CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Democratic National Convention is a swan song of sorts for longtime Rep. Barney Frank, who’s retiring at the end of the year, after his 16th term.
But instead of going quietly, Frank, who speaks to the convention Wednesday night and believes President Obama will be re-elected, is using his very visible platform here to rail against the thought of a possible President Mitt Romney next year.
“There is this argment that Romney is putting out that as president, because of his business experience, he’ll be a job creator — that there’s something about his private sector experience that would make him almost a new phenomenon as the chief executive of government,” Frank said. “Well, if that were true, we would have seen it in Massachusetts.”
Frank argues that Romney does not have a strong record of creating jobs in Massachusetts, but he said Romney would take action that could further damage the economy.
-Democratic National Convention-
Select coverage from the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte:
- Patrick, Late Sen. Kennedy Play Big Role In Convention’s Opening Night
- WBUR Interview: Elizabeth Warren
- Warren’s Speech Plays Well At DNC
- Former Gov. Dukakis Hits Romney On Economic Record
- WBUR Interview: Sen. John Kerry
- Frank, Kerry Lash Into Romney
- Mass. Delegates Focused, Energized
- Commentaries: Payne & Domke
- Scenes From The Democratic Convention
- Updates From The Conventions
“Mitt Romney now says he wants to undo virtually everything we did to prevent a recurrence of this terrible economy,” Frank said, referencing his work on reforming financial regulations through the Dodd-Frank law.
If Romney wins and the Republicans take control of the Senate, Frank said the law bearing his name “will be effectively undone.”
He said Republicans would not repeal the law outright, but would gut it by appointing regulators who wouldn’t enforce the law and cutting funding to enforcement agencies.
Democrats, Frank said, need to make it clear to voters what the choice is.
“Mitt Romney wants to keep taxes low for people like himself — at the current level — he wants to increase military spending significantly over what Obama wants — and I think Obama wants too much — and he wants to reduce the deficit,” Frank explained. “That means devastation for every program we have to improve the quality of our lives.”
Frank said he believes Americans are better off than they were four years ago, after winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and improvements in the economy overall.
Voters “should ask Mitt Romney to show them how he’s going to make it better … and he won’t tell us,” Frank said.
And as Frank prepares for retirement, he said this last convention as a sitting congressman is not bittersweet.
“I feel, one, encouraged that I will be able after I leave office to speak out. I plan to be an active advocate, but I’m tired.”