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. 21% of Americans are TRAITORS for wanting America to FAIL and 79% of Americans to SUFFER!

    Stay deep in denial if you wish, I personally hope you continue to be blind to the real reason you lost the election, your ideology and now, your agenda for President Obama to "fail".

    President Obama gave the electorate his vision of what he would do to change. We do not want leaders that only malign the government and try to starve it by lowering taxes without actually fixing it, we want someone that will FIX the government so the current tax dollars we spend will be spent efficiently. He is fulfilling his campaign promises made to the majority that voted for him, just as we would expect him to. Repubs call it big government, Dems call it compassion.

    Here are a few poll numbers: The majority of Americans are ok with "big government" at this time since, according to Keynesian economics the government is the only entity left standing after private investments and consumer spending have shut down.

    You neo-cons lost by 7% points 53% to 46% that was highest Dem majority since Carter Obviously, the majority of Americans do NOT agree with the repub ideology. And as to the complaints of "socialism" President Obama is only following a road BUILT by republicans. GWB was President when we bought AIG, Freddie and Fannie and paid the first installment on GM and Chrysler.

    So complain all you want about "tax cuts" and "trickle down" economics, because the only one's listening are the party base which has dwindled to 21% of Americans, and you will not win elections with those numbers any time soon..

    May 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. spyderhead

    This just goes to show that this Dying Old Party has not got a clue! What cost the DOP the election was the likes of Mitt Romney, Jindal, McCain, Barbour, et. al. Republithugs with torture, lying us into a war we cannot win, (probably) at the VP level even involved in the planning/financing/execution of 9/11 which gave them the perfect excuse for Patriot Acts, Gestapo Homeland Security, etc. Please continue on this way, Mitt Romney, and we will NEVER have to look at another republithug president.

    May 3, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Steve

    Such skeptics. It's clear: the GOP was responsible for everything good that happened for the past 8 years, and responsible for nothing bad that happened. The economy just happened to fall apart under GOP rule. They would say exactly the same thing if the Dems had been in power. I'm sure the voters were just too dumb to see this.

    May 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. Oblio

    Uh, yeah. Market turmoil and blantant hijacking of the American Constitution by Bush and Cheney.

    May 3, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Mikey Boy Dayton OH

    Wow, I am amazed how the Republicans can spin the 2008 losses. They know the real problem, and it was spelled George Bush.

    They may make some comebacks in 2010, but first they must get themselves re-branded.

    May 3, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Matt

    If an irrelevant party screams, does anyone hear it?

    May 3, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Homilingo

    Oh good, another Voice for The Rich.

    May 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Goverment is your Daddy

    Truth hurts CNN, you will need a bailout soon too....................

    May 3, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Get Real

    Mitt Romney would have been a better candidate than John McCain. At least he has actually ran a business successfully unlike the morons we have running this country from both sides of the aisle.

    May 3, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. Antionette from Florida

    Romney and Cantor are once again validating the lack of accountability the Republican party takes in their 2008 loss and the economic downturn. They are masters at attempting to distance themselves from other contributing factors 1) Eight failed years/policies 2) Starting a ridiculous war 3) Abusing power like no other administration (well close to Nixon administration); 4) plucking an obvious ill prepared and uneducated VP candidate and watching her incite hate, bigotry and fear mongering–almost ripping this country apart 5) allowing their elected officials such as Bachman, Broun and Shelby to reiterate inflammatory comments about President Obama and those who support him. and 6) taking no responsibility for their actions. Let's see how this "reform" progresses. Their real leader is an over paid bloated radio announcer–not either of them.

    May 3, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Barbara Campbell

    The neocons are still trying to reinvent reality. What a worthless bunch.

    May 3, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Goverment is your Daddy

    Just pander away and america will love you...............

    May 3, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Where were you 8 years ago

    Tried to submit this comment yesterday but it remained in moderation and then was lost. So I'm submitting it on several articles, hoping it'll make it through on one.

    For anyone who believes that there is a liberal mainstream media bias, look at the top 5 stories on CNN's political ticker. They are all about the conservative’s message and their beliefs and how they are getting themselves together. Hogwash! They are pushing the same old message and are allowed by CNN and other networks to spew the same lies and hypocrisy over and over. Why? 2 reasons:
    One because CNN like most TV, radio and print media are owned by republicans and two in the past it worked for conservatives to repeat the same nonsense over and over again and many Americans bought their lies and manipulations for whatever reasons. This time it’s not working because the devastation to the country happened on their watch using their policies. Putting more money in the pockets of the wealth has never worked as a fiscal philosophy for one reason alone. The reason wealthy people remain wealthy is because they hold on to their wealth, they don't trickle it down to the less fortunate, as the last 8 years have proven without a doubt.
    Here's hoping that the majority of the American people continue to reject the hypocrisy of right-wing republicans. Here's being grateful that many Americans are asking the right questions and understanding that President Obama didn't create this mess, the last administration did and that last administration was republican and their tax cuts for the wealthy, regulation is bad, let the free market correct itself philosophy failed miserably.
    I asked the majority of Americans did your taxes go down over the last 8 years. I guarantee the answer for most of us is no. So who spent trillions over the last eight years? Whose policies almost destroyed our economic? Who continues to try and shift the blame as opposed to owning up to their failures?

