Rudman Says Sununu Best Pick In Crisis
October 10, 2008
A former U.S. senator from New Hampshire called U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu better prepared than anyone to help oversee the Wall Street buyout of troubled assets.
Warren Rudman, a popular, two-term moderate Republican from Hollis, endorsed Sununu and said Democratic rival Jeanne Shaheen, as governor, failed to resolve the education finance crisis still gripping the state.
"It is my belief that in the next year Congress will be dominated by serious economic judgments and nobody is better prepared than John Sununu to do what needs to be done," Rudman said Thursday during a conference call with New Hampshire reporters and Sununu.
Rudman's law firm was retained to investigate accounting irregularities at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises that collapsed last month and held interests in more mortgages than any other U.S. entity.
"He was one of the lone voices that pointed out the situation with Fannie and Freddie was very dangerous that government ought to improve this regulation," Rudman said of Sununu.
And Rudman agreed with Sununu that Capitol Hill Democrats killed reform of Fannie and Freddie at a time when reform could have cut the impact of this financial crisis on middle-class families.
"It was the Democrats in Congress that shut that down," Rudman said. "Everyone knew they were being pressured to lend money, offer financing to people that didn't deserve credit."
Sununu said his vote as one of only 15 originally against the now-infamous "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska was with Rudman in mind as the co-author of the landmark federal budget deficit law along with former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm.
"When I cast that vote, I'm thinking about Warren Rudman and the kind of fiscal responsibility he championed while serving New Hampshire," Sununu said.
"All Jeanne Shaheen has talked about is reining in spending. When she was governor, she doubled state spending."
Rudman defended Sununu's vote for the $700 billion Wall Street buyout that it had to happen to put the economy on the road to recovery. Shaheen opposed the bill because she said it lacked tough enough oversight, needed more taxpayer protections and contained $150 billion in tax cuts that weren't paid for.
"To vote no is essentially put your head in the sand and let them fail," Rudman said.
The ex-senator also opposed ending of the Bush tax cuts now especially with the country facing a serious recession. Shaheen supports doing away with them and raising taxes on individuals making more than $250,000 a year.
"It is my view in this economic crisis right now any tax increases is probably a very poor idea," Rudman added. "A recession is the worst possible time. I might want to look at it a year or two from now."