In October, Mitt Romney said his housing plan was to let the market work and
to allow foreclosures "hit the bottom." Now he says such an approach is unrealistic.
Mitt Romney earlier today
on the housing and foreclosure crisis, saying government should "help" banks to keep people in their own homes:
The idea that somehow this is going to cure itself all by itself is probably not real. There’s going to have to be a much more concerted effort to work with the lending institutions and help them take action which is in their best interest and the best interest of the homeowners.
Mitt Romney in October, saying his plan for the housing crisis would be to "let it run its course and hit the bottom":
Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy up 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 processes that have long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.
So three months ago, Mitt Romney said the foreclosure crisis would cure itself if we just "let it run its course." Today, he dismisses that notion as "not real" and says we need to "help" banks so that they can do the right thing.
But even though that's a pretty big flip-flop in philosophy, one thing is consistent: he didn't want to directly help homeowners then, and he doesn't want to directly help homeowners now. In his view, it isn't people who need help: it's banks. And if you disagree, then you hate free enterprise.
12:16 PM PT: On Twitter, David Dayen pointed to a fuller transcript of Romney's remarks, highlighting in particular Romney's embrace of strategic default, which—if Romney sticks with it—would be a bit of good news, regardless of however much fun it is to poke at Romney's flip-flopping. He says he'll be posting more about it on his blog at FDL.
12:21 PM PT: More from David here.