O'Reilly falsely claimed Frank advocated that "poor people ought to be given mortgages 'cause everybody has a right to a house"

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that prior to the housing crisis, Rep. Barney Frank had been "pumping it that poor people ought to be given mortgages 'cause everybody has a right to a house." In fact, Frank has consistently taken the position that the government should focus on the expansion of affordable rental housing, rather than enacting policies geared toward universal home ownership.

On the February 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that prior to the housing crisis, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) had been "pumping it that poor people ought to be given mortgages 'cause everybody has a right to a house." In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, Frank has consistently taken the position that the government should focus on the expansion of affordable rental housing, rather than enacting policies geared toward universal home ownership. Indeed, in a 2006 speech on the House floor, Frank stated: "I always want to make it clear to people that while homeownership is very important, it should not be considered all of our goal in the housing area. A large number of people, for economic reasons and other reasons, will be renters." Further, in a profile of Frank for the January 12 edition of The New Yorker, staff writer Jeffrey Toobin wrote: "According to Frank, at the root of the real-estate crisis was a misguided notion that homeownership should be available to all people -- what President Bush has called 'the ownership society.' " Toobin quoted Frank saying in a speech that home ownership "is not suitable for everybody." In his profile, Toobin also addressed Frank's efforts to preserve and expand housing for low-income renters.

As Media Matters previously documented, O'Reilly falsely claimed on the February 11 edition of The O'Reilly Factor that Frank "wanted to give mortgages to everybody."

From the February 20 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Now, is it just the personal responsibility issue, that people, some of them poor, some of them wealthy -- you know, the wealthy people bought big McMansions they couldn't afford. So it's across all economic spectrum.

Barney Frank pumping it that poor people ought to be given mortgages 'cause everybody has a right to a house. It's every -- it's all across. Is it just the personal responsibility thing that has you torqued off, or is it Obama's solution to de-intensify the banking crisis by readjusting mortgages? Which is it?

GLENN BECK (Fox News host): I don't even think I understand the second part of that, so I'm going to go with A.

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bill O'Reilly
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor
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