On this weekend’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” outgoing Democratic Rep. Barney Frank locked horns with Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who wanted to focus on economic issues instead of gay marriage.
Frank, an openly gay member of Congress, claimed that Blackburn was relying too heavily on talking points.
“I do know — George, I have to say and I — you know, this is a good political science lesson for people about what a political party’s talking points are,” Frank said. “My colleague, Ms. Blackburn, has been instructed to talk about the economics first. And, while I would prefer to answer your questions, I do have to note that this Republican talking point, that women have lost jobs — the job losses came about because of the terrible recession … brought about under George Bush.”
Blackburn objected to Frank’s assertion, but then Frank lashed out at Blackburn and host George Stephanopoulos.
BLACKBURN: Oh, I have to correct that.
FRANK: … because the Republicans…
FRANK: I’m sorry. May I continue, George?
BLACKBURN: That’s incorrect information.
FRANK: George, George, what are the rules here?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finish the point, and then I want Congresswoman Blackburn to respond.
FRANK: Well, I’m responding to her point about the economy.
FRANK: I’m sorry. George, what are…
BLACKBURN: Barney, here — here is the thing — you had…
FRANK: Excuse me. George?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hold on. Hold on. Congressman…
FRANK: George, would you tell me what the rules are, please?
The two had a couple more dust-ups during the 13-minute segment, even as Stephanopoulos tried to peacefully end the debate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m afraid — I’m afraid we’re out of time this morning.
FRANK: George, let me be very clear.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Real quick.
FRANK: What she wants to do — and what all the Republicans want to do — is no regulation at all. Ms. Blackburn voted…
BLACKBURN: No, no, Barney. I didn’t speak for you. You don’t speak for me.
FRANK: Please let me …
BLACKBURN: No, you’re trying to speak for me. I will not allow you to do that.
FRANK: This pattern of interruption…
BLACKBURN: Good to be with you, George.
FRANK: George, you know, the pattern of…
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know what? I’m afraid — I’m afraid we’re out of time, Congressman. I’m afraid we really have run over…
FRANK: Well, I’m sorry, but she voted against this. This pattern of interruption and filibuster is really not a good way to discuss important issues. She voted for no regulation at all in 2010. They all did.
BLACKBURN: No. No, Barney. You can’t speak for me. I didn’t speak for you.
FRANK: That was the vote that you took — you voted…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you. I got to go. I got to go.
FRANK: I’m quoting your vote. I’m not speaking for you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you both for your time this morning.
FRANK: I’m quoting your vote.
BLACKBURN: Thank you. Good to be with you. Thanks.