RUSH: Yesterday on the Center for American Progress Action Fund website, ThinkProgress.org, a reporter was interviewing Representative Barney Frank (Democrat-Massachusetts). The question: “President Bush regularly said that getting Osama was not a top priority, and yet today, you had Eric Cantor who said, quote, ‘I commend President Obama who has followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice,’ and I’m wondering if you think President Bush deserves any credit here, Congressman Frank?”
BARNEY FRANK: For Eric Cantor to phrase it that way, to say he “followed the vigilance of President Bush” is a degree of cheap partisan that exceeds even when I expected from Cantor. Frankly, my one serious criticism of President Obama is that he’s shown too much continuity with President Bush. I wish he was a little less, uh, connected to President Bush with regard to the tax cuts and with regard to I’waq and Afghanistan.
RUSH: Yeah, folks, isn’t that amazing. Look at all the Bush policies that President Obama is keeping in place. Virtually all the military policies. The Bush tax cuts are in place. Barney Frank is not happy about it. So we move on to CNBC Squawk Box. The cohost is Joe Kernen. He said, “Congressman, we love your feistiness. Just gonna try and get you going here, see if I can do it. Looking at the Wall Street Journal today, they’re talking about this is also a moment to salute George W. Bush. I saw that yesterday Eric Cantor tried to make the same claim, and you said that he didn’t even expect from Eric Cantor to be that deeply partisan, to actually thank George W. Bush. Don’t you think it’s partisan to not say that Bush had anything to do with this, Congressman?”
BARNEY FRANK: I am struck by your intro into this that you’re gonna try to get me, eh, eh, eh to — to be, ehhh, feisty.
KERNEN: Oh, come on! You love this.
BARNEY FRANK: No. I’m sorry. Please don’t interrupt.
KERNEN: All right.
BARNEY FRANK: I’m sorry. Look, you know, I — I gotta be honest with you. I — I — I’m asked to come on your show. I’m glad to have a thoughtful, serious conversation.
BARNEY FRANK: But when you tell me, “Oh, no,” your purpose is to needle me, to trying to get me to get upset, that’s really not worth getting up early for, to be honest with you.
KERNEN: Oh, come now.
BARNEY FRANK: Now can I get to the substance?
KERNEN: All right. Yes.
BARNEY FRANK: I said, and I mean it, that if this had happened under Bush, the Repub’wicans would not have said Bush and Clinton, because the effort to kill Osama Bin Laden started under Bill C’winton, who began this effort and tried to kill him and — and almost was able to do it.
RUSH: Well, let’s not forget, Congressman Frank, that Bill Clinton was offered Osama Bin Laden twice, head on a silver platter. Sudan offered us Bin Laden, and Clinton said (impression), “Ah, we don’t have the legal procedures in place. I — I don’t want any part of the guy.” It was a law enforcement issue back then and they had no mechanism to accept Bin Laden. But here comes the revisionism now. So Clinton was the first guy that wanted to wipe out Bin Laden. (Frank impression) “We know that P’wesident Bush would not have th’said this at all.” Kernen wasn’t finished. “Could you at least concede then that a lot of the structure that Bush put in place is an enemy combatant, a lot of the things that are just driving the left crazy are now being adopted by the Obama administration and had something to do with his final triumph. How about that?”
BARNEY FRANK: I would, first of all, reject the kind of rhetoric you engage in, “drive the left crazy.” I don’t think legitimate c’witicism about whether we ought to say in this country or not is — is, ehhh, craziness. You say would I “concede” that some of this was from Bush. I don’t concede it because I never denied it. I didn’t say that the Bush administration had nothing to do with it — and, yes, I do think that in some deg’wee President Obama should — should, uhh, make more changes.
RUSH: Right. The left not happy, hasn’t gone far enough. Close Gitmo! Follow through here. Shut down West Point and get us out of Afghanistan and Libya. Get us out of these places.” That’s why the left is unhappy. So Kernen finally says, “Look, I hope you’ll come back, as I want to talk to you about Massachusetts state legislature. Public unions, too. I’d love to get your opinion on some of that, but I wouldn’t want you to get too mad at me if I were to ask you about that.”
BARNEY FRANK: Excuse me. I’m sorry, but I really do take exception to that. I only get mad at you when you prefaced your question by saying, “Let me see if I can get you to be, ehh, too feisty, et cetera. I’m always g’wad —
KERNEN: I like you to be feisty!
BARNEY FRANK: — to come on and have a thoughtful conversation.
KERNEN: We got… Like I said, we have Howard Dean coming up. Watch him.
BARNEY FRANK: No, no.
KERNEN: He’s gonna… He might even —
BARNEY FRANK: No, no.
KERNEN: — do that yell when he comes on.
BARNEY FRANK: P’wease. You want to back off it, okay, but you said, you know, you were trying to sort of pick a fight, or trying to say something —
KERNEN: Oh, I’m not.
BARNEY FRANK: — that would be —
KERNEN: It’s cable!
BARNEY FRANK: — controversial.
KERNEN: Congressman Frank, it’s cable. Come on.
BARNEY FRANK: Well, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please don’t denigrate your medium.
KERNEN: It’s not C-SPAN.
BARNEY FRANK: Even a cable sh… Well, then — then that’s unfortunate for cable. If you’re telling me that serious, thoughtful conversation without a lot of fireworks isn’t appropriate for cable, then I’m disappointed.
RUSH: That’s Barney Frank with the standard turn on CNBC. (laughing) “It’s cable! Come on, it’s cable!” That’s right. Well, it’s Joe Kernen. What Kernen was saying is, “You know the game here. It’s cable. You act feisty, I ask you crazy questions to get you all worked up and you answer ’em.” By the way, Barney Frank… Just so you know, Barney Frank cosponsored the American Anti-Torture Act, which would outlaw waterboarding, outlaw renditions and every other enhanced interrogation technique. Barney Frank cosponsored the American Anti-Torture Act, which is what I mean. These people owe us an apology. If Barney Frank had had his way none of what happened on Sunday would have happened.
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