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. db

    These two jokers are still in denial if they don't believe their party was responsible for the GOP's ridiculously poor showing in recent elections. Get a clue: nobody is eating your "fear-monger and divide" dogfood any more. You've got no ideas, no solutions, no nothin', apart from a shared, jealous hatred of Obama and total disrespect for the overwhelming majority of Americans who voted you and your bankrupt policies out of power.

    May 3, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. gary davis

    my question to Cantor is what has a gay person ever done to you . should we as americans come into your home and make sure you are doing everything with your spouse as the republicans say you should be doing ? \if gay men and women want to partner up and raise children as a couple then whats wrong with that ?
    sounds more like something the Hitler Group would be going after .
    history just keeps comming back and bitting us in the ass .

    my idea is if I don't agree with something thats find but if it doesn't directley effect me in my every day life then we all have rights and same sex marrage has nothing to apologize for

    May 3, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. James

    Romney still does not get it! No one will vote for him a cult member aka MORMON. People are being turned off in droves with the EXCLUSION party AKA Republican.

    Romeny will say and do anything to get on TV and attempt to get ellected.

    Romney, like Palain your 15 minutes are up, time to go home, start preparing for the worlds that you will be GOD over as your church teaches! One more thing, dont' for get your TOKENs to get into Heven!

    May 3, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. D. Tree

    The GOP needs to own up and admit that its not *spending* they are so against, its *what* we are spending it on!

    Republicans don't mind spending on the Iraq War, but when it comes to *investing* in America – Education, Healthcare, Energy reform, and the largest middle-class tax cut in a generation – all of a sudden they start to cry!

    Its a philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats: Dems believe that investing in these programs will pay us back, republicans think its a waste.

    May 3, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. Joanna

    Wrong Cantor. You were going to loose way before the economy fell. Your problem is that anyone that has anything to say that doesn't fall in line with your extremist ideals you oust. Example Arlen Specter and Meghan McCain. Arlen voted with Obama 1 time and you went after him. Meghan is trying her best to help you and look how you treat her.
    The problem is that you do not listen.
    I say save your money that you will be spending on these town halls. You are only going to hear what you want to hear anyway. Save your time. You already know what YOU want to hear.( which is not what the country wants) a shown by the huge approval rating the democrats are getting and the pathetic 20% of the country that has the you know whats to admit they are in the republican party. shouldn't that be a wake up call. But if you actually listen to what the country wants.. Your party ideologues will revolt against you, as you are doing to those who offer constructive criticism now. Have you ever heard of the three fold law of the universe? this is presious!

    May 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. sleeze balls who never own up to their crimes

    do they ever reflect up-on who created the hot potato that they try so hard to dump on the other?

    what a surprise.

    May 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. republicans hate america

    NO NO it is your appeal to stupidity and pride in ignorance that cost you the last election.

    May 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. lived9lives Southern Oregon

    "Holding the hot potato"? This is the new approach, the new ideas coming out of the Republican Party? You boys need to go back to your think tank and start again. At least you got the part about "public weariness" right. Yes, I'm tired of all this empty rhetoric. Yawn. Wake me if they come up with something worth discussing.

    May 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. Goverment is your Daddy

    These two Rep. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are to blame for the housing market crash. They have been in control since 2006.......

    May 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Simon

    There is enough blame to go around for the economy from a legislative stand point, but from an enforcement standpoint or creating an environment where corporations were neither investigated or punished for their swindling ways I don't think you can blame the democrats. The last administration was in the pocket of the corporations more so than any other in history. The corporations acted with impunity, without fear of regulation or consequences and while law enforcement took a nap toadying to the GOP. GOP talks out of both sides of their mouths on this one. On one hand deregulation of lending caused this, but on the other hand, there wasn't enough deregulation!

    May 3, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. Kim, Dallas, TX

    This Republican party sure needs a wake up call. The ONLY time they were ahead in the polls was right after the Natonal Convention, when they first paraded Palin around. No one knew who she was and that made her interesting and a novelty. When reality came back, no one could imagine her as a running mate, let alone someone who could potentially be running the country. These people need to wake up. Their ideas are old, they are old, they cater to the extreme right and denounce the rest of us. Yes, they do need to change. However, if they want to think this simplistically, it will amount to the death of the Republican party overall. They do not represent the majority of the country, let alone our youth.

