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QUICK TAKE: Frank, Clyburn Describe Working With a Temperamental Gingrich QUICK TAKE: Frank, Clyburn Describe Working With a Temperamental Gingr...

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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

QUICK TAKE: Frank, Clyburn Describe Working With a Temperamental Gingrich

photo of Catherine Hollander
December 5, 2011

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has a temper, will say anything to make his point, and engages in personal attacks, according to statements from two veteran House members in separate appearances on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday.

Retiring Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., described the often-personal nature of attacks from the former House speaker. In October, Gingrich called for Frank to be thrown in jail for his role in the construction of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-reform law. 

“When people talk about what a despicable human being people like me are, then it becomes personal,” said Frank, who is openly gay and has worked to further gay rights. “Gingrich, he was more likely to make it personal.”

 

Frank helped pass the bill that put mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a government conservatorship during the subprime mortgage crisis. That meant the end of a retainer for Gingrich, who, Bloomberg reports, received well over $1 million in consulting fees for Freddie Mac. “My legislation cost him $30,000 a month, and I understand why he would take that personally,” Frank said.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., focused on the House Speaker's temper and willingness to say anything to make his point.

Clyburn described an incident in which the former House Speaker blamed a South Carolina woman’s drowning of her two sons on congressional Democrats. “You know, it’s the most amazing thing that he would just say things, and then he’d figure out some way to justify it later,”  he said.

Clyburn added that he didn’t think Gingrich would receive the Republican nomination.

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