Republican presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney criticized President Obama's financial reforms and regulations on Tuesday, saying that the administration's financial regulations caused Florida's housing market to bottom out and homeowners to plunge even further into debt.
Both Gingrich and Romney have been critical of the Obama administration's policies and their effect on the economy, according to the Guardian.
Gingrich said that the Dodd-Frank was stalling recovery of the housing market and promised to repeal the act if he is elected.
“Dodd-Frank is a direct hit on the housing system in Florida,” Gingrich said, the Guardian reports. “You get regulators out of the way and you will, in fact, find it easier to sell houses, and you will see the prices of houses go back up.”
Romney blamed the entire housing collapse, which occurred during George W. Bush's presidency, on the current administration, arguing that the Obama financial regulations contribute to the problem.
“Now, the banks aren't bad people, they're just overwhelmed right now," Romney said, the Guardian reports. "The right course for America is to have a president who understands how to help our lending institutions, be creative, and find ways to keep people who can meet their payments stay in their homes."
The candidates faced off shortly before the primary in Florida, a state that was hit particularly hard by the mortgage crisis. Approximately half of Florida's homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.