Barney Frank: Dems, unions made 'big mistake' in pushing for Wisconsin recall

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed unions and liberal activists for pushing to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R).

"I think the people on the Democratic side made a big mistake and the funding thing was a big deal," Frank told The Hill Wednesday afternoon, alluding to Republicans' big cash advantage in the race. "My side picked a fight they shouldn't have picked. The recall was upsetting to people, the rerun of the election with [Democratic Milwaukee Mayor] Tom Barrett — it's not a fight I would have picked."

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Walker survived the recall by a comfortable 7-point margin over Barrett on Tuesday, leading Republicans to crow that the state is in play in the fall and claiming the vote was an affirmation of Walker's tough policies towards public-sector unions. When asked if the race had any national implications, Frank shook his head.

"People need to be more strategic about the fights they pick," he said.



The retiring congressman, known for his bluntness, is not the first Democrat to blast his own side for pushing for the recall: former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) told The Hill earlier on Wednesday that the race was a "dumb political fight" for labor to have picked.