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. Ned Whalen

    Seeing these three white guys together is not helping the GOP "recreate" itself to the American people. Did they happen to forget that American souls had been battered by 8 years of Bush-Cheney? Surely Jeb must have a clue. Not to mention the fact that President Obama ran a superb campaign against a weak GOP ticket. It was more than the market folks and if they are that clueless, the party has not yet hit bottom.

    May 3, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Mike

    I never cease to be amazed at the level of ignorance and out right belief in falsehoods that characterize 90% of liberal comment on stories like these. I also suspect that liberal moderators at CNN are responsible for the overwhelming number of bash the GOP posts in relation to the few who attempt to point ot the culpability of democrats in the current mess or the liekleyhood approaching certainty that Obama's policy will make things worse instead of better.
    But no matter.
    Resume your midless GOP hate fest.

    May 3, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Ernie

    I note that neither mentioned that we had just gotten rid of the sorriest President and Vice President that this country had every seen...

    May 3, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. welches, oregon

    the ULTIMATE putting lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig folks.

    May 3, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. HJA

    The GOP is so clueless. They are responsible for our current problems. Deregulation started with Regan and continued throughout the GOP's reign. They didn't even try to hide always helping their rich contributors. When business is unregulated greed takes over. I always considered myself an independant voter but after this I don't care what the GOP says. I will never trust them again.

    May 3, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Kenton

    Passing the buck....typical Republicans!

    May 3, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  7. Ellie

    "It's not our fault!". . . . . sounds like my 3 year old nephew.

    May 3, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. wildflower

    They still don't get it. As long as they blame it on market turmoil, they will never recover.

    May 3, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. The party of NO is also the party of DENIAL.

    Under Bush, Wall Street was free to do whatever it wanted because no one, NO ONE watched-there was no regulation. For 8 years, we listened to propoganda and complete, COMPLETE denial on the state of the economy.

    Please GOP and BUSH, just OWN UP to your mistakes –
    get out there and help Americans instead of complaining.

    THIS IS NO LONGER ABOUT YOU. Start thinking about Americans for a change.

    May 3, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. joe

    Shakespeare said it best: "the voice of an idiot, full of the sound and the fury and signifying nothing."

    May 3, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. pbdenver

    Mitt Romeny is a good businessman becuase he inherited millions from his father, I could be a great business man with that kind of start. (he was a great business man becuase he went into companies and half he workfore off to boost profits for shareholders)

    Second if they think the stock market going down is the only reason they lost. Then F them they do not listen to anything except rednecks and billionares...
    I used to be a republican and I can't even imagine being one ever again. They neglect science, poverty, climate change and throw abortion up as the holiest of issues but have no problem killing millions in war...

    Pull your heads out of the oil sands and go fix some houses in New Orleans!

    Who let the dogs out, who who?

    May 3, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Perusing-through

    1.) not successfully finishing the war in Afghanistan,
    2.) not capturing Bin Laden,
    3.) setting off an unnecessary pre-emptive war with Iraq,
    4.) acerbating frustrations between to nuclear Pakistan and India,
    5.) left U.S. AWOL in Israeli-Palestinian middle-east talks,
    6.) refusal to acknowledge the drug wars, kidnappings, and killings across U.S./Mexican borders,
    7.) refusal to fix illegal immigration problems,
    8.) late to acknowledge global climate issues,
    9.) politicizing the Justice Dept. (Alberto Gonzalez), EPA, and other fed agencies,
    10.) a 'do-nothing policy' to stop job loses to oversees markets and skyrocketing unemployment,
    11.) a failed and disastrous energy policy,
    12.) fiddled at his Crawford, Texas ranch as home foreclosure brought down the market,
    13.) destroyed U.S. credibility and admiration around the world.

    May 3, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Gary

    The economy decided the election and the Republicans took the blame and Palin didn't look experienced enough to help fix the problem.

    The reality is that the US is only 5% of the world population and 18% of the world economy. This was a worldwide recession and this is part of the normal business cycle. The thing that made this down cycle particularly painful was the high oil prices of last summer combined with excessive debt (government and private). That is why the solution to this problem is clearly NOT more government borrowing and spending.

    The solution: work more, save more, borrow less. live within your means and don't expect free anything (even healthcare) from your government. We'll get out of this recession and grow again. Alternative energy sources and new technologies (computer, biotech etc) will help.

    May 3, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Wes

    Market turmoil? Only the dumb 'ole market turmoil huh Mitt?

