ThinkProgress filed this report from a campaign event in Hampton, New Hampshire
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) continued leveling attacks on the Dodd-Frank financial reform law during two campaign stops in New Hampshire yesterday. According to Romney, who had previously indicated support for repealing the law and has attacked it repeatedly in the early stages of his campaign, tightening regulations on Wall Street financial firms is akin to “pouring molasses” on the economy.
But when a reporter asked him to name what he opposed in Dodd-Frank, Romney failed to offer any specifics, saying only that the bill was “massive” and repeating the claim that it is causing uncertainty:
REPORTER: Do you oppose all the provisions in the Dodd-Frank bill, or just specific aspects of it, and would you try to repeal Dodd-Frank if you were president?
ROMNEY: It’s 2,000 pages, I’m sure there’s something in there that’s good. I’ll be happy to take a look and perhaps line-by-line at some point lay out the provisions that I think are unfortunate. But it is so massive that many of the people in the financial industry simply don’t know what it will entail when all the regulation is completed. These kind of massive reworks of major industries cause those industries to retrench, and at the very time we need them to step forward, they have pulled back. So I’ll give you more detail as the campaign goes on, but this bill was too overreaching and too massive and has contributed to a slowdown in lending.
Romney’s lack of specificity on what he dislikes about Dodd-Frank begs the question: does he oppose what is actually in the law, or does he oppose it simply because the idea of regulating the industry that played a large role in bringing the American economy to the brink of ruin runs counter to his party’s, and Wall Street’s, platform?
Romney has consistently defended Wall Street from attacks and recently held a Wall Street fundraiser that netted his campaign $1 million. Top Wall Street executives oppose the law, and Republicans have listened, attempting to gut it during budget negotiations and, like Romney, falsely blaming regulators for creating “uncertainty” in the market, even as bank profits have skyrocketed.
Repealing Dodd-Frank, meanwhile, would prevent a host of new consumer protections from taking effect and would allow the nation’s largest financial institutions — including those at the center of the 2008 financial crisis — to operate just as they did before the crash. That apparently does not matter to Romney, who instead chooses to pretend the financial crisis never happened by fighting to repeal Dodd-Frank without even reading it.