On Friday night’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO, Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank, who is perhaps one of the most liberal members of the House of Representatives, said the Republicans should nominate former U.S. ambassador to China and former Utah Gov. John Huntsman — arguably the least conservative candidate in the field — to face President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.
“If I had to pick somebody to occupy the White House, it would be Jon Huntsman,” Frank said. “But I can — easily say for Huntsman because he is far too sane to be the nominee so I’ll never have responsibility for that.”
But his second choice was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, his House of Representatives colleague of 18 years. However, the reason were less ideological and more about politics.
“If I had my druthers, it would be Newt Gingrich,” Frank said. “Yes, because here’s the deal: Newt, poor Newt was struggling and he is convinced he is the intellectual leader of the free world. And when you think you’re the intellectual leader of the free world and you’re fighting to get ahead of Michele Bachmann in the polls, it is unsettling to you. It undercuts you. So he was looking for a way to get ahead and he decided that attacking me is one of the ways to do it.
“And I have to say this: We always like our colleagues to feel grateful. If, because he has attacked me, Newt Gingrich manages to get the nomination, the Democratic Party will owe me so much. I will have everything I want for the rest of my political career.”
Frank added there was an additional reason for backing Gingrich.
“The other thing is this and to be honest you know as a gay man, here with my partner Jim, I’m defending same-sex marriage,” Frank said. “If I’m going to have somebody opposing same-sex marriage and being the defender of heterosexual marriage, who better than Newt, who has done it more often than anybody else?”