Presidential

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney And Housing

Romney Does Not Support Helping Homeowners In Need

Romney Wanted Foreclosures To Hit The Bottom

Romney Believed The “Cure For Foreclosures” Was Getting Government Out Of The Way And Letting The Process Run Its Course. According to a New York Times editorial, “Since the housing bubble began to burst six years ago, prices nationwide have fallen by a third… As home prices fall and more homeowners sink underwater, there will be more foreclosures and more price declines. So what is Mitt Romney’s response? Bring it on. In interviews and in the Republican presidential debates, Mr. Romney has said that the cure for foreclosures is for the government to get out of the way and let the process run its course… The argument might have some red-meat appeal, playing off the notion that any owners who lose their homes are getting what they deserve. It is wrong on several counts…Mass foreclosures are a rotten way to stabilize the market…Who does Mr. Romney think will buy up millions of foreclosed properties? Borrowers who lose their homes to foreclosure or who sell their homes for less than the balance on their mortgages can be denied credit for years; many will never be homeowners again… With the economy still weak and vulnerable to shocks, more foreclosures and the resulting price declines would only weaken the economy further…The let-it-crash argument conveniently ignores that the housing bubble was the result not only of overborrowing but of reckless lending too.” [New York Times, Editorial, 11/26/11]

Romney Opposed Trying To Stop The Foreclosure Process, Wanting It To “Run Its Course And Hit The Bottom.” According to The Huffington Post, “Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney suggested he doesn’t support foreclosure relief for the millions of Americans struggling with underwater mortgages, untold numbers of which have been the victims of fraudulent lending or foreclosure practices. In a filmed interview with the editorial board of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a newspaper serving the hardest-hit foreclosure state in the union, Romney criticized President Barack Obama for not foreclosing on American families fast enough. ‘Don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,’ Romney said when asked what he would do to jump-start the floundering housing market. ‘Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up,’ he continued. ‘The Obama administration has slow walked the foreclosure process … that has long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.’” [The Huffington Post, 10/18/11]

Romney Opposed Housing Relief Programs, Saying The Market Must Repair Itself By Collapsing. According to KLAS-TV 8 News Now, “Romney says he doesn’t support President Obama’s relief programs HAMP and HARP. Instead, he believes the housing market must bottom out to repair itself. ‘If you start having government starting to tax people so they can give money to people who need help in their homes, you’ll just bring the market down, down, and down, and you’ll never see an end to it.’” [KLAS-TV 8 News Now, 2/2/12]

Read the full report after the jump.

PRESS RELEASEResearchSenate

Dean Heller Changes His Tune On Housing

Senator Dean Heller has just changed his tune regarding federal assistance to help underwater homeowners and mitigate the foreclosure crisis in Nevada. He has an extensive record of voting against federal foreclosure programs, yet has now suddenly decided such federal assistance is necessary.

“Senator Heller appears to have come down with a case of the Romney flip-flops. Surely he doesn’t think Nevadans will suddenly consider him a champion of foreclosure assistance despite his long record of voting against efforts to help,” said Matt Thornton, spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century.

See the research below.

PresidentialRapid Response

On Fox News, Mitt Romney Lies About His Investments In Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

On the January 25 edition of Fox & Friends on Fox News, Mitt Romney was asked about his personal investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He responded by falsely claiming the investment was part of a mutual fund chosen by a trustee and part of his blind trust.

BRIAN KILMEADE (HOST): Yesterday Newt Gingrich joined us and said, “I just found out that Mitt Romney was in investor in Fannie & Freddie.” What’s the truth?
MITT ROMNEY: [Laughs] That’s pretty funny. My investments, of course, are managed not by me. For the last ten years they’ve been guided and managed by a trustee, they’re in a blind trust. And the trustee invested in mutual funds and so forth and apparently one of the funds had Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac bonds.

That’s not true. As the Boston Globe originally reported in September: “And unlike most of Romney’s financial holdings, which are held in a blind trust that is overseen by a trustee and not known to Romney, this particular investment was among those that would have been known to Romney.”
Full research after the jump.

Presidential

MSNBC: Gingrich campaign plays defense on ties to Freddie Mac

On November 10, 2011, MSNBC‘s First Read reported:

Newt Gingrich found his past work with Freddie Mac under scrutiny during last night’s presidential debate, where the former House Speaker denied ever having lobbied for the mortgage giant.

CNBC debate moderator John Harwood pressed Gingrich as to why his firm received $300,000 from Freddie Mac in 2006 — two years before the mortgage finance company was forced into government conservatorship under the weight of subprime loans. The question was maybe the toughest Gingrich has received this campaign cycle.

ResearchSenate

Josh Mandel On Housing

Mandel 1 Of Only 5 To Vote Against Expanding Homestead Property Tax Exemption. In 2008, Mandel voted against S.B. 306. The bill would expand eligibility for the homestead property tax exemption, the 2.5% “rollback,” for residents of housing cooperatives by reducing the number of units a housing complex must contain to qualify as an eligible housing cooperative from 250 to 2. The bill passed the House 90-5. [S.B. 206, 12/17/08]