    May 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. stevetall

    What? "Not our fault." Is that all you're got? I guess you still don't get it. You should both get jobs at McDonald's.

    The Republicans have lost the last couple of elections because they forgot to do what they were elected to do. "Lead America in the right direction" is all we wanted from you clowns. What did we get? A Panicky-fear of Middle Easterners, a bogus war, domestic spying, torture, a Vice President who doesn't know what branch of government he's a part of, and the list goes on and on and on. We hadn't seen this kind of treachery since you got us all so freaked out about Communism. Well, duh!

    What are you showing us now? Oh, yeah. More division, less tolerance, less comprimise, more calls for the president to fail, and a renewed attempt to make words like "liberal" and "socialism" into concepts that are somehow frightening.

    Who the hell is in charge over there anyway? Rush Limbaugh? That guy isn't America. He's your freaky fat slob neighbor from down the block that you stay away from. You tolerate him because you're an American, but you don't ask his advice on anything.

    My advise is to get back to the things matter. Discussion, debate, compromise, tolerance, understanding, and respect. Respect for each other in government, and respect for the people you are representing. Get to work on the issues and lay off the back-biting. Act like a professional. If you can't get along with you co-workers or your bosses (we the people), you should be fired. That's what happened in 2008. Now grow up.

    May 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Operation Crush Rush

    Maybe Romneys magic undies are on too tight?Pull the string Mitt,pull the string.

    May 3, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. bk

    Are you people really dumb enough to think the Democrats had nothing to do with the last seven years? Without the Dems we could not have gone to war. Clinton, Kerry, and several others voted for it. Clinton passed the bill to soften lending practices and Dodd and Frank pushed it to the limits. Dodd got sweet heart deals from the mortgage companys. They were told Fannie and Freddie needed over sight. The Republicans were accused of not wanting the poor to have a home. Frank said there was nothing wrong with Fannie and Freddie. Do your research and quit listening to the media that is in the tank for Obama.

    May 3, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. Ted Tartaglia

    These guys are in lala land! The Republicans lost in 2008 because the majority of the American public no longer buys their stale ideas.

    May 3, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Cali J

    Why does the left hate Christians? Christians do wonderful things for people in need and are not any kind of danger to this society. Mostly just good people who believe in God and Jesus, and live their lives in good honorable ways. Some of the hatred spewed by Liberals on this board against Christians is unbelievable. What are you Liberals afraid of?

    May 3, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The Republicans never cease to amaze me because they just don't get it. John McCain and Sarah Palin crippled their party while they supported them and now they want to have a say about President Obama's justice pick. Sarah Palin was the most undereducated and unqualfied VP pick to be a heart beat away from the presidency and they said nothing while she created a demise of division and name calling. The American people used better judgement than the Republicans and they still don't get it. Eric Cantor is full of crap, the voters have spoken and we will speak loud and clear in the next election.

    May 3, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    The Republicans are trying to win the electoral votes of the Great State of Denial.

    May 3, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Peter E

    So... when the economy has a mild recession in 2000 when Bill Clinton is in power (while it's still a republican congress) it was called the 'Clinton Recession' but whenfor 6 of the past eight years republicans had the presidency, House, Senate, AND Supreme Court, it is somehow just a coincidence that the economy falls apart on their watch? Economists were warning about the housing bubble already in 2005. That same year AIG asked for its first multi-billion dollar bailout that the republican congress readily gave them without question. Sorry, but blaming this on coincidence is just a plain lie!

    May 3, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. carole

    No one would deny that a poor economy will drive people to the polls,
    however, to blame the loss entirely on a hot tuber is ridiculous!
    It shows that these "new Republicans" are no more in touch with the
    electorate than the Republicans in general. Republican policies
    and ideological beliefs lost the election(s). End of story. Unless
    those change, they will continue to be a minority party.

    May 3, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  23. Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    Now, am I crazy or do I remember Conservatives – when they were in power – explaining to us in impatient tones that neither the budget deficit nor the national debt matters? Do I not recall the Bush Administration took the war budget "out" of the budget because it didn't really count? Was not the national debt $1 trillion when Reagan became president and was it not $4.25 trillion when Bush1 left office (a 400% growth in the debt). Wasn't the debt $5.8 trillion when Bush2 became president and was it not about $11 trillion when he left office (a 200% growth)? Can Republicans do arithmetic? Did not Republican administrations add about $9 trillion to the national debt? Or was that just a bad dream?

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

    In response to "Where were you 8 years ago", I agree that too much money has been spent". I, however, am perplexed that you are not critical of the current administration who has spent more money than all administrations from George Washington to George Bush.

    May 3, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Lee

    Lauren, I'm not to call anyone names. That is the ploy the neo-cons use when their argument is weak. Let's see, what did the GOP in? How about fiscal irresponsibility, turning a surplus into a terrible deficit. Crony Capitalism; if you don't grasp the term, Google "Kenny Boy", "Blackwater" or "Halliburton". Jingoism; in other words lying in order to get us into a war that had no international support and was fought against a nation that was no threat to us. A war against terrorism, I think, would have involved Saudi Arabia, where most of the terrorists allegedly came from. That, however, would have been bad for business. Last but not least, the nomination of Sarah Palin for V.P. which insulted moderates and thinking people in general.

    May 3, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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