Barney Frank Has a Lengthy History of Hating on Bernie Sanders



Bernie Sanders and Barney Frank have a long and stormy relationship. / Brennan Linsley / AP Photo and Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images

The retired Massachusetts lawmaker has been criticizing Sanders for a quarter-century.

From Eric Levenson at

Barney Frank, the wisecracking former Massachusetts congressman, has taken to criticizing Bernie Sanders and his supporters in increasingly harsh terms recently.

“Bernie Sanders has been in Congress for 25 years with little to show for it in terms of his accomplishments, and that’s because of the role he stakes out,” Frank said in an interview with Slate.

Frank, like most former and current Democratic politicians, supports Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination. But his distaste for Sanders is not new. It stretches back a quarter-century.

Ever since Sanders joined the House of Representatives in 1991, Frank has consistently and publicly slammed the Vermonter as personally abrasive, uninterested in compromise, and overly critical of would-be allies.

“I think he has unduly denigrated the institution and a lot of the members,” Frank told The New York Times in 1991. “It does not help leftist causes to make people think government is full of poltroons and charlatans.”

Those comments from Frank came after Sanders, an independent who self-identifies as a Democratic Socialist, proudly proclaimed his distaste for both political parties before and after his 1990 run for Congress. In a 1989 op-ed in The New York Times, for example, he called the two parties “tweedle-dee” and “tweedle-dum,” arguing they were both pawns of the wealthy.