Fact Check: Elizabeth Warren Claims Michael Bloomberg Blamed Blacks and Latinos for Housing Crisis

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 25: Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks as former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (L) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (R) looks on during the Democratic presidential primary debate at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in …
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Claim: Michael Bloomberg Blamed Blacks, Latinos for 2008 Housing Crisis.

Verdict: Mostly false. Bloomberg cited poor neighborhoods not neighborhoods based on race.

At the Democrat debate on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) claimed Michael Bloomberg blamed blacks and Latinos for the 2008 housing crisis.

“While Mayor Bloomberg was blaming the housing crash of 2008 on African Americans and on Latinos,” Warren said. “In fact, I was out there fighting for a consumer agency to make sure people never get cheated again on their mortgages.”

“I have a housing plan and what it has in it specifically to deal with the affects of red-lining,” Warren said. “We can no longer pretend that everything is race neutral. We have got to address race consciously.”

It is not the first time that Warren has claimed Bloomberg blamed blacks and Latinos for the housing and financial crisis in 2008. She made the same assertion during the Las Vegas debate and her campaign has cited a 2008 interview at Georgetown University were he spoke broadly about the crisis but did not mention race, as Politifact reported:

“It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone. Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, ‘People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas.’”

“And then Congress got involved — local elected officials, as well — and said, ‘Oh that’s not fair, these people should be able to get credit.’ And once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like.”

Bloomberg also defended himself against the charges on the debate stage.

“I’m sorry but unfortunately she’s misinformed on red-lining,” Bloomberg said. “You can go back and look at the record.” 

“I fought against it before ’08, during ’08 and after that,” Bloomberg said.

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