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. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Jeff

    Goggle SHOP. This is the program that gave funding to the low income for home mortgage qualifications. President Clinton passed it in 1999, as one of the last bills of his administration. He was never in office long enough to monitor the progress. President Bush expanded the program to include 5 million more families one year later. Goggle the Zero Downpayment Act of 2004. This gave millions more an opportunty to qualify for mortgages. Then google Fannie Mae 2004. There were already signs that Fannie Mae was having problems, yet the republican controlled congress sat on it until 2006. President Bush quickly stopped a bill that would have regulated the industry. The regulatory bill was passed in 2008, as part of the bailout.

    May 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. Jack in Florida

    Hello......are you boys paying attention here??? It was because of the Bush Economics that the economy fell apart........Bush is a Republican......shall we follow the dots together or is it too overwhelming for you to follow what is happening here.

    It is about being more moderate, middle of the road and appealing to more types of voters, than the fat bald white men that all look alike and the women with big hair...............................embrace diversity and ALL types of people and you will see a change

    May 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Proud DHS radical

    Actually the dems were holding the hot potato since 2006 when they won the majority but were sucessful in passing the buck and blame onto the republicans. They can't play that stunt again in 2010 and 2012 when people promised CHANGE are still looking for it.

    May 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  4. what's the difference

    between dems and gop?

    they both serve 400 families that own the wealth of this country and beyond.

    May 3, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Gary from Alaska

    I like Mitt and wish he were President given what we face today. That said though, he is wrong by not admitting the GOP is at fault for out of control spending during President Bush's terms. When you are at war, like it or not, you don't keep spending the way we did.

    Everyone needs to remember what government is there for. To make sure we live in a safe, secure country and provide an environment to prosper based on the private sector's economy, not the government's. Not to pay for everyone's college or make sure everyone owns a home no matter what circumstance they are in. Both parties are to blame for the fix we are in. But Romney is right. Spend our way out of debt? That is the Democrat-led plan and it's only going to make things worst

    May 3, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Bill in Austin

    It wasn't all the economy. It was how McCain and the rest of the GOP leadership handled it. A special note-"tax cuts for the wealthy" is not the majic bullet for all of our countries economic woes. Next thing they will say that these tax cuts will eradicate swine flu.

    May 3, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. what's the difference

    between dems and gop?

    they both serve 400 families that own the wealth of this country and beyond.

    wait, they ARE the 400 families that own us as their slaves.

    May 3, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Lauren

    I am sure my comment will not get past the moderator, they have been blocking me for a while now.

    If by chance it does,,, anyone willing to take some bets here.

    I say there will be OVER 100 comments from liberals who have nothing better to do than toss out insults and stupid comments about Republicans.
    I am willing to bet there will be a majority of one liner comments calling Republicans names, and saying, just go away, and that they just do not get it.

    Anyoen want to bet,,,,, or should I say,,, you betcha I will be correct?

    May 3, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. gl, Pittsburgh

    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.

    What else is new. This is all the REpublicans have been doing since the election battle over any thing the President do and they still can not see this is what have destroy them. THE NEW/OLD PARTY OF NO! IT IS STILL A PIG EVEN IF THEY HAVE A NEW HAIR CUT.

    May 3, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. Ned

    Hah .... The GOP machine in full denial. They don't get it, and apparently won't get it (seats that is). I think the #1 step is any recovery program is: ADMIT YOU HAVE A (BRAND) PROBLEM!

    May 3, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  11. elana

    Of course!! The Republicans wouldn't ever put any blame on the Bush Administration, or themselves would they? Honestly, CNN, can't you find some better news to cover??? The Republican GOP is just plain DEAD!!!! And it is going to take more than Mitt Romney, Newt Ginrich, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, Bobby Jindal, and John McCain to bring it back to life! And by the way, Sara Palin and Meghan McCain won't be able to do the resurrecting either!!

    May 3, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Chris - Albany, NY

    If that's what makes you guys sleep better at night than I guess whatever works for ya. We'll see about your "theory" next prediction is that it isn't lookin good for you fellas!

    May 3, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Frank Rier

    Yes, you two bozo suits. The economy did have an impact on the last election. Who let the economy run wild: and into ruin: the Republicans. Who rewarded all their rich friends: the Republicans. Who lost the election: the Republicans. The Republicans caused all the grief we've gone through and will go through, and the American people are going to remember that for long time. You two clowns can continue to talk to each other because nobody else is listening to you. Romney, you're a greedy religious nut and you're unfit to be a dogcatcher. I hope you blow a few more hundred million of your own money on another try at the White House.

