January 24th, 2010
10:45 AM ET
10 years ago

Senators say they'll support Bernanke

Sens. Robert Menendez and Orrin Hatch both said Sunday that the end to support Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nomination to serve a second term as the head of the nation's central bank.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Orrin Hatch both said Sunday that the end to support Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's nomination to serve a second term as the head of the nation's central bank.

Washington (CNN) – As the White House tries to rally wavering support for the re-confirmation of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke, two senators – one Democrat and one Republican – announced Sunday that they will support the nation’s top banker despite reservations about him.

President Obama has nominated Bernanke for a second term as the head of the nation’s central bank but Bernanke’s confirmation has become ensnared in concerns about his role in the financial crisis that began in late 2008 and nearly pushed the economy into freefall. Bernanke’s nomination has also been tripped up in recent days by growing populist accusations that the Obama administration bailed out Wall Street and the automotive industry while doing too little to create jobs as the official unemployment rate remains stubbornly at 10 percent.

New Jersey Democrat Sen. Robert Menendez said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union that he’s had concerns about Bernanke regarding “consumer protection, of being ahead of the curve on the economy and particularly on mortgage foreclosures.”

“I think [Bernanke’s] learned from those lessons,” Menedez told also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “I give him credit for making some significant moves to – along with President Obama – from stopping us from going into a deep depression. So, yes, I will support Chairman Bernanke and I believe that his confirmation will be assured.”

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also told King that he will support Bernanke, though Hatch’s pledge of support was far from a ringing endorsement of the embattled Fed chief.

“In all honesty, there are some things I don’t agree with that have been done but I think [Bernanke] basically has all of the ability to do it,” Hatch said Sunday on State of the Union. “I’d be terrified of having him replaced by this administration – you never know what you’re going to get.

“This man knows what he’s doing. Yes. Can he improve? You bet your life but I’m going vote for him,” Hatch said.

Earlier on State of the Union, Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said the president believes Bernanke will be confirmed for a second term leading the Federal Reserve.

Axelrod said Obama has been speaking with Senate leaders and the “readings” he's getting in his conversations is that Chairman Bernanke will be confirmed.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. david

    typical. obama and et al go out of their way to reward poor performers, non-performers. bernanke should not be rewarded with a second term. it seems our country values failures over success. like some children's games all the children get a trophy whether they win or lose the game. this is just another example of why obama has got to go and those in the house and senate that so quickly endorse anything obama says, does, or doesn't say or do. voters vote sitting house and senate members out of office your first opportunity. they are part of the problem along with obama.

    January 24, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    Just say No to Bernazi.Hes a sneaky little crook.

    January 24, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. aliou Jacksonville, FL

    Changing heads is not what we need. we need the president to stand firm on his campaign promises, not to his promises of bypartisanship. we want the president to focus on americans' business, not on his relationship with the party of NO and the Tea party. Get the stimulus faster. Make the public option healthcare reform faster. get the jobs out and make new entrepreneurs credit and fast. bernanke is not the problem. it is the pace of the help we are supposed to receive that is too slow.

    January 24, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Mike from Lone Tree

    It's fascinating how people are quick to pile on to Bernanke and blame him for the meltdown when Barney Frank and the Clinton Administration really were at the root of the housing crisis. It was there modification of restrictions that opened the floodgates of irresponsible lending. That said, anyone who took out a mortgage and couldn't afford it should also step up and bear some blame.

    The American public and the politicians pandering for their votes are quick to blame everyone but themselves for everything bad that happens.

    Bernanke will do a fine job.

    January 24, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Keith in Austin

    Mike from Lone Tree is right on point! Bernanke is NOT to blame for our economy. The Liberal agenda that has plagued our Nation for the last 4 years is the biggest threat! Starting with the left-wing Congress and Barney Frank's idiotic belief that ALL Americans "deserve" home ownership and forcing the banking industry to make loans to deadbeats! It was the Democrat Agenda that brought the meltdown of our economy and Barry, Harry and Nancy et al have SPENT 4 times more than any other President in 1 short year! Pathetic.

    The way to fiscal security is to vote EVERY SINGLE Liberal Democrat out of office STAT and replace them with fiscally responsible leaders not hellbent on shifting wealth for political gain!

    January 24, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Lisa

    I like the analogy used by Ed Schultz: Bernanke is the arsonist firefighter. His policies led to the fire he's been charged with putting out.

    And don't fool yourselves. Our economic problems began with Ronald Regan and have continued ever since. Deregulation and rise of corporatism began in earnest and continued through every president since, including Clinton.

    Nobody is blameless in this mess. My fervent hope is that we can find a way to work together to get ourselves out of it.

    January 24, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Ken in NC

    I'm the Senator from "MY STREET, USA" and while President Obama didn't call to ask me if Chairman Bernanke should stay, I cast my vote to send him on his way. Give this man a tin cup and cane. Let him walk the streets as we do in search of help and feeling our pain.

    He and other Fat Cats took our money to save his Wall Street friends. It will not be long before they'll find themselves needing to do it again so send him now I say. Send him out, send him and out send him far away. Leave open the door through which he passes to the hot desert sands for his Fat Cat friends will seek him out again. Let them seek him only to find that on that day, of our hard earned money, they'll get not nary another dime.

    January 24, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |