Rep. Frank likens Republican field to characters from 'The Wizard of Oz'

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) took a trip down the yellow brick road Sunday, equating the GOP presidential field to the characters of "The Wizard of Oz."

Frank offered multiple broadsides to several Republican candidates, but said the 1939 film best captured many of the front-runners.

"Mitt Romney is the tin woodman without the heart, and Rick Perry is the scarecrow," he said on ABC's "This Week."

Perry, who suffered a high profile gaffe in a debate when he forgot the third federal agency he would eliminate as president, was likened by Frank to the character missing a brain.

"Newt's the Wizard of Oz," he added, referring to the fearsome character whose prominent appearance was defused after being revealed as a single man behind a curtain. "There's nothing there."

Frank, who previously said Gingrich as GOP candidate would be a huge boon for Democrats, singled out the former House Speaker for particular criticism, calling him the "anti-candidate."

“He would lose heavily and a lot of Democrats would win races in which there would be great fallout," he said. "I just think he is an obvious weak candidate."

In fact, Frank said Gingrich would only headline the GOP ticket if voters turn away from Romney.

"If he wins the nomination, it will be because Mitt Romney is understandably seen as insufficiently conservative, because the man is insufficiently anything if you look at principles," he said.

Frank is entering his last year in Congress, after announcing Monday that he would not seek reelection in 2012. However, while campaign years typically are bereft of legislative accomplishments, Frank said he believed the next year will be an anomaly, given the costs of inaction.

"If nothing happens this year…the Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of the year. Everyone’s taxes will go up," he said.

He added that the failure of the supercommittee now means that inaction would allow $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts, including heavy cuts to military spending, to go into effect in 2013.

Given the strong opposition, particularly from Republicans, to those automatic cuts, there is an impetus for Congress to actually reach an agreement to find replacement deficit cuts.

"There will have to be a deal, and so I think there will be a deal," he said. "You’re going to see this year, because of the consequences of inaction, an unusual situation where there will be action."

In particular, Frank thinks that need for action gives the edge to Democrats, given that conservative Republicans in this Congress have so often opposed potential compromises.

“In general, the people who want to say 'no'... have a certain leverage because total inaction, chaos is on their side," he said. "Unusually, this year, inertia has now become a force for action."