Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) will be our first guest tonight and the timing couldn’t be better – just two days after Newt Gingrich soundly defeated Mitt Romney in the South Carolina GOP presidential primary.
As The Washington Post reported in November, Frank and Gingrich have been feuding since the 1980s, when Gingrich was rising to power in Congress and Frank was among the Democrats trying to cut him down.
Gingrich launched a fresh battle with Frank in October 2011 when the former Speaker made the astonishing assertion that Frank and former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), two top Democrats behind the Wall Street reform legislation, should be in jail instead of the bankers responsible for the financial meltdown.
“Let’s be clear who put the fix in: the fix was put in by the federal government,” Newt said during a GOP presidential debate. ”And if you want to put people in jail, I want to second what Michele (Bachman) said: you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and let’s look at the politicians created the environment, the politicians who profited form the environment and the politicians who put this country in trouble.”
Frank snapped back in an interview with Talking Points Memo:
“This notion we caused the problem that started while they were in charge even by Gingrich’s standards is very odd,” he said.
When Frank announced in late November that he was retiring, he couldn’t resist taking another swipe at Gingrich, who at this point had become the surprising front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination.
“I did not think I lived a good enough life to see Newt Gingrich as the Republican nominee,” Frank told reporters. “He would be the best thing to happen to Democrats since Barry Goldwater … It’s still unlikely, but I have hopes.”
Gingrich’s candidacy nearly collapsed in the weeks after Frank’s famous quote, thanks to a barrage of negative ads by Mitt Romney’s Super PAC. But Newt came roaring back in South Carolina to defeat Romney by 12+ points.
So with Newt back on top, is Frank back to living the good life?