    May 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Simmy

    They'd look very stupid wearing a teabag hat at this protest, but I can see another uprising over the horizon. They'll parade around with little dolls dressed like judges, and poke pins in them.....This is where they are right now....No ideas, no coherence - Nothing left but buck wild desperation......John King was given his show to promote a Republican platform ........He sprinkles a few Democrats in to make it appear he is being unbiased, but I know.....Another sign of how desperate they have become...No shame....No self respect...No. Just NO....

    May 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. jon

    The entire problem is honor and making promises that aren't kept. IF the people who made a promise to pay their mortgage had paid their mortgage there wouldn't be an economic crisis of such enormity.

    Its that simple...make a promise and KEEP IT>

    President Obama is making some huge mistakes with our money and defense. Shame on him for cancelling the F22 fighter.

    May 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. lakeside176

    I have this to say....let the Republicans keep listening to and believing all the lies of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachman and Faux News in general, and they will remain the most ignorant, uninformed, and misinformed pitiful people on this earth. However, the naive will believe them and that really scares me. The progressives need to keep pounding this into their heads. It is time to stop being afraid we'll hurt someone's feelings and just let people know the progressives are only trying to make them aware that they have been hoodwinked and lied to for the past eight (8) long years.

    May 3, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. rg3

    The GOP lost it way in the last election First The best man did not get the nomation the GOP picked Mcain to lose just like they did with Bob Dole. Two Mcain picks a running mate that nobody knows. Three the reckless spending before the election by the GOP.
    The mid term elections will be the chance the GOP needs to win seats and change policy

    May 3, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. d buck

    I hope people don't lose interest in the political environment. That's the reason for the past 30 years why Republicans were as influential as they were. Roves hopes for a "permanent Republican majority" look pretty slim now that folks ARE paying attention. Good riddance....

    May 3, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. fred 17

    Romney’s comments are an example of the delusion the GOP suffers on its way to being a small niche party like the Green party, the Reform party or other down ticket parties. As a former moderate republican now independent voter I left BECAUSE republican policies CREATED the hot potato and because the party membership criteria is so narrow I found I was not welcome there. Until they quit the sloganeering and moderate their weird views their candidate will contest with Ralph Nader and Bob Barr for third place.

    May 3, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Steven in Charleston

    Until the GOP takes responsiblity for their failures and accepts that their platform is out of step with the values of the vast majority of Americans, and do something to rectify that, they are going to continue to generate net losses in elections.

    May 3, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Matt

    Holding the hot potato? Did you forget that you'd left that potato in the oven for 8 years?

    May 3, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Memo to all the good. God-fearing “christians”:

    Please explain why you complain about America losing the moral compass as you suggest?

    Were that to happen, all of you good “christians” would all be swept up in God’s “rapture”, oops I mean John Darby’s defined “rapture” my bad, but with you rabid right Bible thumpers gone, it would just be us heathens left to deal with plague, disease, pestilence and a number of those pesky Horsemen.

    However, if you are not here, then the vision of the High Priestess of Heathens, Belinda Carlisle’s proclamation that “Heaven is a Place on Earth” will finally come to fruition!

    Of course, after 7 blissful years, we would have to rejoin you religious fanatics and that by definition would indeed be Hell!

    May 3, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. T Mckinley

    "The economy came crashing down while our party was holding the hot potato..."

    It was YOUR party, Mr. Romney, that put the potato into the oven to begin with.

    The oven I speak of is: deregulation, tax cuts for multi-millionares, and hundreds of billions wasted on a war that never should have been started to begin with.

    May 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Susan

    These are the same jokers that say "guns don't kill people," too, right?

    May 3, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. Arlene, Roselle, Illinois

    If Eric Cantor is the new voice of the Republicans he needs
    to get the Sarah Palin type glasses to go with it.

    May 3, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. C W

    Market turmoil brought on by 30 years of Reagan-style, tinkle-down, voodoo economics.

    The problem with the GOP is its core values: Make money any way you can, at the expense of everyone and everything.

    As long as the GOP continues to try to rationalize away their responsibility and the true reasons for their failure at the polls, they will remain a marginalized political entity.

    No amount of superficial "makeover," "re-branding," or "fresh faces" will change that.

    May 3, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  25. gl, Pittsburgh

    "And the economy came crashing down while our party was holding the hot potato.

    Now the Rethugs blame on what! How about the USA fighting to wars one that was illegal. Republicans need to stop trying to rewrite history. Repubicans and their policy got us here.

    May 3, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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