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)

    OMG, why put out this headline, why not just put on the real number. I know you hate the guy and let me say CNN has never made a mistake or any other of you who wrote sly remarks on here. I see that he also spoke about the congress and the senate, doing nothing about the bills put foward. Why not tell the American people about these bills and check into them. NO, CNN has to find something to pick on. There are so many free telephone numbers out today who can remember all of them. Why don't you all just listen to someone who is trying to help these people who are about to lose their house. He made everything else clear, but this 800 number is your problem. Give me a break. I am not for Bush, but I am for fairness and truth

    December 7, 2007 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  2. RR, WA

    I love the conspiracy theories about this being intentional. I bet Karl Rove (wait–is he still a bogeyman now, or was this maybe Cheney's sinister plot?) had to work pretty hard to get the phone companies to assign those numbers that are exactly the same except for the 888 vs 800.

    I for one have never heard a toll-free number referred to as an "800 number." ...and it surely isn't coincidence that a Christian organization would use the word "HOPE" in their number without some steering from the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

    Seriously, though, folks.. Disagree with the President's policies, judgment, etc., but this sort of childish hyperventilating over something so trivial really doesn't bode well for the state of political discourse in our nation. It's somewhere around the importance of the pronunciation of the word "nuclear."

    December 7, 2007 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  3. Steve Schultz, Desert Hot Springs, California

    As with most of this President's "Plans", he has no real idea how the whole thing works. The Lackey's who put things together for our nearly literate Pres. give him the easy jobs, like giving out a 10 digit phone #. And this is the guy with his finger on the nukooloor button? We are doomed.

    December 7, 2007 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  4. nick

    hey, i am a bubble sitter, why not help me since i was RESPONSIBLE and didnt become a homedebtor for something i cant afford....

    and for the last time, they do not OWN the home, they just signed up to pay for it but cant. just like an apartment. you cant pay, you get kicked out. pretty simple.

    December 7, 2007 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  5. Gary, Oakland, California

    Rarely is the question asked: Is our President learning?

    December 7, 2007 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  6. Sam, IA

    The gullibility of the American public never ceases to amaze me. The program i to protect the lencers, not the lendees. Those homes will belong to the lenders when there is a market for them and until then they will basically be renting them to the current buyers. In the meantime we taxpayers will susidize Bush and his republican cronies propping up this psuedo, debt based, republican economy.

    December 7, 2007 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  7. mark wilkes barre pa

    pile on ,pile on ,to use a quote. Any little thing the haters can use to say see,see, Its all so old now. You all know that what your all dishing out every time a republican speaks is going to come back at your side at some point If or when you have a democrat in the whitehouse. your wasting valuable one-liners, jokes, and hate rederick on someone who won't be around for long. If you haters that I see posting day after day three times on one story sometimes, spent just a fraction of that time posting positive information directed at helping people learn about the candidates who ARE running for THIS ! election , WE would all be better human beings for it. I have no problem with anyone speaking out what they believe or think about someone running for office , it comes with the territory. I do have a problem with "pile on ' rederick designed to mold an opinion toward an entire party. The president mis speaks mis spells mis quotes all the time .To me its a funny part of his personality, to haters it stupidity. Well let me break the news to the haters. No one,,, and I don't care how much help or money or power they have stays in office two terms by being stupid. Wrong mabey,, stupid NO!!!!!

    December 7, 2007 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  8. Pat White King NC

    So what's new. That is not all he has put out that was wrong

    December 7, 2007 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  9. Anonymous

    It's all strategy here folks. Just like he constantly nominates people to offices they have no right holding. That way when it all falls apart they with all honesty claim ignorance.

    December 7, 2007 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  10. Tom, Baltimore Md

    If he were some other nation's President/Premier we would be having a ball with him. The sad fact is that he is OUR President. We can never let this happen again. How can people honestly believe that he has made some intelligent decisions. Maybe going into Afghanistan... make this embarrassment end soon. It's our own fault.

    December 7, 2007 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  11. Thomas, St. Petersburg, FL

    You liberals at CNN are so dang cruel;

    (1) You did it to President Reagan by calling him "senile" (years prior to his actual unfortunate condition which caused his actual memory loss);

    (2) You did it to President Gerald Ford in the 1970s (calling him clumsy);

    (3) You did it to Vice President Dan Quayle (due to his erroneous comment about the correct spelling of "potato" while visiting a school).

