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Rep. Barney Frank On His Retirement 09:29
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Rep. Barney Frank after announcing he will not seek reelection in 2012, in Newton, Monday (AP)
Rep. Barney Frank after announcing he will not seek reelection in 2012, in Newton, Monday (AP)

Rep. Barney Frank announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

He cited several reasons for his decision, including what he described as the country's increased political polarization, which has made it more difficult to work within the political system to pass legislation.

"The most active people in politics - on both the left and the right - now tend to only read and hear only what they agree with," Frank told Radio Boston. "You have left and right parallel universes."

"You have left and right parallel universes."

Barney Frank

Also contributing to his decision not to run was the state's congressional redistricting. When the district map was redrawn earlier this month, Frank's district changed substantially, and he faced the daunting task of introducing himself to many constituents who's issues would have been new to him.

"I would have to campaign in a very substantially different district - more 300,000 new people," Frank said. "Which is very time consuming. And I have still the responsibility of trying to defend financial reform as the senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee from Republican efforts to undermine it."

In his remaining time in office, Frank said he plans to focus much of his attention on the deficit battle that's consumed Washington since this summer.

"I am determined to make a reduction in our excessive overseas military spending a part of that," Frank said.

Guest:

  • Rep. Barney Frank

This segment aired on November 28, 2011.

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