CHRIS MATTHEWS, HARDBALL: Is this all PR advertising, big bucks for TV that made Ronald Reagan somehow a hero of an economy that had come back from the recession he created? He and Paul Volcker, in the early 60s, by '84 he was Mr. Cool. This president was hiding in the bushes this whole campaign because people didn't want him out there because he should have been embarrassed in some way. Explain the different psychologies of the two parties on the economy.
FMR. REP. BARNEY FRANK (D-MA): Well, it goes back, I think, to the terrible economic crisis and the Democrats had the worse [inaudible]. A crisis occurred, a terrible one in 2008, that was really brought about by Republican policies more than anything else, although there was some shared blame, the total deregulation and the resistance to any regulation. And the Democrats had the responsibility of cleaning it up.
You mentioned the auto effort, which was an enormous success. I believe if you poll the American people today, they would denounce the Democrats for bailouts. Everything that we call a bailout was started by George Bush. We helped make it work. But I think that's the lingering problem.
Secondly, and here is the problem with the economy, and it's a vicious cycle for the Democrats. It's the increasing inequality. Yes, we have the best economy in the developed world by a significant margin but very little of that is being felt by the average person. And in fact I think for people's income who have been frozen and who have not seen their own situation improve, they almost get angry when they hear things are good. So we're in a vicious cycle. People are blaming government because they're not getting a part of this prosperity. So they then vote for the people who are determined to make sure that the government doesn't do anything that would share things more equally.