    May 3, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. C Spurgeon

    Has anyone noticed that Cantor looks just like the Joker of batman fame without makeup. Strange the evil one is the future leader of republican party??The joker and the plastic man. What a pair???

    May 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Seattle Sue

    The American people are not stupid. We know what the Republicans under George W. Bush did to our country the past eight years,and no amount of their spin and outright lies will change that in my eyes.

    May 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Steve in Denver

    @Steve in NY:

    If Kerry had won in 2004, pay-go rules would have been reinstated then, responsible fiscal policies would have started four years earlier, and the crisis in 2008 would not have occured.

    I'm sooo glad we elected the smart one this time, but I sure wish we'd have done it in 2004. Hopefully this disaster will forever extinguish the "supply side" myth, but I'd have rather not had this disaster!

    May 3, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. vb

    I hope Romney stops Bloomberg and the MTA from increasing fares ?

    May God have mercy on each one us !

    May 3, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. RUTY

    Where have these fellows been? In outer space? Everyone else knows when it started. Why don't you?

    May 3, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. dragle

    Two things caused the economic cris1s.

    1) Lack of fiscal discipline; both Democrats and, yes, Republicans have shown this. For example, Bush's Medicare prescription drug program would have never passed without the willing votes of Democrats in congress. The majority of the congressional Rupublicans were against it.

    2) Unwillingness to hold people accounable for their actions. This includes both the banks and th people who borrowed money for homes that they could not afford. Now, because of poor Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulation, we are bailing out the crooked (banks) and the stupid (the money borrowers) for their poor choices. In 2004, the Bush administration tried to reform Freddie and Fannie, but congressional Democrat s (Barnie Frank and Chris Dodd) would not hear of it. Of course, Bush's treasury secretary did not help in the whole mess.

    My point is that this financial crisis is the fault of both political parties and reform needs to occur on both sides of the isle. The current regime has spent more money than all Presidents from George Washington to George W. The Republicans are silent. I don't have any children and I have become grateful that I will have no one to inherit this mess.

    May 3, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. carol

    Palin and McCain lost the election. They ran a terrible hate-filled campaign. After Palin opened her mouth, things went further downhill. Don't blame it on anyone but yourselves, Republicans! Their party is a wreck, and they need to find some true leaders to get it back in shape. With people like Steele, Palin, Limbaugh, etc. they will never get back on track.

    May 3, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. John in Tampa

    Barak Obama is President because in real time–at all times– he oozes intelligence, composure, compassion, and genuinely good purpose.

    John McCain is not President, because in real time he could not differentiate the terms, Sunni, Shia, Irani and Al Quida, and he said Iraq borders Afghanistan when it does not; because he publicly freaked out about economic solutions he absolutely and admittedly does not understand; because he doesn't know how many houses he owns; and because he gambled America's future by putting forth a candidate for Vice President who stood up there and spoke of 'Real Americans' as though some of us were not. I took that personally, and it seems I wasn't alone.

    How fatuous of Cantor and Romney to think it was only an economy busted by their own George Bush. It was EVERYTHING, you jerks. Maybe you're not REAL Americans.

    May 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Bill

    Mitt still knows the Bush was the greatest pres ever! Thanks Mitt!

    May 3, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. fred 17

    @ Lauren, your math may be correct but isn’t that merely reflective of the polling data that shows only one in five people identify themselves as republican or that the president has 60 to 70 % approval rating. Instead of belittling the style of comments, recognizing a trend for what it is may be more effective. A wise person once said as the crowd passed him by “there go my people, I am their leader and I must catch up.”

    May 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. Todd

    Mitt Romney and Sarah Plain are the BEST the Republican party can offer, post '08 election? Ha ha! No wonder that group of intolerants and liars are such a joke and their whole party is in tatters. What's up with their new image conference taking place in a pizza parlour? Was McDonald's booked?

    Go home, Mittens, and please never, ever appear on the national stage again. Every time you open your imbecilic trap, you lie and flip flop, and refuse to take responsibility for the asinine poltical party you are a so called leader of. You're a snake oil salesman, in the hip pocket of corporate America. The reason your ilk lost the '08 presidential elections and got your ***** handed to you in the senate and congress is becuase the American people were sick of the shrub and cheney. Get it? They single handedly destroyed America on so many different levels.

    May 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Bainbridge Bob

    This is great! Mitt posturing for 2012? Let's hope for a Romney/Palin team on the ticket. Good old fashioned god-fearing double standard fanaticism combined with slimy slippery repositioning. Won't get them elected, but will be fun to watch. Keep up the good work.

    May 3, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
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