Interview with Representative Barney Frank

By The Ed Show, The Ed Show - January 23, 2012

Guests: Chris Matthews, Martin Bashir, Barney Frank, Richard Wolffe, Joan Walsh, Jonathan Alter

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW from New York.

Breaking news -- this is the contract that Mitt Romney`s all uptight about. So, Newt Gingrich just released it, we`ll go through it. The Freddie Mac deal. It`s kind of a sweet deal. And Sheldon Adelson just cut Newt Gingrich a $5 million check for a super PAC.

Mitt Romney is sinking in the polls, not only Florida but nationally. And guess what the Republican Party is doing? I think they are drinking tonight.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He was a failed leader. And he had to resign in disgrace.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We moved from Romney`s pious baloney to Romney`s desperate baloney. The president, he`ll be able to open a delicatessen.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The fight for Florida is now exploding on the campaign trial. And Newt Gingrich is now in front.

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I did not think I had lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the Republican nominee.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and "HARDBALL`s" Chris Matthews will help preview the debate.

Middle class Mitt is taking himself to the cleaners.

ROMNEY: We do our laundry at least once a week, because we`ll be on the road for 30 straight days. Who else you think is going to do our laundry?

SCHULTZ: We`re hanging Mitt`s glamorous life out to dry with Martin Bashir, Joan Walsh and Richard Wolffe.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: More spending, higher taxes, more regulation. And if that`s what the president is going to talk about Tuesday night, I think it`s pathetic.

SCHULTZ: And John Boehner is giving his opinion on tomorrow night`s State of the Union. Tonight, I`ll give mine. Jonathan Alter is here to preview the big speech.


SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks.

Don`t you get the feeling Washington is just thunderstruck that Newt Gingrich is where he is right now? Mitt Romney wants to stop Gingrich`s momentum but Florida is going to be a little trickier state to put an end to the surge from this guy from Georgia.

There are three Republican voting blocs in the Sunshine State if you want to break it down easily. First, the panhandle and northern part of Florida. There`s a large population of evangelical Christian voters up there. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum looking pretty good in that part of the state, we`re told.

Then there is the central part of the state, which is the home of actually a lot of people that aren`t from Florida, they are transplants that live down there. I spoke with Alan Grayson today, a friend of mine, the former congressman. He told me that 85 percent of the people in his district, in the middle of the state, are from out of state. And Grayson thinks that that region is probably going to Romney, probably solidly, too.

Finally, you have the southern part of Florida, and down in the southern part of the Florida, you, of course, have a lot of diversity, you have voting blocs made up of Cuban Republicans, and, of course, Jewish Republicans. Mitt Romney did not farewell four years ago, McCain took the Cuban vote down there and, of course, the Jewish vote, many people think is going to be locked up by Newt Gingrich.

So you have a very diverse state, but also a state that has been very fickle, that is subject to change. Rick Perry, he was the top of the Quinnipiac Florida Poll back in September. A month later, Mitt Romney, he was in the lead. A little more than a month later, here comes Newt, he was leading by 13 points. And then Romney was back in the lead by 12 points at the beginning of January, just a few weeks ago. Now, an Insider Advantage poll today shows that Newt Gingrich back in the lead by eight points.

So, there`s been a lot of political movement down there and a lot of attitudes and they`re changing. And don`t forget the early voting.

Gingrich also closed the gap nationally. I tell you -- this is really what`s making the Republicans nervous. The daily Gallup tracking poll shows Romney is what? One point ahead of Newt Gingrich who has this terrible electability factor going against him?

Romney is going in the wrong direction. There is no question about that -- which is why he`s out there blasting Newt Gingrich in Florida today.


ROMNEY: He said in a debate, actually, that people who profited from the failed model of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ought to give back their money. Well, the speaker made $1.7 million in his enterprises from providing services to Freddie Mac, he ought to give it back. He`s got some records which could represent an October surprise. We could see an October surprise a day from Newt Gingrich.

Saying that Newt Gingrich is a lobbyist is just a matter of fact.


SCHULTZ: Did we just hear one of the wealthiest guys in the history of the country ever to seek the nomination say that somebody ought to give their money back? Come on, Mitt! You don`t give money away.

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