On the day President George W. Bush visited a credit counseling service center in Freehold to address a national housing crisis, Democratic candidates for Congress seized the opportunity to denounce what they see as Bush’s failed economic policies.
"With about 3.5 million foreclosure filings since 2006, the Federal Reserve banks estimates that 2 million more are on the way over the next two years," said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "Meanwhile, new homes sales are at their lowest point in 13 years tumbling 40.6 percent in the Northeast alone. The President's short term foreclosure 'timeout' is a band-aid approach that does nothing to stimulate the economy or increase homeownership."
Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union), a candidate in the 7th District, said if elected she would work to restore fiscal responsibility and stop what she cited as the Bush administration’s "reckless spending" in Iraq that has resulted in budget deficits and depleted national security, in her view.
"It’s time to start solving our domestic problems like creating more good-paying jobs here at home, providing access to affordable, quality healthcare for every American, and developing a national energy policy that will end our dependence on foreign oil and lower gas prices from today’s $3.27 per gallon national average," Stender said.
State Sen. John Adler (D-Camden), a candidate for U.S. Congress in the 3rd District, was equally incensed by Bush’s presence today in New Jersey. The candidate fired off a press release, linking Bush with the GOP primary opponents competing to face Adler in the general election: Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly and defense contractor Chris Myers.
"The two Republican candidates for Congress support the president’s failed agenda that is devastating our economy and costing us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars in a war that Americans believe should be brought to a swift and responsible end," Adler said. "I am running for Congress to help undo the damage that George W. Bush has done to our economy, health care system, and middle class."
In the 4th Congressional District, Democratic candidate Josh Zeitz also depicted his opponent, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4) as an ally of the unpopular president.
"President Bush and Chris Smith's economic policies are failing millions of Americans," said Zeitz. "They turned a blind eye as gas prices, food prices, and the cost of education and health care went through the roof – choosing instead to focus on tax cuts for the very rich. Their inaction, coupled with a war we can't afford, has stretched many to the breaking point – and now we're watching the consequences play out across America."
Finally, in the 12th District, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt blasted Bush’s record and noted with irony on the occasion of the President’s appearance that Bush is a facilitator of the country’s economic woes.
"The President seems to think that if only homeowners were more informed and responsible in their mortgage actions, they wouldn’t be in this predicament," the congressman said. "In fact, the current economic policy – government deregulation and a lack of oversight of the speculation and trading by the mortgage and housing industries – has had a devastating impact on our families and on the economy as a whole."