Rick Santelli: I Want to Set the Record Straight
First of all let me be clear that I have NO affiliation or association with any of the websites or related tea party movements that have popped up as a result of my comments on February 19th, or to the best of my knowledge any of the people who organized the websites or movements. By the way of background, I am not and never have been a stockbroker. Not that there is anything wrong with being a stockbroker. The home I have lived in for 20 years is a 2,500-square foot ranch. Not that there is anything wrong with owning a larger, grander house. I am currently an on air editor with CNBC. Prior to my 10 years in this capacity I was a member in good standing on both the Chicago Futures Exchanges. My career in the futures industry spanned 20 years.
Anyone who has watched my thousands of appearances on CNBC is well acquainted with my aggressive and impassioned style. Over the next several days CNBC.com will put up some of my other passionate broadcasts of the past. Since joining CNBC in 1999 I have not traded the markets in any capacity. As a financial reporter I have never shied away from trying to promote discourse and dialogue of the important issues that affect markets and therefore our lives. The one spot in particular that occurred on February 19th at roughly 8:15 est time and maybe lasted for a minute probably wasn't even in my top 5 in terms of intensity, energy, or controversy. It was unique in that it obviously struck a chord with the public thus inciting what can only be described as a groundswell of feedback from the public, the White House, the Internet, and the media at large. The President's plan addressing issues in the housing market was the topic; but only the tip of the iceberg in fact. The real nerve struck seems to be the pent up emotions felt by millions of Americans regarding spending TRILLIONS of dollars to fix the housing market, the banks, and the economy. SPECIFICALLY WHO WILL PAY....WHO WILL BENEFIT....and above all the governments role in all of this.
Just for the record I have NOT been in favor of any of the bailouts not in the Bush administration nor the Obama administration. Not for the banks, the insurance companies, or the homeowners that purchased homes they can no longer afford. I have consistently questioned the notion that hard working Americans that have played by the rules should be on the hook for others ill fated financial behavior. This is very easily proven....the record is in the video archives of CNBC for any media outlet interested in representing the facts. Furthermore, the "rant heard around the world" (as it has been named by the media) on February 19th was spontaneous....not scripted....and any person, organization, or media outlet that claims otherwise IS INACCURATE. If one merely watches the video (which we've included here in this column or which you can find through this link) it is clear that I stopped talking several times and only continued my commentary because I was prompted by the "Squawk Box" anchors. Though it has been reported that I am a registered republican I have no political agenda and any person, organization, or media outlet that claims otherwise IS INACCURATE. I hope that the President and the final stimulus plan succeed.
Many millions of Americans seem to agree with my position otherwise why would this "rant" be so much different than many of my impassioned comments of the past. Why would the Internet light up the way it did if people did not feel so strongly. The answer seems pretty obvious; the nerve I struck resonated across the country. I love my country and hope that the current administration succeeds in fixing the complicated economic and social issues our country now faces. Trillions of dollars of debt are being created without a commensurate amount of debate by all involved. And the idea that future generations unable to voice an opinion or vote may be saddled with mountains of debt through no fault of their own, is an issue too large to shirk from.
If one doesn't agree with my opinions....I can respect that. It is very American to disagree. It is very UN-American to belittle or ignore the FACTS, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, or the voices of millions of Americans that demand better answers, more transparency, deeper accountability, and the simple idea that our elected officials represent all Americans. All Americans should be treated fairly and equitably as our government puts forth solutions. Mr. Gibbs, the President's Press Secretary, said I did not read the Presidents Mortgage Plan; for the record, I did read the plan and listened to it live as President Obama was presenting it. Anyone who knows me or views CNBC regularly is keenly aware of the fact that I am exceedingly thorough in my homework.
My immediate goal is to go back to my day job as an on air editor on CNBC and a writer for CNBC.com. I will continue to be passionate about what I do and I will always try to spark debate on critical economic and financial issues.
Many thanks for the support as expressed in emails, and letters. This is a critical moment in our nation's history and it is important to continue to discuss and debate all viable solutions.
Watch the original "Shout Heard Round the World" video clip. Plus, share your opinion here.
Read more about Rick's Revolution on CNBC.com.