Earlier this week, Gingrich negatively cited Frank and former Sen. Chris Dodd during the debate of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. ‘If you want to put people in jail,’ Gingrich said during a segment of the debate relating to the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, ‘you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.’ According to the New York Times, Frank responded to Gingrich's statement by shifting the blame for the economic crisis on the former Speaker of the House of Representatives.
‘The Republicans – part of the time under Newt Gingrich – ran Congress from 1995 until 2006, the period during which the financial crisis began and then rose to disastrous proportions,’ said Frank. ‘Chris Dodd and I were in the minority during that time, and in fact no remedial action was taken by Congress until we became chairmen of our respective committees in 2007 and 2008.’
Frank also commented on Gingrich's standing in the presidential race. ‘Apparently, Newt Gingrich – who considers himself one of the intellectual leaders of the Free World – is so embarrassed by the fact that he is running behind Michele Bachmann in Republican polls that it has increased his already well-developed propensity to utter outlandish things,’ he said.
Dodd, who left Congress in January, did not publicly respond to Gingrich's remarks.