Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton's plans to stanch losses in the U.S. housing market won't work, former Republican National Committee chairman and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez said Sunday. But Sen. Martinez was cool to what's been proposed by his party's likely nominee, Sen. John McCain.
"I have to say that for her to simply freeze foreclosures, which is a nice thought, just wouldn't work," said Sen. Martinez, according to a transcript of his appearance on CNN's "Late Edition" with Wolf Blitzer on Sunday. "But I would give Senator McCain an incomplete. He stated the obvious, which is that we cannot rescue those who made poor investments and poor decisions."
Sen. Martinez, a former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said the government needs to "modernize" HUD's Federal Housing Administration, which insures mortgages. He also called for more regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are on the front lines of the housing crisis.
When lawmakers return to the fray this week after a two-week recess, both parties will need to collaborate to find a fix to the crisis, Sen. Martinez said.
"I put a lot of responsibility on the Congressional leadership in the hands of the Democrats to get some things done to reach across party lines to reach to us Republicans that want to work with them," Sen. Martinez said.