Menendez warns Bush not to use N.J. as a photo op

President Bush will visit New Jersey today, speaking in Freehold to tout a new mortgage hotline. But U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez says Bush should have joined him a year ago when he began sounding “alarm bells on the housing crisis.”

“For more than a year, this tsunami of foreclosures has washed away the American dream for millions. The president has bent over backward to stabilize Wall Street, but he has never exerted much effort on helping the homeowners on Main Street,” said Menendez, a member of the Senate Banking Committee. “Homeowners across the country are drowning in out-of-control mortgage payments. The president must finally realize that their dire situation not only threatens to take away the American Dream from millions, it also has a direct effect on property values, on the credit crisis and on our entire slumping economy.

Menendez says he hopes Bush’s visit isn’t just a photo op.

“I would hope that the president is in New Jersey to finally announce a new broader-based, farther-reaching initiative to buoy homeowners who houses are slipping away. I would hope he is here to finally endorse some of the housing bills in Congress that his Republican colleagues have refused to support. What American homeowners can’t afford is just another photo-op or more baby steps.” Menendez warns Bush not to use N.J. as a photo op