Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) might soon be out of Congress, but he’s not out of politics.
the 16-term congressman used a news conference on Tuesday intended to focus on his impending retirement to take potshots at the field of Republicans vying to take on President Obama in 2012.
“Is Newt Gingrich going to be the nominee? then we win it back,” Frank said of the House seat he is vacating.
asked about concerns that the financial regulation bill he co-sponsored would be repealed by Republicans, Frank said it depends on whether the GOP takes control of the White House — and with which candidate.
“I think Rick Perry is for repealing the parts he can remember,” Frank said, mocking the Texas governor for an embarrassing memory lapse in a recent debate.
during the four decades Frank has served in the House, his media appearances have become notorious for featuring his acerbic wit and capricious attacks on his Republican detractors — including Newt Gingrich, with whom he frequently sparred during Gingrich’s rein as Speaker of the House.
Gingrich’s campaign told the Hill on Monday that the former Speaker had no comment about Frank’s retirement.
Frank also listed off the reasons he found it shocking that voters were taking Gingrich’s candidacy seriously: marital difficulties, ethics fines and allegations he lobbied for government-backed mortgage company Freddie Mac. but he described a GOP ticket with Gingrich’s name on top as a serendipitous blessing for Democrats and Obama.
“I guess I channeled my grandmother, but from Joe McQuaid’s lips to God’s ears,” Frank said, referring to the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, which endorsed Gingrich on Sunday.
but Frank said Gingrich’s chances were being aided by public disdain for the GOP front-runner whose previous job as a public servant was presiding over Frank’s home state of Massachusetts.
“The distaste for Mitt Romney is so strong that it outweighs some of Gingrich’s problems,” he said.