    What a delusional group of incompetents. Worried not about the country, just about getting their regional, exclusive,lost rump party back on the map.

    Failed Leadership. That is the two words you people cannot seem to utter. Truth hurts but you need to eventually face it Mitt.

    May 3, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. E.C.Coleman

    What ruined the GOP was the Dem's clever and intrusive use of the Internet to kids who were voting for the first time, a way to raise money, and a way to offer 'empty promises of a welfare for those who choose to live on welfare, and refrain from getting a job. He also wants to give illegal aliens 'amnesty,' but obama will never get that one passed!!!

    There should be a law that prohibits any Politician, especially the President of this Naiton, from getting on websites that Kids use daily. These kids should be left alone, until they are of age,but not so...according to the democratic party and obama. He wants the Indoctrination toward the Liberal Left to begin well before any kid has an idea of what a political party means.

    This intrusion of ideology sets a dangerous precedent in the future lives of our kids, as well as adults and this great Nation.
    Countries fall from within and usually one finds these tactics at work in such cases of abuse of power. This may be a country bases upon Freedom of Speech, but this is Not a Country where we ABUSE KIDS!!
    This intrusion is Predatory.

    May 3, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Mark in Atlanta

    Avoiding responsibility is a tried and true republican art, but Mit and Eric's "we didn't do it" line isn't likely to win many new friends. That aside, the choice for Repblicans is simple. If they continue to be a party that sounds and thinks like Rush and panders to a "base" that is made up mostly of people like the woman who told McCain she didn't trust Obama because "he's a muslim," they have a very limited future. If they want a shot at running this country again, they must:
    1) Admit that the last eight years were an unmitigated disaster. In other words, they have to reassure America that they are not completely out of touch with reality
    2) Move to the center and moderate the religious fanaticism of the the "I'm an evangelical and I like torture" crowd
    3) give up the "fear and smear" meaness of the Atwater-Rove play book and start proving themselves capable of decency, common sense, and compassion.

    May 3, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. Dan Timlick

    All I heard in this interview was the GOP's failed ideology remains. However, they plan to use technology to get the word out to younger voters to expand the base. If that's was their take-away from the town hall... 10 & 12 will be easy election cycles for the Dems.

    Lorton, VA

    May 3, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. indiana voter

    Of course it was the economy. America panicked and voted in someone with no experience because for some reason they thought that it was all one man's fault. However, if you had any brains, you would see it was the Democrats who helped us get into this economic downturn more than the Republicans. But of course, Democrats speak with emotions and hatred towards Republicans, they will not look at facts. Some of my best years were during the Bush years before congress changed over to being controlled by Democrats. It went all down hill from there and Democrats know it, but they know how to campaign better, ad fool most of the people. Now America suffers.

    May 3, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. Thank you

    The G.O.P has shown us that it is a club for the rich not for the common man. sorry, i will stick with the Dems for now..

    May 3, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Scott

    YEAH RIGHT!!!!!!!

    Denial party of 1? It couldn't possibly be Bush's failed policies over 8 years? No, the GOP never admits a mistake.

    May 3, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Thank you

    Just to add to this..are they still talking about the last election? John King and the never ending G.O.p agenda is getting on my nerves

    May 3, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. lola

    Betcha Barry is going to arm the quadrupled Americorp fascists to prevent an election in 2012. He got his half wit Democrackpipe Party to sink additional billions into it. Barry patterns his administration on the likes of Castro. But America will resist. America will not be subdued by a violent Obama/Castro/CNN alliance.

    May 3, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. WM

    No Mitt ,The republicans have been hijacked by the religious right and nut jobs like Coulter, Palin, and Rush. They have effectively alienated moderates and the fiscally conservative democrats like myself. Take back your party from the extreme wackos and you might become relevant again.

    May 3, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. James(Iowa)

    LOL Oh here we go. Same o Same o. The republicans trying to pass the buck again.

    We just happened to be holding the smoking gun.. we didn't fire it, it could have just as easily been someone else...

    Yeah hrrr okies Mitt but it wasn't someone else was it?

    Maybe you should start your 'change' in the republican party by stop talking to the nation like we're a bunch of idiots who trust ANY politician. Accept that we don't trust you and we'd rather see you do something USEFUL than sit around all the time making up excuses and doing damage control.

    Stop being useless.

    May 3, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. Patriot

    These idiots still don't get it. America is fed up with with these traitors and America-haters that comprise the Republican Party. Get rid of these freaks for good and we'll have a much better country. God bless America!

    May 3, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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