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. christine

    I dont think the GOP was ever ahead of obama after the convenction it was just the MEDIA trying to make the race more attractive Mccain never led obama in the 2008 election the media just wanted us to believe in that never never mccain lead obama that was the media trying to make news period

    May 3, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Milbs

    Right....neither was 9/11 Republican's fault, nor was invading a country without wmd, nor unlawful wiretaps, nor the lack of financial regulations, those had nothing to do with the Party that touts "taking responsibility" as its mantra. What a bunch of irresponsible hypocrites.

    May 3, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  3. I can see Canada from my house!

    Bottom line, Mr. Romney and Mr. Cantor, is the fact that you people still will not acknowledge the GOP's responsibility in creating the conditions that allowed the economy to fall apart. What is even worse is that, not only do they want to return to those failed practices, they want to extend them and broaden those conditions.

    If this were a private company, Mr. Romney, you would have been terminated. You are lucky that in elected office you will get another chance to re-apply, but I doubt it will do you any good. Neither you or anyone else have the references necessary to get the public's attention, and we are the ones hiring you.

    May 3, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. christine

    cnn please show our comments so that we can comeback to your website again i dont watch cnn tv anymore because you are not independent and now you are even doing on your website come on you have to change acting like fox news show my comments

    May 3, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. faith

    NO, it was Karl Rove to blame. He even tried to subbotage Obama.......

    Till they recognize their cancer!

    May 3, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Bryan

    How about telling the religious right to take a hike as part of the rebranding? Either that or let's change the party name to the WORRDS. (The Wihte, Old, Rich, Racist, Dumb, Southern Party) To take George Carlin's idea, you know give people an idea of who/what goes on in it. And make the requirements to join be that you have to be all of the above or you're shunned. It's about how it seems to go with these guys. They have to become more inclusive and tell the religious right to take a hike to have any chance.

    May 3, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Amanda

    It's not me, it's the other....

    May 3, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Maria L. English

    This is the same party that gave us the terrible impressive Clarence Thomas and Anthony Scalia. And this Justices saddle us with W for 8 long miserable years.

    May 3, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. ED Fl

    That Cantor is one of the least imressive characters the GOP has ever come up with. He would be better if he was a namesake after EDDIE CANTOR a long ago singer. His choice of mentor Romney might be better if he was trying to run an olympics where lots of money was never accounted for. YOU GUYS LOST BECAUSE YOU STARTED AN ILLEGAL WAR killed 4000 plus wounded and maimed 20000 plus . You leader embarassed the country with his Mission accomplished Sign and then was walking holding hands with the King of Saudi Arabia, the leader of most of the worlds extremist groups. That will be hard to outdo.

    May 3, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Chredon

    "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."

    And who, by the way, passed the irresponsible tax policy that led to runaway deficit spending in Washington, the deregulation that led to the housing bubble and eventually the collapse of the financial markets, and the war in Iraq?

    And so you have the nerve to say "the GOP wasn't directly responsible for much of the party's electoral misfortune in 2008."

    Riiiiiiight! You keep on believing that, Eric.

    May 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. Fred

    The White House has changed hands EVERY time the economy has been in a major recession since 1976.

    May 3, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Bill

    Another reason why Republicans just don't get it, and haven't for years now.

    May 3, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. ED Fl

    If you can not get a comment past the CNN censors go to MSNBC and use News vine it is one of the non censors that you can post without offending the network[ like CNN the GOP /ISRAEL censorship network].

    May 3, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Emma, San Jose

    Americans do not need leaders, including Romney, who simplify the damage done by the government which did not regulate financial institutions.

    May 3, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Streamwood Bill

    These two are like Abott and Costello. I'd can this act and get Meghan McCain in front of the TV cameras. I've seen this tired series and know how it ends. At least McCain is orginal.

    Here's a history lesson boys.

    GOP mismanagement took down the economy and then the economy took down the GOP. It happened with Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford (although Nixon started it), Bush 41 (who paid the price for Reagan's screw ups during his 2nd term), and Bush 43 (who did it with some help from a Republican rubber-stamp Congress).

    May 3, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Heidi K.

    Cantor and Romney, going to Iraq was not such a good thing for the *future of America* either.

    Face it, you Republicans did a very lousy job the last 8 years and it would perhaps be very wise to stay quiet, join a bingo club and plant some trees.

    May 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. HEIDI

    Why must we continue to hear what nonsense the Republicans have to say? Why don't we as the media this question.

    May 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Dan from Florida Keys

    Hey, where's Eric Cantor and mitt Romney's sweaters? should'nt they be wearing there sweaters so they can look like regular folk, remember last year when Rep. John Boehner wore his yellow sweater at every media event, trying so hard to look like regular people, after a few weeks he gave up, It did'nt work, the American people are not stupid, no matter how much they try to re-invent themselves, they will always represent Big business and the rich, the rest of us just in there way. they hate the fact the little people actually get to vote, oh yeah, sure, tax breaks for the rich helps promote jobs and the economy because the rich can hire extra housekeepers and gardners for there 2nd and 3rd homes, give me a break, the American people will not be fooled again, wait until 2010 and 2012, the republicans will be in shock.

    May 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. bobby K

    Romney- pro abortion- pro life- which is it- oh I get it -whatever the repubs will bear...PATHETIC

    May 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. steveman

    I read the blistering left-wing ignorance here with intrigue. It was quite amazing how so many in our world have failed to evolve into minimally equipped beings able to assert a rational thought. I look forward to their whining in the years to come.

    May 3, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Steve

    The economy "fell apart" due to the policies and actions of the members of the Republican Party. They have been losing elections because people don't approve of their policies. Members of the Democratic Party are scarcely perfect, but they are preferable to Republicans.

    May 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Blahhh

    Cantor is not a very smart man and seems very elitist. Check out youtube and type in Chris Matthews and Eric Cantor and you will see what I mean.

    May 3, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Pragmatic

    Even the most ardent anti-Republican could not make this stuff up! "Cantor said there was no "single reason" that could explain last year's election results.." Then read what is posted here: lots of people are spot on why the GOP lost. I'm not sure if the GOP is delusional, totally clueless or just bald-faced liars.

    Lauren complains "there will be OVER 100 comments from liberals who have nothing better to do than toss out insults and stupid comments about Republicans..." But Lauren – liberals don't have to say a thing! Just let the Republicans do their own talking ... its all about "purge" and "purity" and not taking responsibility from the party that brags about personal responsibility!'

    One person believes the MSM supports the GOP: All 5 articles published about the GOP just show how arrogant and foolish they are: if the 20% thoughtfully reads what Mitt and his minions are saying, even they will have sincere doubts about the mental capabilities of the GOP leadership.

    May 3, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Red

    The problem with *trickle down* economics is that the rich have someone standing at the bottom with a bucket collecting whatever trickles down for themselves....

    May 3, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Betty, Virginia

    Wow... republicans really aren't getting it. Shaking hands is ruining our world image... really? Not starting an illegal war?

    Trying to issue controls over companies we've loaned money to is not in our best interest but dereguation that brought our economy to it's knees is in our best interest. Really?

    I'm waiting for someone in the party to grow a pair and support our President (and our country!) and not just their re-election/party interests... Americans have been speaking very clearly... if you want to support the far right, that's exactly who will vote for you. As a former moderate Republican I don't feel you represent me. You certainly didn't financially...

    May 3, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
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