From this Friday's Charlie Rose Show on PBS, Rep. Barney Frank didn't hold back with his thoughts on two of our current crop of GOP Republican primary candidates, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. Frank had plenty to say about Santorum's attitude toward the gay community and women's reproductive rights and Mitt Romney's naked ambition where he, as Frank put it is "a man totally unburdened by any conviction except that we would all be better off if he was running things."
And once again, as we saw when Newt Gingrich actually dared to call Mitt Romney a liar out loud, we get feigned shock from Rose when Frank simply tells the truth about how callous Rick Santorum is towards the gay community.
ROSE: You obviously served on Congress with Rick Santorum.
FRANK: Yes I did.
ROSE: What do you know about him?
FRANK: That he's one of the meanest people in terms of public policy I've ever encountered.
ROSE: Do you really mean that?
FRANK: Well, what would you characterize in response?
ROSE: I'll give a better question, which is why do you think that?
FRANK: Because when the Supreme Court of Massachusetts said that two men who were in love could marry each other, he compared that to human beings having sex with dogs. He said, “What's next, man on dog?” That is a degree of vitriol and bigotry that I find outside of anything I would accept as reasonable.
I think there is an, as I said a general kind of meanness in his response to gay and lesbian people that is simply, as I said, terribly mean.
ROSE: Is that primarily what it is in terms of your characterization of him as one of the meanest people you knew, his attitude towards...
FRANK: Well, that's one of them. And another is his attitude on the question of abortion. Now I understand people who are philosophically of abortion, although I have said as I've said of Ronald Reagan, that I have trouble with people who believe that from the Federal government's standpoint life begins at conception and ends at birth, so they're not prepared to do anything to help these children once they have been brought into this world or their mothers.
But there is an anger that he expresses. I think a woman... you can say that a woman who has been raped or a woman who is young and poor, who already has a couple of kids and finds herself pregnant when she didn't want to be, birth control failed, you may disagree with her decision to have an abortion. I think the way he characterizes them is much harsher than it ought to be...
ROSE: Go ahead. While we're talking about Republicans, you were a Congressman from Massachusetts. Mitt Romney was the Governor of Massachusetts. How do you see him?
FRANK: As a man totally unburdened by any conviction except that we would all be better off if he was running things. You know, anybody in elected office is going to take the public into account and that's what they want to write about, what is this tension between what you want to do in a democracy. But Mitt Romney is a man who has shown no evidence that he cares about anything except, his confidence in his own ability and I am appalled that the extent to which he will say almost anything at any given time.
In 1994 he said he would be a better supporter of gay rights than Ted Kennedy...
ROSE: In 19...
FRANK: ...94 when he ran for the Senate.
ROSE: Against Ted Kennedy?
FRANK: Yes. He's flipped on the environment. He's flipped on abortion. He's flipped on almost every issue. As Governor, my problem with him was that he, clearly at some point... the best... there's a Republican Steve Crosby, a moderate Republican who worked for the Governor as well... and who said of Mitt Romney, “You know, we've heard of politicians getting Potomac fever” he said “he had Potomac Ebola virus” because he became Governor and increasingly did almost nothing for the state, wouldn't even run for reelection.
So I was very disappointed. I think the problem is, look, we're all ambitious, you know. You don't go out and do this if you're some totally humble people... St. Francis of Assisi ain't running for Congress. But Mitt Romney has such naked ambition and the lack of concern for anything else that I find if appalling.