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. marcus2

    Market turmoil is right – caused by the GOP outsourcing millions of US jobs over the last 8 years. So much that nothing to speak of is made in America anymore.

    Also, because the GOP allowed Banks and Corporations to operate Ponzie schemes as a way to make millions and billions for themselves at the expense of average Americans. That's why they lost the election.

    May 3, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Hellokitti

    It came crashing down on the GOP BECAUSE it was their fault. We are only lucky it happened before the election so we could overcome our massive inertia and prejudice and vote for the smart guy who we kind of felt threatened by. Now we love him, 64 per cent love him, and the GOP just look like answerless obstructionists. The GOP needs to own up to their failures if they are going to move forward. We ruined our economy on a baseless war, ignoring the problems at home and running through the surplus that the last Democratic president left. Does anyone remember the recession we were all so worried about 2 years ago? Even then they were talking depression. It statrted
    way before the election. Who's fault is it if not that of the GOP and gutless Dems who supported them on the borrow and spend on schemes that helped no one but their Republican friends??

    May 3, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Ellen

    All I can say is (and picture me laughing aloud as I say it), please continue to live in denial!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. HemiHead66

    Romney says we we should stand up and scream loud and hard if Obama picks someone for the Supreme Court that will make their own laws instead of following the constitution. This must be some kind of joke? How come I didn't hear a word when Bush was making up his own laws? Oh I forgot, we did hear something, it was the sound of a whole bunch of people being fired.

    May 3, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. David in CA

    As usual, Romney is exactly correct about these issues. This runaway government borrowing and spending based on the disproven ( see Japan's recent experience with gov't stimulus ) pretext of "stimulus" will take the future of America into a place of economic mediocrity for decades. What's that? Look at Europe with their liberal policies. Economic mediocrity...a uniformly low standard of living. Extremely high taxes, large government and businesses ineffective at creating jobs because they are weighed down with regulation and high taxes. Economic mediocrity.

    I can't wait to see the new version of healthcare mediocrity they are getting ready to cram down America's throat.

    Romney 2012!

    May 3, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. David Newport, OR

    always pointing the blame elsewhere ...THAT is a perfect example of why you lost and will continue to lose

    May 3, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Marie Theresa

    Until the Republicans HONESTLY admit who they are and what they stand for, they cannot hope to change.

    May 3, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. jeff p

    I find it interesting how Romney says, "the economy fell apart at the time we were, if you will, holding the hot potato." Yes, Mitt, and the Republicans were the ones baking the potato to make it hot in the first place! Stop sluffing off blame. The Republican trickle down, deregulation philosophy is to blame whether you like it or not. People are tired of seeing the rich get richer while the "middle" class just wants to make ends meet every week.

    May 3, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Joe

    I find it extremely odd that while it clearly states "comments are moderated by CNN" that baseless posts which reference "magic undies" or Romney being a "cult member" are accepted.

    CNN ... are you purposely fostering an ignorant class of people who cannot engage in productive, meaningful rhetoric?

    May 3, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Ancient River

    The bottomline is that the best man won because he listened, understood and is a person who can analyze, discuss and offer solutions and accept compromise on significant problems. He is a pragmatic centrist, compassionate, calm and brilliant yet accessible. He is exactly what we need. If the Republicans wish to compete, they need to recruit some individuals more like him. It would be wonderful to have some smart Republicans with real ideas to offer. I would really welcome that. As long as they want to continue to deny they have a problem, they will only appeal to the same 25 per cent of the electorate who thought George Bush was a great president. The radical right will not keep them in powe although they are loud enough that the GOP will be able to coast on thinking so for a while..

    May 3, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Steve from Somerset

    The Republicans lost control of the House and Senate in 2006. Not one House or Senate seat held by a Democrat switched to the GOP that year. And this occurred TWO YEARS before the economic collapse.

    May 3, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Blanca DeBree

    Are these two that stupid? If so, then they should get out of the party now. If they are just lying, then they have no business being leaders in a party.

