Jacob Volkmann, the mixed-martial arts fighter who said last week he wanted to "knock some sense into that idiot" Barack Obama, told HuffPost on Wednesday that he regretted the comment in light of the Saturday assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that left six people dead.
"I would never make that comment if that shooting happened first," said Volkmann, 30.
The Arizona shooting has resulted in widespread, and sometimes controversial, calls for toned-down political rhetoric. Volkmann, whose remarks won him a customary visit from the Secret Service, is toning it down.
"I can't imagine what it's like for the parents," he said, reflecting on the massacre in Tucson. "I got a four-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy."
Volkmann, who has a fledgling chiropractic business, was upset with Obama over health care reform and the Making Home Affordable program.
"The Making Home Affordable plan, and then his health care plan, someone's gotta knock some sense into that idiot," Volkmann said, shortly after winning a cage fight. "I'm a chiropractor, so I know the health care situation is not good, but he's making it worse."
HuffPost asked Volkmann, who lives in White Bear Lake, Minn., about his experience with Making Home Affordable. He said he started trying to get his lender to lower his interest rate back in 2008. When MHA's signature Home Affordable Modification Program launched in 2009, he said, the bank told him he was ineligible because his home is too far underwater and because he doesn't make enough money.
"I told them I was struggling paying the bills," he said.
A HAMP modification typically reduces a borrower's monthly payments by $500. If an eligible homeowner makes reduced payments during a trial period that is supposed to last three months, the modification is supposed to become "permanent" for five years. But the program is falling far short of its original goal -- to reach 3 million to 4 million homeowners -- as more people have been bounced from HAMP mods than have been given permanent relief.
Negative equity is not supposed to be a HAMP dealbreaker, but mortgage servicers who violate the program's guidelines have not faced any consequences from the Obama administration.
Volkmann said he owes about $172,000 on an interest-only loan on a house he bought in 2006 that is now worth $79,000. He said the bank sent him a HAMP application after he stopped making payments late in 2009, but now he just wants to do a short sale.