Today during a press conference in Newton, Massachusetts, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) attributed his decision not to seek re-election in 2012 to the redistricting underway in the state of Massachusetts and a long-standing decision to exit public life before his 75th birthday. Frank added that he was weary of campaigning in a new district and worried that the addition of new constituents would force him to abandon signature issues.
Frank also took a shot at current GOP front runner Newt Gingrich, quipping, “I will neither be a lobbyist or a historian” and “I didn’t think I lived a good enough life to see Newt Gingrich be the Republican nominee.” Frank said he would be interested to debate the repeal of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act with the former House Speaker:
FRANK: I did not think I had lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the Republican nominee. It still is unlikely, but I have hopes. Let me say, for example, I intend to continue to be an advocate of public policy. I look forward to debating, to take one important example, the Defense of Marriage Act with Mr. Gingrich. I think he is an ideal opponent for us, when we talk about just who it is, is threatening the sanctity of marriage.
Frank said he is interested in writing and teaching in his retirement, adding, “I might show up pro bono someday for a gay rights case.”