Reacting to the news that Massachusetts
Rep. Barney Frank will
not seek a 17th term in 2012, President Barack Obama
thanked Frank for his service.
“This country has never had a
Congressman like Barney Frank, and the House of Representatives will
not be the same without him,” Obama said in a statement.
“For over 30 years, Barney has been a
fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans
everywhere who needed a voice. He has worked tirelessly on behalf of
families and businesses and helped make housing more affordable. He
has stood up for the rights of LGBT Americans and fought to end
discrimination against them. And it is only thanks to his leadership
that we were able to pass the most sweeping financial reform in
history designed to protect consumers and prevent the kind of
excessive risk-taking that led to the financial crisis from ever
happening again. Barney's passion and his quick wit will be missed
in the halls of Congress, and Michelle and I join the people of the
Bay State in thanking him for his years of service.”
GOP strategist Karl Rove argued in an
op-ed published at Fox
News that Frank, Congress' first openly gay member, would not be
“Mr. Frank's departure in January
2013 will remove from the House one of its more offensive members.
Until then, this petulant, abrasive and downright nasty Congressman
will keep making his presence known.”
Rove, who called Frank “brilliant,”
also suggested he should be leaving town for a reason other than
“However, it is unlikely that Mr.
Frank is leaving for the reason he should depart Congress:
out of shame for all he did to stop reform of Fannie and Freddie
while there was still time to avert the disaster that almost took
down the American economy.”
“Mr. Frank is incapable of feeling
shame, regret or a sense of personal responsibility. These are
emotions for lesser beings. He's leaving because of redistricting or
to avoid having to raise money or facing those nasty little voters
every two years.”
“The House will be a better place for
his departure,” Rove added.