Barney Frank: In Crisis Time, Dems Worked With Bush — But GOP Shunned Obama

Appearing on CNN during the opening night of the Democratic convention, retiring longtime Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) argued that his party was willing to help President Bush weather the 2008 economic crisis — unlike Republicans, who he said refused to lift a finger to assist President Obama when he needed them.

“The problem there is that assumes even if he wasn’t doing health care, the Republicans would have been less obstructive on jobs. I’m afraid that’s not the case,” said the congressman, when asked if President Obama squandered too much capital on health care reform.

“Unfortunately, from the very beginning — look, look at the contrast. George Bush came to us on the Democratic side in late ’08 and said, we’re in a crisis, we need your help — and we gave it to him, very openly, very fully. Then Obama comes in to try to deal with the terrible situation he inherited from bush and the republican media went into full partisan attack. [Senate Republican Leader] Mitch McConnell announcing his number one goal was to defeat the president. I don’t think in the end the timing, unfortunately, would have helped a great deal.” 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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