    Doesn't President Bush deserve praise for assisting people who have bought more house than they obviously can afford through bogus loans, such as "interest only" and "ARMs"?

    In summary, in lieu of debating on a mature level, liberals prefer to call their opponents "stupid".

    It's been their strategy since televisions had rabbit ears.

    December 7, 2007 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  12. Joan, Oberlin OH

    Accident??? leading us to a Texas Christian Academy? Oh, where is Freud when we need him?

    December 7, 2007 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  13. Peggy Greensboro NC

    I absolutely despise this protofacist idiot and yet even I think it's a non story. Good god, of all the things you could talk about when it comes to this guy, oh, for instance,like hundreds of thousands of people dead in Iraq and our civil liberties thrown out like garbage. But we are worried about him mispeaking? Get a grip. Thanks CNN for once again distracting us with tripe.

    December 7, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  14. John, Washington DC

    If you've never given out a wrong number, or missdialed a number, or well, just plain ol' never made a mistake before then I suppose your critiques are not hypocrisy.

    Perhaps he was relating the information given to him. Ever have your admin give you wrong information?

    Oh, one might say "But not the President!" Yeah, that was my response when that blue dress was making the news.

    December 7, 2007 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  15. Alice, VA

    "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."


    Substitute "Clinton" for "Bush" in your statement and I would agree with you 100%. Believe it, or not, Clinton is not as loved as you might think. As for the wrong phone number, an honest mistake....give the man a break. Bush bashing is tiring, petty and childish.

    December 7, 2007 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  16. Anonymous


    December 7, 2007 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  17. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    We all make mistakes. I don't think any reasonable American would care. But when you are providing vital public information (which is just about every communique coming from the President's Office)the facts should be verified/reverified. I'm sure Bush didn't prepare the briefing himself–so he isn't directly to blame. However, the poor quality of the information (a la wrong number) is characteristic of the kind of care and precision he and his staffers put into critical information that is communicated from the White House to the American people. It is literally a culture of confused messages and slack oversight. The communication from his administration is handled by "such few" close insiders–that it doesn't get the kind of review warranted. So from his intelligence communications–to this wrong number, there appears to be a cavalier attitude of what is communicated to the American people! It is like a big cherry on a chocolate sundae of deceit,misinformation, communication failures–it gives us–yet another chance to say "told you so", and then listen as his "propaganda team" rushes to rephrase, correct, hide errors or oversights in clouds of obtuse explanations, smoke, mirrors and diversion. Thanks again Mr. Bush for providing yet another litmus test to us how attentive you and your team are to the information we receive.

    December 7, 2007 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  18. george green, tampa, fl

    You Childrens, shutupp!

    December 7, 2007 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  19. jw. canadian,ok

    I'm not sure why this idiot is allowed to speak at all. You Repubs sure know hot to pick'um. Let's us Dems pick th next prsidient.

    December 7, 2007 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  20. Drew, Albany NY

    HHHmmmmmm.....let's see....accidentally gave out a TEXAS CHRISTIAN phone number....??? can you say, "SCORING POINTS" with the religious in the country? Geez.

    December 7, 2007 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  21. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Poor Shrub. He loses his own house in 13 months!

    Posted By rob : December 6, 2007 2:41 pm

    He never should have been there in the first place. He's a useless squatter.

    December 7, 2007 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  22. Mary, Beaver, PA

    I don't like Bush, but, by publishing this story and slanting it the way they have, CNN has created a joke that is looking for a punchline. It's the same as when they published news of his colonoscopy to the Ticker. All designed for the purpose of prompting Bush-haters to supply that punchline. But, we all make mistakes, even the precocious children who post to this Ticker. Perhaps we should all think about how we would like it if each little mistake we made was noticed by millions of people.

    December 7, 2007 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  23. Michael F., Kalamazoo, Michigan

    At least the wrong number was something in the ballpark... if the number he incorrectly provided was something a bit less savory, then maybe this is news.

    Either way, it's a toll free number, and the only real downside is that people waste a few minutes of their time and somebody might pick up some educational materials. In the grand scheme of things to criticize, this is a "no big deal".

    December 7, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  24. ray, sarasota

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

    Posted By Alice Newman Center Harbor NH : December 6, 2007 6:23 pm

    My thought, exactly. I also wonder whether assigning a similar number was deliberate

    December 7, 2007 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  25. EB Rideout, Georgia

    Maybe he'll blame it on faulty this case, his.

    December 7, 2007 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11