Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should the government continue to fund Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, in a paper written by two of his cabinet agencies (Treasury and HUD), published the following description of administration goals in the Feb. 2011 report "Housing Finance Market: A Report to Congress," available at www.treasury.gov:
"The Administration will work with the Federal Housing Finance Agency ('FHFA') to develop a plan to responsibly reduce the role of the Federal National Mortgage Association ('Fannie Mae') and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ('Freddie Mac') in the mortgage market and, ultimately, wind down both institutions. We recommend FHFA employ a number of policy levers – including increased guarantee fee pricing, increased down payment requirements, and other measures – to bring private capital back into the mortgage market and reduce taxpayer risk. As the market improves and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are wound down, it should be clear that the government is committed to ensuring that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have sufficient capital to perform under any guarantees issued now or in the future and the ability to meet any of their debt obligations. We believe that under our current Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements (PSPAs), there is sufficient funding to ensure the orderly and deliberate wind down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as described in our plan.
Successful reform will require more than just winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reducing other government support to the housing market." Feb. 2011 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following on his campaign website page "Housing," available at www.mittromney.com (accessed Sep. 17, 2012):
"Right now taxpayers are on the hook for almost 90 percent of all new mortgages. The two government-sponsored government housing corporations (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) fueled a predictable disaster...
In towns across the nation, foreclosed homes sit empty, depressing the value of entire neighborhoods. The government owns about 200,000 of these homes, or almost half of all of the foreclosed homes in the country. Mitt Romney will responsibly get the government out of the homeownership business and return these vacant homes to productive uses that will increase neighboring home values...
Any serious plan for ending the housing crisis must address its root cause. Two government-sponsored companies known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were at the center of the housing crisis. Mitt Romney will reform these government-sponsored companies to protect taxpayers from additional risk in the future by ensuring taxpayer dollars in the housing market are replaced with private dollars." Sep. 17, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was quoted in an Aug. 1, 2012 article "Stein and Honkala Arrested in Protest of Foreclosure Giant Fannie Mae," available at www.jillstein.org:
"The developers and financiers made trillions of dollars through the housing bubble and the imposition of crushing debt on homeowners. And when homeowners could no longer pay them what they demanded, they went to government and got trillions of dollars of bailouts. Every effort of the Obama Administration has been to prop this system up and keep it going at taxpayer expense. It's time for this game to end. It's time for the laws be written to protect the victims and not the perpetrators. It's time for a new deal for America, and a Green New Deal is what we will deliver on taking office." Aug. 1, 2012 Jill Stein
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), stated the following in the Dec. 15, 2011 Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, IA, hosted by Fox News:
"First, my policy is to break up both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…Second, I want to state unequivocally, for every person watching tonight, I have never once changed my positions because of any kind of payment. Because I -- the truth is, I was a national figure who was doing just fine, doing a whole variety of things, including writing best-selling books, making speeches. And the fact is, I only chose to work with people whose values I shared and having people have a chance to buy a house is a value I believe still is important in America." Dec. 15, 2011 Newt Gingrich
[Editor's Note:Bloomberg News reported on Nov. 16, 2011 that Gingrich was paid between $1.6 million and $1.8 million as a consultant for Freddie Mac.]
[Editor's Note: Prior to Newt Gingrich's 2009 Con position above, he held a Pro position as indicated in his Apr. 24, 2007 interview with Freddie Mac below.]
