Barney Frank: People Who Are Supporting Gingrich Are Not Persuaded By Electability Issue


Ed Schultz asked Barney Frank about his previous statement when he announced his retirement that "I did not think I had lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the Republican nominee" and whether he still felt that way with Gingrich's win in South Carolina and his rise in the polls in Florida.

As Frank pointed out, the voters Gingrich are appealing to are the far right-wing of the Republican Party who are still just furious that President Obama was ever elected.

FRANK: What Gingrich has made himself is the embodiment of that anger and the people who are supporting Gingrich are not persuaded by the electability issue, because I've seen this. Often when you have people who are very angry, who were very committed, they believe that they represent the majority. And they will tell you that in fact there are, as you know millions and millions of people that don't vote. And what happens if the most passionately committed often claim the non-voters as their supporters.

And I guarantee you that there are people there, tea party people and the others who believe if they can nominate Newt Gingrich and they get this unvarnished absolutely angry conservatism, that a lot of people who don't now give polls, who don't now speak out will come out and vote. And I guess this is in some ways going to be a test, because the Republican establishment is going to try to stop him, just as the Democrats tried to stop George McGovern. [...]

So this is a question of whether these angry people in the Republican Party have the courage of their conviction. I think they're wrong and that the country will not welcome them, but let's have that test. Let's take that unvarnished conservatism, that's not just conservatism, it's angry, right-wing radicalism, and let's put it out there.

Frank wasn't much kinder to Mitt Romney and expressed some similar sentiments to the ones he made during his interview on Charlie Rose's show where he said this:

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.


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