Crossroads GPS: “Rubber Stamp Bailout”

Crossroads GPS continues to take deeply misleading shots at Heidi Heitkamp’s record in the North Dakota Senate race, this time with an ad designed to suggest that Heitkamp is Wall Street’s candidate, and that President Obama and the Democrats were behind the bailout of the financial sector. President Bush’s bank bailouts were thoroughly bipartisan, though, and nowhere near as costly as they initially seemed. And if you can judge Wall Street’s feelings about the ND race by looking at where they’ve spent their money, it’s clear they believe Rep. Rick Berg (R) will represent their interests better than Heitkamp.

Bipartisan Bank Bailout Helped Avert Possible Depression

Rescue Efforts Helped Avert “Great Depression 2.0.” From Bloomberg: “The U.S. response to the financial crisis probably prevented a depression, slowed a decline in gross domestic product and saved about 8.5 million jobs, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi said. Policies including the government fiscal stimulus, bailouts of financial companies, bank stress tests and the Federal Reserve’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities to lower interest rates ‘probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0,’ Blinder and Zandi said in a report dated yesterday. Without those measures, the U.S. would have deflation, they said.” [Bloomberg, 7/28/10]

On National Television, “President Bush Strongly Urged Lawmakers To Pass His Administration’s $700 Billion Bailout For The Financial Markets” In 2008. As reported by MarketWatch: “President Bush strongly urged lawmakers to pass his administration’s $700 billion bailout for the financial markets on Wednesday, spelling out dire risks to the U.S. economy if Congress doesn’t act quickly. ‘We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis,’ Bush said in a nationally televised address. ‘Our entire economy is in danger,’ as a result of the credit crunch, he said, and inaction on the plan could result in a ‘long and painful recession.’” [, 9/24/08]

Congress Passed The Bailout With Significant Bipartisan Support. According to the New York Times: “The Senate approved the bailout measure on Oct. 1, 2008, on a bipartisan vote of 74 to 25. The House initially rejected the proposal, but under prodding from the White House and leading members of both parties, House members ultimately voted 263 to 171 for the bill, with 91 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in backing it; 108 Republicans and 63 Democrats voted no.” [New York Times, 7/11/10]

Bailouts Have Not “Added Significantly To The Debt.” An analysis by concludes “it’s not the case at all” that the bailouts “added significantly to the debt.” According to the Congressional Budget Office: “CBO estimates that the net cost to the federal government of the TARP’s transactions, including the cost of grants for mortgage programs that have not been made yet, will amount to $32 billion. CBO’s analysis reflects transactions completed, outstanding, and anticipated as of February 22, 2012. That cost stems largely from assistance to American International Group (AIG), aid to the automotive industry, and grant programs aimed at avoiding home foreclosures: CBO estimates a cost of $56 billion for providing those three types of assistance. But not all of the TARP’s transactions will end up costing the government money. The program’s other transactions with financial institutions will, taken together, yield a net gain to the federal government of about $25 billion, in CBO’s estimation.” [, 6/15/12; Congressional Budget Office, 3/28/12]

Wall Street Is Betting On Rick Berg, Not Heitkamp

Rep. Berg Has Raised 10 Times As Much From The Securities & Investment Industry. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Rep. Rick Berg has raised $270,083 from the Securities & Investment industry, compared to Heitkamp’s $27,713. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 10/16/12]

Rep. Berg Has Raised Over $600,000 From The Finance, Insurance And Real Estate (FIRE) Industries – Compared To Heitkamp’s $85,000. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Rep. Rick Berg has raised $270,083 from the Securities & Investment industry, $61,636 from miscellaneous financial firms, $119,011 from the Insurance industry, and $162,583 from the Real Estate industry. Heidi Heitkamp has raised $27,713 from the Securities & Investment industry, $31,270 from miscellaneous financial firms, $26,494 from the Real Estate industry, and zero dollars from the insurance industry. Altogether the FIRE sector has given $613,313 to Berg’s campaign, and $85,477 to Heitkamp’s. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 10/16/12]

[NARRATOR:] When Main Street was suffering and while millions of Americans were losing their jobs and homes, Heidi Heitkamp supported the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Heitkamp said: [HEITKAMP CLIP:] “it was an investment in the economy.” But as working families struggled, Wall Street paid out huge bonuses to executives. Heitkamp supported more spending and debt, just like Barack Obama. North Dakota can’t afford an Obama rubber stamp. Crossroads GPS is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Crossroads GPS via YouTube, 10/16/12]