After 45 years, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is retiring from his political career and is taking jabs at his opponents on his way out.
Although Frank admitted that redistricting in Massachusetts would have made his reelection difficult in 2012, he also said he was tired of the partisan politics, according to NYTimes.com.
The constant battle between Democrats and Republicans, Frank said, is “a competition between people of good will with different views on public policy,” NYTimes.com reports.
Frank blames that divide on former House speaker and Republican presidential primary candidate Newt Gingrich.
“Newt’s the single biggest factor in bringing about this change,” Frank said, according to NYTimes.com. “He got to Congress in ’78 and said, ‘We the Republicans are not going to be able to take over unless we demonize the Democrats.’ ”
Frank also blamed the conservative news media for the partisanship that plagues Washington, D.C., as well as moderate voters who he said do not express themselves enough.
Frank has controlled the Democratic side of the House Financial Services Committee since 2007. Last year, he co-authored the Dodd-Frank financial regulation overhaul law with former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.).
Frank said he remains a target of criticism and attacked as the Congressional figure most closely associated with the law.
“Being vilified by some of those people is a badge of honor,” Frank said, NYTimes.com reports. “My one regret about leaving is that some of these people may derive some comfort from it, but they shouldn’t, because I’m going to be there fighting them just as hard in this other venue.”