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In The Loop
Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 11/28/2011

Barney Frank’s quips: He might be retiring, but his rhetoric never was

Politicians are often obsequious speakers, and their responses to even the most outrageous affronts are typically, well, politic. Not so Barney Frank. The longtime Massachusetts Democrat, who reportedly will announce his retirement after more than 30 years in the House, has a tongue that’s more acid than silver.
Rep. Barney Frank (shown here in a vintage 1989 photo) is known for pithy quotes. (Charles Tasnadi - Associated Press)

We’ll miss his quips and pithy, sometimes withering comments. Here are just a few of our favorites. What are yours? Leave a comment below with your favorite Frank-isms.

“On what planet do you spend most of your time? Ma’am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to have an argument with a dining room table — I have no interest in doing it.” — Town hall meetings about health-care reform in 2009 were growing heated, with lawmakers often the target of angry rhetoric. Frank, however, wasn’t about to put up with it. Asked by a woman about Obama’s “Nazi” politics, he answered in typical form.

“At a time of great crisis with mortgage foreclosures and autos, he says we only have one president at a time. I’m afraid that overstates the number of presidents we have. He’s got to remedy that situation.” — In 2008, Frank called on then President-elect Obama to play a more aggressive role in the economic issues of the day.

“This bill is the legislative equivalent of crack. It yields a short-term high but does long-term damage to the system, and it’s expensive to boot.” — In 1986, Frank offered this explanation for his “no” vote on anti-drug legislation.


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