“I think it is telling that there is strong bipartisan support for maintaining the GSE [government-sponsored enterprise] model in housing. There is not much support for the idea of removing the GSE charters from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. And I think it’s clear why. The housing GSEs have made an important contribution to homeownership and the housing finance system. We have a much more liquid and stable housing finance system than we would have without the GSEs. And making homeownership more accessible and affordable is a policy goal I believe conservatives should embrace. Millions of people have entered the middle class through building wealth in their homes, and there is a lot of evidence that homeownership contributes to stable families and communities. These are results I think conservatives should embrace and want to extend as widely as possible. So while we need to improve the regulation of the GSEs, I would be very cautious about fundamentally changing their role or the model itself.” Apr. 24, 2007 Newt Gingrich
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, stated the following in an article titled "Shutting Down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," posted on his official campaign website, www.jon2012.com (accessed Jan. 17, 2012):
"As president, Jon Huntsman will dismantle Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Eliminating the GSEs should not be controversial. At its heart, the Panic of 2008 was a crisis born of crony capitalism. It is unconscionable that five years after the start of the housing crisis, these companies have not seen a serious reform proposal and most of their executives are still in power.
Today Fannie and Freddie purchase more than 90 percent of new mortgage originations. This is not evidence of the lack of a private market for loans, but is an illustration of a private sector forced to cede the field due to an inability to compete with state subsidies.
The firms cannot be unwound overnight nor can they simply be privatized. Pure privatization would result in new systemically risky too-big-to-fail private sector institutions. Governor Huntsman’s administration will oversee the creation of a new Resolution Trust Corporation along the lines of what was used to resolve the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. This reconstituted RTC will sell off Fannie’s and Freddie’s assets. Its predecessor was able to close almost 800 thrifts in six years; the unwinding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be accomplished in a somewhat longer but similar time frame." Jan. 17, 2012 Jon Huntsman
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in an Aug. 28, 2010 article "Let the Housing Market Normalize!," available at paul.house.gov:
"Recently there have been some encouraging signs that Congress is finally willing to admit what should have been evident two years ago. Even after a $150 billion bailout, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still bankrupt and should be abolished. Indeed Rep. Barney Frank, a longtime champion of Fannie and Freddie has made a few statements alluding to this and I have signed on to a letter asking him to clarify his remarks and hold hearings on this topic. There seems to be a growing consensus in favor of abolishing Fannie and Freddie. This is the good news.
The bad news is that instead of simply returning to the free market,Fannie and Freddie will probably be replaced with something equally damaging, and at this point we can only guess what that will be. One possibility is that instead of these two giant Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) the government will deputize thousands of smaller banks to do the same thing – that is to securitize mortgages with taxpayer guarantees to encourage lending that otherwise would not happen. In other words, there will be a myriad of smaller Fannies and Freddies, and government involvement will reach even deeper into the financial sector.
Fannie and Freddie, and thus the taxpayer, has an alarming $5 trillion exposure to the mortgage market. To some, spreading out this risk might seem tempting, and a smart thing to do. But the fact remains that if a bank expects to lose money on a loan, so will the taxpayers. Playing around with structures and definitions will still not deal with the root problem – government meddling in the housing market, playing fast and loose with our tax dollars, and central planning by the Federal Reserve." Aug. 28, 2010 Ron Paul
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, wrote the following in "Governor Rick Perry's 2020 Vision: Uproot & Overhaul Washington," posted on his campaign website RickPerry.org on Nov. 15, 2011:
"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be phased out and returned to the private sector...
[T]he current economic and financial crises prove that more than anything else, the federally guaranteed and taxpayer-backed Fannie/Freddie business model succeeded only in creating horrible investment incentives that led directly to the mortgage and housing meltdown...
Going forward, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must be completely removed from the federal government's balance sheet, either through a gradual liquidation of investment portfolios or a completely private spin-off from its current government conservatorship." Nov. 15, 2011 Rick Perry
Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, stated the following on the Jan. 5, 2012 MSNBC television program Martin Bashir, available at YouTube.com:
Martin Bashir: "What was your reaction when you learned, for example, that Newt Gingrich banked almost $2 million from services to Freddie Mac?"
Buddy Roemer: "… I was dismayed, I mean, to pick on Newt a second, I mean to be in bed with the size of government, with two agencies [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] that ought to be disbanded. Let me say it again: they ought to be disbanded. We have spent $180 billion of the taxypayers’ money and there is no solution in sight. Disband them." Jan. 5, 2012 Buddy Roemer