Rep. Frank: Log Cabin Republicans 'self-abasing'

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Frank clarified on Thursday that the comparison was made because the Log Cabin Republicans's executive director had praised Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney's running mate, for being "willing to engage with them," and had also said it was good that the LGBT movement had gotten Republicans to "stop calling us quite so many names." It was unclear what comments exactly Frank was referring to, but he said that those were indications that Log Cabin Republicans were "self-abasing."

The openly gay lawmaker had previously criticized not just the Log Cabin Republicans, but LGBT-supportive Republicans overall for their support for Mitt Romney, saying the group was "on the wrong side of the election." He repeated essentially those same accusations today against Republican Richard Tisei, running to defeat Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) in the state's 6th Congressional District.

"If he gets elected, he will help advance this right-wing agenda, keep control of the Congress, keep any LGBT issues going forward, and in fact undermine all the other things that I think are very important to Massachusetts," he said.

Tisei is running a strong campaign against Tierney, who has been plagued by the scandal surrounding his family's illegal gambling ring. Republicans consider this race their best opportunity to pick up a House seat in deep-blue Massachusetts.

Though President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage was considered by some to be a risky political move, in that it could alienate some middle-of-the-road religious voters, Frank said that those willing to vote against Obama for his views on gay marriage were likely to vote against him anyway.

He did, however, say that Obama's support for gay marriage could boost enthusiasm among his supporters — potentially a key factor in some swing states, where Obama will need as much of his base as possible to turn out.

"I do think it'll be helpful to us in the LGBT community, electorally. I think it'll be helpful to the president, I think it'll help him motivate some people," he said.

But Frank admitted that LGBT rights were not likely to play a large role in the presidential election overall.

"I think the president's record on the Defense of Marriage Act, on the hate crimes bill and on 'Don't ask, don't tell,' those have been very important, but I don't think it'll be an amazing driver of the election one way or the other," he said.