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. Kaci

    If Republican woodheads fall in the forest and there is no one there to hear them, do they make a sound? Noisy repubs, no one there to listen!

    May 3, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. KMP

    The Republicans should just be quite for a while. They are so closed minded and they truly believe everything they think is right. The arrogance of the party as a whole is such a turn off.

    May 3, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Keith, CO

    The arrogance of this party is revolting. Still not willing to own up to any thing, truly pathetic. How come CNN interviewers never ask hard questions. Like, how you turn a surplus into a huge deficit with the fiscally responsible policy's they claim to have.

    I think all some of us want to see is a little humility out of these people a sorry or we messed up something.

    Odds that will ever happen 0 to none

    May 3, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Dan

    Sigh... More repuslivecan lies.

    May 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Denis Quinlan

    The Republican losses in 2008 can be summed up in one word – Bush.

    May 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. joseph

    Is Mr. Romney subtly trying to say that the electrorate is stupid in that they were blaming the Repubs for the economy. That they should have known better that it was the dems fault and that they should have voted for the repubs instead. Well, well Mr. Romney we are not as stupid as you might think we are, and we will still vote democratic in 2010 irregardless.

    May 3, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. joec

    The Republican Party is dead. Period. They are trying to steal the Democratic mantra of change but we know better, especially when it's the agents of the status quo like McConnell and Bohner, McCain and Cantor who are preaching that gospel. Guys, change doesn't happen just because you say it does. You gotta believe in it.

    May 3, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Michael

    More disingenuousness from the right wing. They speak as though the market were some sort of independent entity that "happened" to go south while they were in office. The market went south because of the climate of deregulation and corporate laissez-faire initiated by Ronald Reagan and intensified by the Bushes and even Bill Clinton. To the extent that the economy cost the Republicans the last election, it did so because they created the conditions that tanked the economy.

    May 3, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. while our party was holding the hot potato

    no, your disasterous policies brought us down

    May 3, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Tasha

    Let's us not forget that when the Bush Administration put forth their budget, they did not included the cost of the two wars. Or anything like for hurricanes, etc., etc.,by keeping these things out, your budget wouldn't look so huge. I don't like to judge people I don't know, but Cantor look like the guy who would run around the Southern town all day, but at night he would iron his hooded sheet, along with all his other buddies.

    May 3, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. MADinAZ

    The Democrats were polling well everywhere going into September, and Obama was several points ahead of McCain; the election was well in hand before the economy tanked.

    Blaming "market turmoil" is just an attempt to rewrite history and shift blame from their party's failures.

    May 3, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Natasha in tally

    If that's they think thin 2010 and 2012 is gonna be sooooooooo funny. And as a life long Floridian I think Jeb Bush is JOKE!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. LI

    Wow all of that ideological backtracking, denial and lying must be tiring for them.

    May 3, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. SC

    I have only one thing to say while Republicans lost. They sucked. The party is not inclusive. Too many redneck neocons in there. That's where the loss came from.

    May 3, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. tryecrot

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

    August 28, 2011 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
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