    May 3, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Tulsa L

    No one wants the GOP policy's anymore, we don't want the conservative right in control of anything, when will you own up and take responsibility to the fact that your party put this country in this mess and it is your party continuing down the same old path with no answers, just the party of no no no no.......

    May 3, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Soporifix

    As long as Republicans keep claiming that it was somehow just a an unlucky coincidence that the economy fell apart while they were in power - and refuse to acknowledge that their policies were primarily responsible for the mess - they will never have a chance of rehabilitating themselves.

    May 3, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  15. Franky

    I think I heard this argument like lots of times, I don't even know. Plus, everybody is all psyched up about the Supreme Court decision and all that but I think is overrated, people act like the person who's gonna replace Scouter is gonna have to be someone of good stature or so on, personally, you guys are dreaming again. I believe he's gonna go high-tech, I think he will choose a woman or go diverse, that's my bet on. Either way, whoever he chooses, is not like is gonna be a big upgrade from Scouter, just a change of scenery. And if he does go diverse for that matter, is gonna be something new. And is gonna take a while, I don't know what's the big fuzz about this...

    May 3, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  16. Guisano

    Scream? I think squeal would be a better description of the types of noises these rodents make. Keep your eyes and ears open to what they say and do. Keep the truth squads ever vigilant.

    The only thing the conservatives are good at is telling a lie over and over until it takes on a patina of truth. They must be challenged and corrected at every utterance. This is where the media failed so badly during the reign of boy george and his evil overmaster.

    The more I see them in action, the more they remind me of communists. It's so easy to destroy things but so very hard to build them.

    May 3, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Jen in PA

    My god these people are totally clueless. And they will continue to sink even further with statements like this. Wake up and smell the coffee GOP!! You have flushed our country down the toilet and we are all paying the price for your ignorance, arrogance and greed.

    May 3, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Sammy

    The polls all said the economy was the biggest issue in the election. History has always shown that in times like these the party currently in power loses elections. However Romney seems to suggest that people dont actually consider why economies go bad. Sure some just blame whoever is in charge. But most are more thoughtful.

    May 3, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. SJ Johnson

    Same song....500th verse. New faces? Where are they? These guys for all the wasted media attention, represent approximately 20% of the voting public. The rest of us are tired of hearing the same empty bantor and the constant "the sky is falling" rants. Go away and listen to Rush Limberger.

    May 3, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. faith

    Let John King go away and take his wife Dana Bash with him!

    May 3, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. Peace

    If that is the case Mitt, that your Party lost because of "market turmoil", then things are still tough to your side. If it will happen the market is back in a very good shape, the Party in power will continue. No one will vote out the Party which is performing well in economic point of view!

    May 3, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Bill Clinton

    Hey guys.

    May 3, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. K3ndall

    I bet the next Supreme Court judge given that post will be very qualified and open minded, The question of the hour is.. . . . . .

    Will they have payed they're taxes?

    Secondly the Republican Party put the Potatoe in the oven, took it out when things got bad and they saw smoke, gave it to POTUS and said look what he did, They happened day 78 of first 100 days

    May 3, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Mitch

    The moderates are being pushed out while the GOP 'leadership' if you will are handcuffed by the far right base that love a good ole fashioned Palin-grade 3-level diatribe of hate. They have their heads in the sand while the base make Reagan's big tent down to a pup tent the size of a tea bag.

    The GOP now represent fewer and fewer Americans and spending the last 100 days whining about Obama's budget and stimulus DURING the worst economic crisis of our generation show how badly the GOP is out of touch. When Bachman, Beck, Limbaugh and Coulter can walk around and spew downright garbage, why should America care about you anymore?

    May 3, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Harriett in Chapel Hill

    Well, Mr. Romney, I stood up myself and SCREAMED VERY LOUDLY when Congress approved Roberts and Alito, who BOTH LIED in order to pass confirmation. And yes, I agree that there are various reasonsnRepublicans lost so badly, but they gave Bush blank checks and never questioned his policies. Selective memories, ya think???

    May 3, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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