The Washington Post

Frank, Steele dispute ends (for now) with a thank-you note

It seems that Planet Michael Steele and Planet Barney Frank might be aligning, if only for a brief moment.

Michael Steele might just agree with Barney Frank. (Alex Wong/GETTY IMAGES)

During the show, Frank was defending himself against charges by GOP candidate (and former House speaker) Newt Gingrich that Frank was to blame for allowing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go unregulated. The Massachusetts Democrat rightly noted that, erm, Republicans controlled the House between 1995 and 2006, so, as a Democrat, he couldn’t have “blocked” so much as a sandwich order from the majority.

But Steele, the former RNC chairman, was having none of that. He asserted that Republicans lost control of the House in 1996 (they didn’t) and that Democrats were in control until 2002 (they weren’t). He then proceeded to chide Frank for the “lapse of memory.”

Note to Steele: Lecturing Barney Frank usually isn’t a good move — particularly if your facts are wrong. But to his credit, it looks like Steele is prepared to eat a little bit of crow along with his Thanksgiving turkey.

Frank spokesman Harry Gural tells us that Steele responded to Frank’s public call for a correction. Gural says Steele e-mailed him thanking Frank for correcting the record and saying that he planned to send a longer note directly to Frank.

Looks like the holiday season is upon us.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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