Barney Frank: GOP paid price for ‘abysmal stupidity’ on climate change

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said climate change hurt Republicans at the ballot box Tuesday because Superstorm Sandy brought increased attention to the topic.

Frank noted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s endorsement of President Obama, which he said he made partially because of Obama’s position on climate change. The mayor said Sandy brought the election’s stakes into “sharp relief” for him.

“Climate change — it brought on the endorsement of Mike Bloomberg, because one of the things the storm did was to bring climate change to the fore. So, to that extent, if Republicans got hurt because of the storm, it was because of the abysmal stupidity of their position denying climate change. And yes, so the storm did remind people how wrong they were,” Frank said on MSNBC in a Thursday night interview.

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But Frank also downplayed the storm’s influence, instead casting the election — which brought Democratic gains in the House and Senate — as a wider endorsement of Democrats.

“Were people voting for Democrats in Montana and Indiana and Wisconsin and elsewhere because of the storm? I mean, did the people of those Midwestern states say, 'well, you know what, Obama did a good job in the storm, let's re-elect our senator?' ” Frank said on the “Rachel Maddow Show.”

Frank, the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, did not seek reelection. He has a contract with the William Morris Endeavors talent agency and indicated he plans to begin a new career as an author and political commentator once his term is up.