May 3rd, 2009
02:28 PM ET
13 years ago

Romney, Cantor say market turmoil mostly to blame for 2008 loss

(CNN) - House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in an interview airing on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning that the GOP wasn't directly responsible for much of the party's electoral misfortune in 2008.

"I frankly believe that much of what happened in the last election revolved around the fact that the economy fell apart at the time we were, if you will, holding the hot potato. Republicans and Democrats have been playing this game, passing the hot the potato, spending money like there was no tomorrow," Romney told John King.

"And the economy came crashing down while our party was holding the hot potato. And people said, hey, it's time for something else but I think if they took a good, hard look at what the - something else is planning on doing with regards to the massive borrowing, they are going to say, that is probably not the right thing for America's future."

Cantor said there was no "single reason" that could explain last year's election results, ticking off a list of factors that included runaway spending in Washington, the collapse of the financial markets, and public weariness with the war in Iraq.

"So there was a lot of fear [over the markets], and a lot of desire to say, hey, we want to put these bad times behind us," he said. "But, ultimately, the future is about trying to be relevant in terms of what we're talking about, the policy prescriptions that we are going to propose to make sure that they make a difference.

And it's not that the Republicans need to change, to become like Democrats."

Both men are involved with the National Council for a New America, an effort to reverse the party's poor showing in recent races. And Cantor said the GOP did need to do a better job of reaching groups that trended strongly Democratic over the past cycle, including educated voters, African-Americans, and voters in cities and in the Northeast.

As speculation over the president's next Supreme Court pick dominated Sunday talk, Romney joined several of his fellow Republicans in suggesting the party was ready to do battle over the next nominee for the Supreme Court.

"And I doubt that Barack Obama is going to put forward the same nominee that either Congressman Cantor or I would put forward, and elections have consequences," he said. "He'll put forward someone different from that. But the key thing and the place where I think we draw the line is, is this an individual who will follow the Constitution and the law, or is this an individual who believes in making the law?

"And if it's the latter, I think we should stand up and scream loud and hard."

Filed under: State of the Union
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. reality guy

    Romney, Cantor, Jeb, you guys were there when Bush was in office. Didnt you guys had nerds to say NO to him when he is screwing the nation?????

    May 3, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Dumb an dumber

    I guess you two dimwits still don't get it... It wasn't/isn't just the economy, although you Republicans outspent the democrats by a whole bunch, that wasn't the most of what brought you down. It was the disdain for we the people, the arrogance with which you treat all who are not Repub's. The single mindedness that no one does it right unless their republicans, no matter what it is. The lying, cheating and stealing from taxpayers that they show NO remorse for. The list goes on and on... I would continue but, if these two haven't learned by now, I think there is no hope for them OR their party.

    May 3, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    That's right. It was the stock market. I'm glad they cleared that up. Saved the party a lot of work. Why if it wasn't for the low stock market McCain would have won by a landslide. No need to change anything about the GOP no sir. No need to rethink the war in Iraq, screwing the environment for 8 years, blowing a balanced budget on tax breaks for the rich, total disreagrd for checks and balances, the rule of law or the constitution.

    I guess as a Democrat I shouldn't complain that they don't get it. But as much as I believe in the ideals of the Democratic Party I am also a fan of the two party system. In other words arguing with the GOP on the local state and federal level makes my party wiser, stronger and better able to convey it's message. They need to find a leader and a message. Hint. pot-hole on the raod to economic recovery is not a viable option.

    May 3, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Dave-in-Georgia

    The GOP continues to ignore their involvement in the near destruction of the U.S. None of them can get their heads out of the sand and will never grasp reality. As a group, I don't know if they are simply stupid or just don't care about America and its citizens. All they seem to care about is promoting big business over the needs of our citizens, our environment, and our neighbors around the world.

    The GOP is not a leadership for the betterment of our people or our nation. And due to its many short-comings, will never effectively lead this nation of ours.

    From a 59-year-old-white-military-retiree!

