you don't deserve to own a home.

    Many of us have been trying to save enough money to buy a home, only to have prices driven up to absurd levels because people kept bidding up prices in the hope of flipping them in a few years. We need prices to come down a lot to normal levels. How does it make any sense that a home today costs 60% more than it did two years ago in many places?

    People with ARMs are just going to unload their homes, so someone else will be left holding the bag. They should be forced to sell or foreclose if they can't afford it – nobody has a right to a home they cannot afford. Frustrating to see irresponsible behavior rewarded this way.

    December 6, 2007 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. Louisville, Ky

    What's truly sad is Bush probably did not know there are other toll free prefixes other than 800. This is a man who has not had to dial a phone call for himself in 16 years. What a yutz!

    December 6, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Belle, Solvay, NY

    We all make mistakes, big and small! Unfortunately, it can be embarrasing when a mistake is made by an important person, and it's another excuse for those who like to pick on others to have laugh. It's not right!

    December 6, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. michael meridian,id

    Mr. Bush is the worst thing that ever happend to usa and the world. I'm so ashamed that he is our President!

    December 6, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  14. Jim Redstate, Tampa Florida

    What number should we call if we suspect that someone is trying to build a nucular bomb?

    December 6, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  15. stephen Costa Mesa, CA

    I think he did this on purpose. Makes sense, doesn't it? He doesn't really care.

    December 6, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  16. Hal Marinette, Wi

    Every party needs a clown!!

    December 6, 2007 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. BJ, Milwaukee WI

    Seems like someone could of picked a number not so close to the Christian Academy one. I am sure it took months and millions of dollars to come up with though. I think that would be a real issue to cover not that he messed up a prefix.

    December 6, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Mark, Vermilion, Ohio

    OK. So we are going to focus on the fact that someone who's job is to run the country messed up 800 vs 888 ( I do this all the time ), rather than the fact that he negotiated a deal with banks?

    You should also understand that this isn't a bailout, which I would have been ticked off about, but more of a favor. This is similar to the president's power to negotiate during labor disputes. The banks are going to freeze the adjustable rates on qualifying mortgages.

    Its so very disheartening to listen to people complain and moan about everything this president has done, is doing, and will do. Its getting to the point that if you accidentally wash a blue sock with your whites, it must be Bush's fault.

    December 6, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. James -- Troy, New York

    You guys really push it. Why report on something so trivial? I'm sure we all know why...

    December 6, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. leighflurry

    wrong hotline number from Prezza No.43. and baffled callers get through to the freedom christian academy in Texas. Simple error? If the wrong number was for Joe's Diner in French Lick, Indiana, Elmer's Gun Emporium in
    Sand Point, Idaho, Marcel's Cufflinks Store on Fifth Avenue, NY ..... maybe. A Cristian academy in Texas .... hhmmm.
    Have Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan from the CIA look into this.


    December 6, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. David Fort Worth, Texas

    Aiding the people that are losing their homes will not affect ANYONE that is writing on this board. No new taxes, no higher rates on new loans...nothing. It is real easy to condemn people and real hard to help them. At least to the good republicans of america.

    December 6, 2007 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I've never misspoke in my entire life. Anybody who has is a terrible person and deserves a news story.

    Get a life people.

    December 6, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. DJones, McLean, Virginia

    Does CNN have a home loan they have questions about? They why are you calling and wasting the time and probably slim resources of the hotline? Once again reporters thinking they are the world instead of just reporting the world.

    December 6, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  24. Angela, Phoenix AZ

    The "Hope Hot Line" was NOT, repeat NOT, set up by the Bush administration. It is an already existing hotline for the Home Preservation Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission that is self-explanatory. The hotline has been in existence for MONTHS now and the Bush administration has NOTHING to do with it. I didn't hear the press conference, but I hope that Bush didn't try to take credit for the hotline (although it wouldn't surprise me in the least). The folks at the Home Preservation Foundation would not be happy about their hotline being called the "Bush Hotline".

    December 6, 2007 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  25. kittin balls :D.watertown.MA

    wow bush should think before he talks. well at least he will be gone at 2008.... some dumb head

    December 6, 2007 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
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