What this story illustrates is exactly how clever Newt is. Barney has just given him a national platform about an important issue and more publicity than he will ever get from his debate performance in and of itself. Of course, Barney had no choice but to respond. Afterall, who wouldn’t respond when someone is suggesting you should go to jail? Too bad for Barney, that many Americans agree with Newt.
From Talking Points Memo
Is it a violation of Congressional decorum to call for your former colleagues to be thrown in jail? Newt Gingrich lobbed a bomb early in Tuesday’s Bloomberg/Washington Post debate by telling the audience that he would like to imprison Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), co-authors of last year’s financial reform package. The attack drew a fierce and immediate rebuttal from Frank, who slammed the “self-styled intellectual leader of the free world” for his “very odd” comments.
“If you want to put people in jail, you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd,” Gingrich said in the debate. His remark came after the candidates were asked about the lack of criminal prosecutions of Wall Street officials in the wake of the financial crisis.
Moderator Charlie Rose offered Gingrich a chance to walk his remarks back, saying he surely didn’t mean they should actually go to jail. But Gingrich stood his ground, saying Dodd should be investigated for his ties to Countrywide Financial and Frank for his ties to Fannie Mae.
“All I am saying is, everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who were at the heart of the sickness that is weakening this country,” he said.
Frank said Gingrich’s anger over his and Dodd’s role in the financial meltdown was absurd given that Republicans were in charge of the House and — excerpt for a brief period — Senate, from 1995 to 2007.He noted that he worked on reform legislation on mortgage in his first year as chair in 2007.
“It’s interesting, the charge is failure to stop Newt Gingrich and Tom Delay from deregulating,” he said. “This notion we caused the problem that started while they were in charge even by Gingrich’s standards is very odd.”
Added Frank: “I wish I knew that he was willing to listen to my advice, I would have given him some: I would have told him not to impeach Clinton, I would have told his successors not to go to war with Iraq, and I would have told DeLay not to go on the dance show.”
read the rest at Talking Points Memo