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GOP2012: Republican debate, January 19th, 2012
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Romney Called for Housing to “Hit the Bottom”

January 23, 2012 at 10:02 p.m. ET

Romney will say anything to win. Let’s not forget that it's Romney who said it's time to let the foreclosure process that has devastated so many families “run its course and hit the bottom.” That’s appalling, but not unexpected from a former financial executive who wants to let Wall Street – the same guys whose recklessness brought the housing market and our economy to the brink – write its own rules, even if it means hanging the middle-class out to dry. And Newt Gingrich agrees - he wants to repeal Wall Street reform and wait for the economy to rebound. For middle-class Americans, the Republicans' vision of the American Dream is more like a nightmare.

ROMNEY CALLED FOR HOUSING TO “HIT THE BOTTOM”

ROMNEY: “DON’T TRY TO STOP THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS. LET IT RUN ITS COURSE AND HIT THE BOTTOM”

Romney: “Don’t Try To Stop The Foreclosure Process. Let It Run Its Course And Hit The Bottom.” Romney: “As to what to do for the housing industry specifically and are their things that you can do to encourage housing. One is, don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up. The Obama administration has slow walked the foreclosure process [inaudible] that has long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/17/11]

ROMNEY SAID BANKS ARE FEELING “THE SAME THING” HOMEOWNERS ARE FEELING

Romney: Banks Are “Feeling The Same Thing That You’re Feeling.” ROMNEY: “Well the banks are scared to death, of course, because they think that they’re going to go out of business. They’re afraid that if they write all these loans off that they’re going to go broke. So they’re feeling the same thing that you’re feeling, so they just want to pretend like all this is going to get paid so they don’t have to write it off and potentially go out of business themselves.” [Romney Housing Roundtable, 1/23/12]

FORECLOSURES IN MASSACHUSETTS SKYROCKETED UNDER HIS WATCH

Foreclosures In Massachusetts While Romney Was Governor Went From 4,200 In 2003 To 19,500 In 2006. “Nevada Democrats quickly pounced on Romney, casting his appearance as an April Fools joke and pointing to foreclosure rates that rose in Massachusetts during his four years as governor. There were about 4,200 foreclosures in the Bay State in 2003, Romney’s first year in office, compared with 19,500 in 2006, his last year in office.” [Boston Globe, 4/1/11]

  • Foreclosures In Massachusetts In 2006 Totaled 19,487. [Business Wire Press Release, ForeclosuresMass, 2/6/07]
  • Foreclosures In Massachusetts In 2005 Totaled 11,493. [Business Wire Press Release, ForeclosuresMass, 1/30/06]
  • Foreclosures In Massachusetts In 2004 Totaled 8,689. [Business Wire Press Release, ForeclosuresMass, 1/30/06]
  • Foreclosures in Massachusetts In 2003 Totaled 4,167. [Boston Globe, 1/20/04]

ROMNEY BLAMED MAIN STREET FOR FINANCIAL CRISIS…

Romney: Main Street Deserves Blame For Financial Crisis For Taking On Mortgages They Couldn't Afford. “The short term crisis that we face was the result of many people and many failures. It is popular to say it was only Wall Street.  Well, Wall Street is certainly and to a large degree to blame for what happened.  But so is Main Street. So are the mortgage bankers that gave mortgages to people who had no capacity to actually pay them.  So are the individuals who signed up for loans that were far in excess of what they ever could re-pay – the speculators, if you will.” [Book TV, CSPAN2, 3/5/10]

GINGRICH AGREED THAT FORECLOSURES SHOULD CONTINUE AND WOULD REPEAL WALL STREET REFORM AND WAIT

GINGRICH SAID HE AGREED WITH ROMNEY THAT THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS SHOULD PLAY OUT WITHOUT GOVERNMENT AID

Gingrich Said He Agreed With Romney That We Should Let The Foreclosure Process Play Out For The Housing Market To Recover. Maria Bartiromo asked Gingrich, “Most economists agree that there can be no economic recovery without a recovery in housing. American families have lost some $7 trillion in home value in the last five years. Right now, four million people are behind on their mortgage or in foreclosure, 25 percent of homeowners owe more to the banks than their house is actually worth. Governor Romney has said that the government should let the foreclosure process play out so that the housing market can recover and the free markets can work. Speaker Gingrich, is Governor Romney right?” Gingrich responded, “We, he's certainly right in the sense that you want to get through to the real value of the houses as fast as you can, because they're not going to rise in value as long as you stay trapped, as Japan has done now for 20 years.” [CNBC Michigan Debate, 11/9/11]

  • Gingrich “Concurred With Frontrunner Mitt Romney's Assessment That Foreclosures And Distressed Mortgages Should Run Their Course.” “Republican presidential candidates all pretty much concurred with frontrunner Mitt Romney's assessment that foreclosures and distressed mortgages should run their course. The housing market that continues to trouble places like Phoenix came up during a CNBC GOP presidential debate from Michigan on Wednesday. The candidates were asked how they felt about Romney's previous comments that he wouldn't continue government mortgage modification and assistance programs. The other GOP candidates, including Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, concurred with Romney that the housing market needs to work itself out. The candidates, including Cain, said the economy needs to be lifted for housing to recover.” [Phoenix Business Journal, 11/9/11]

GINGRICH’S HOUSING PLAN: REPEAL WALL STREET REFORM AND WAIT FOR THE ECONOMY TO REBOUND

Gingrich’s Plan For The Housing Market: Repeal Wall Street Reform And Make Short Sales Easier. Gingrich explained in a debate, “I think there are two specific steps you have got to understand in terms of housing. To pick up on something Congresswoman Bachmann said, if the Republican House next week would repeal Dodd/Frank, and allow us to put pressure on the Senate to repeal Dodd/Frank, you would see the housing market start to improve overnight. Dodd/Frank kills small banks, it kills small business. The federal regulators are anti- housing loan, and it has maximized the pain level. You could also change some of the rules so it would be easier to do a short sale where the house is worth less than mortgage than it is to do a foreclosure. Today, the banks are actually profiting more by foreclosing than encouraging short sales.” [CNBC Michigan Debate, 11/9/11]

Gingrich’s Plan To Save The Housing Market: “The Economy Has To Come Back.” Gingrich explained in a debate, “… in the long run, you want the housing market to come back? The economy has to come back. When you are at four percent unemployment, you suddenly have a dramatic increase in demand for housing. When you're at nine percent- plus unemployment, it's hard to get the housing market to come back.” [CNBC Michigan Debate, 11/9/11]

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