    May 3, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. christine

    JOHN KING IS A REPUBLICAN we already no that but he seems to be a smart or pathetic right winger talker can he advise his GOP ditto heads that this not the time to rebrand themselves this is the time to help president obama with the mess they put us in to my surprise even if you dont agree with what obama is doing at list he is doing something the GOP even in there radio address they didnt even mention the swine flu at list just tell the american people something but no with there friend from cnn john king they are busy thinking ofself how to win thats what they only think of i am tired of reporters who support their parties on tv why do i by cable because i dont want to here charlie gibson and george give there opinions but now cnn has just joined just become another fox hannity show

    May 3, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Frustrated

    Wait just a minute. The market and economy didn't crash WHEN the GOP was holding the hot potato; the market and economy crashed BECAUSE the GOP was holding the hot potato. Look at the stats–Clinton = budget surplus. Bush = unprecedented budget deficits. For six years Bush pushed the conservative agenda through DC by enjoying a nice advantage in the House and Senate. By early 2007, when the balance of power shifted, the damage was more than complete and the Democrats have been trying to fix it ever since. Trickle-down "supply-side" is BS, and that's the only firm principle the GOP has. The party is over!

    May 3, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Purple Spider

    The Democrats won the election of 2008 because people did not want more of the same in the White House. That is, Republicans that would continue on with "Bushoramics" and do nothing. The negligence of the Prior Administration to allow no regulation on lending for homes that people could not afford that resulted in Foreclosures, was the big" culprit". If the Republicans want to exist as party, they better start organizing and have an agenda. Politicians blaming politicians accomplishes nothing.

    May 3, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Barb

    Just like kids trying to blame someone else. Time to stand up and take it like a "man". When something is your fault, admit it instead of trying to convince others that it wasn't or someone else shares the blame. The last eight years your party lead this country right into a depression. Now it's time to work TOGETHER and get us back where we were before Bush/Chaney and their arrogant mindset instead of playing politics! We're sick and tired of it all!!!!

    May 3, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Beth

    Well, I can't speak for the whole country, but what cemented it for *me* was the choice of Sarah Palin as the VP candidate. I don't think extremists on either end of the political spectrum are what this country needs – now or maybe ever. Moderates and centrists are almost always the ones who are going to have the broadest appeal.

    May 3, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. brols

    A bunch of whining from those who heated the "hot potato" themselves for 8 years. It's not their fault that they cooked the potato and now it is scalding hot? Why does the press even cover this? People realized that Repubs policies don't work so change your policies that you advocate, rather than your image and you might attract some voters. This time it's about substance. I'd like to see them realize this but they seem unable to comprehend that their policies failed. It's all about blame and zero accountability as usual. Playing the victim card at this point is pretty shameless.

    May 3, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Clint, Wa.


    Republican Party / GOP. What does GOP stand for?

    G, Greedy
    O, Oppressive
    P, Phonies

    May 3, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. George Arlington, TX.

    The GOP caused everything to go to GO Poop.

    May 3, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. jsilver2th

    This is such a joke- the GOP tour of rich white men- at least they all have different pastel colored dress shirts- nice touch to show they are with it. And another Bush telling us not to be nostalgic- maybe he knows some one tempted to be nostalgic over any of the any of the Bush days but he's the only one that could even be tempted... Keep it up boys- proving that you are completely out of touch i mean...

    May 3, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. mike

    Barack Obama is so stupid and he's lying yet ya ll defend him to the death claiming he has eight years of bull crap to pick up. You forget that the president before Bush was clinton and he should've gotten impeach but did bush use that as an excuse. No. he took what he was given and improved the ecomony which in 2005 was at highest levels in the last 50 years. What from 2006-2008 you say it was the democratic congress that drove us to this brink not the president. and guess who was part of that congress was in his words a strong and imporant member of congress. BARACK HUSSEIN OSAMA/OBAMA

    May 3, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. biguglyduck

    Question to the moderators: How did the bigoted, irrelevant (and misinformed) comment of "Operation Crush Rush" get past moderation? Is Mormon bashing that last politically correct form of intolerance?

    May 3, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Jack from California

    Mitt (Willard) Romney is playing fast and lose with the truth on this so called hot potato excuse for his party's loses, the real truth is that the republicans have sacraficed the middle class for their own greed and it finally caught up with them.

    The republicans have been the entrenched party of the rich and have spent the past decades using hot button issues to convince the middle class to vote against their own best interests. Now with this republican generated economic depression and the almost complete destruction of American's middle class, they seek to come up with some simple excuses showing that they are not really at fault well, bullcrap we know better.

    May 3, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. DEM in HI

    These two are the reason why the GOP – Greedy Old Party – cannot connect with moderates. The stock market is partly to blame, but the banking deregulation laws was the bigger part of the problem. Allowing them to make loans to people who would not qualify was ridiculous. Then eight years of Bush's spend and spend policies had a lot to do with it too. The GOP party should tell these two to go away and let someone with a real plan step forward. Hopefully, they will not be tied to the whacko right wing base, and we get someone with moderation as the bearer. Sad when Reagan would be considered too liberal in today's GOP party.

    May 3, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    Spin away, pal. The American people just don't buy your brand of quasi-conservatism anymore. The GOP is circling the drain, except with the rich and the ignorant.

    May 3, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Obama may be a Constitutional Law Professor but remember he believes it is a living constitution that can be interpreted to what the lastest liberal whim or political correctness is. It was not written for half of America to be financially responsible for the other half. Romney is right about the economy stupid being the election factor as it was in 1992. Also Americans forgot who controlled the legislative part of government who makes the laws, regulations and actual spending decisions, THE DEMOCRATS. The democrats party of NO are responsible for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not being regulated but voters forgot that too! Sorry it is not just Bushes Fault but the Congress too!

    May 3, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. michael

    Yes it was the republicans fault, they never fairly won the election. why did we truly go to Iraq? weapons of mass destruction? none were found and bush laughed it off and i suprised he won reelection. war so miss managed, work sent overseas, basically he had the interests of big private coorporations in mind, not the american citizens. they basically did what they want irregardless of how it affected everyone else. they reversed numerous enviornmental protection laws, only had gain of oil industry in mind. neglected finishing up and taking care of afghanistan, mismanaged iraq, i'm fed up with their lies and manipulation of the truth and certain news channels are so politically one sided you can easily tell they speak lies. WHAT do the rep. stand for? not the american people for sure. they should confess to their wrong doings and restructure themselves.

    May 3, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. RobertO

    The reason the GOP lost Mitt is because Americans are growing wise to the continuous lies your party puts forth. Saying you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time regarding the recession/banking industry collapse is total BS. It was the policies the GOP put into place during the 12 years you controlled congress that caused the problems. It was the ideology that business needs no regulation that got us into this problem.

    THe more the GOP continues with the "NOT OUR FAULT" refrain, the more Americans will ignore you.

    May 3, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Patrick Henry

    Yep, you fools.... keep whistling past the graveyard. No, Republicans are NOT responsible. Just because you controlled the White House, Congress and Supreme Court for the last 8 years has absolutely no relevance or bearing upon whether your decisions and actions affected foreign and national events. The simultanous implosion of the national and world economies, our diminshed world standing and credibility and the repeated acts of torture, the vast, unchecked spending upon two wars using no bid contracts with Republican friends, the illegal wiretapping and rendition by government agents of the federal government and the utter eviceration of the Justice Department and numerous criminal convictions of all those Republican politicians who were caught - those were all simply a series of flukes that had NOTHING to do with the actual decisionmaking or actions of Republicans. In fact, like everything else, all of these events were Bill Clinton's fault. Now, go back to sleep until the next election........zzzzzzzzzzzz

    May 3, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. David, Ashland, Oregon

    Well, it seems obvious that the REAL problem of the GOP is pervasive denial. Buh-bye GOPpers!

    May 3, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    ANYBODY who thinks the President controls the Economy is not "Smarter than a Fith Grader! He only gets credit for its success or failure. Private industry is the major factor!

    May 3, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Three Card Monte

    Yup, and 4,000 Americans died in Iraq because of what? Do they really think the American public is going to buy this b.s.? Jack Kemp, where are you when we need you?

    May 3, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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