Barney on Newt

Yesterday, we told you about Newt Gingrich's claim that he knew all along about the mortgage meltdown and had advised Freddie Mac on steps it could take to avert it. (Funny, though, that Gingrich forgot to advise the American people of the coming crisis.) Gingrich also claimed that Freddie Mac had paid him $300,000 for his advice when it seems that the real amount was more than $1.5 million.

Now, Representative Barney Frank is responding. Gingrich had previously blamed Frank for the financial crisis, saying that he helped create the subprime mortgage debacle and that "[i]f you want to put people in jail ... you ought to start with Barney Frank and [former Senator] Chris Dodd.” For Frank's part, he admits that, because of idelogical preconceptions, “I was late in seeing [the financial crisis], no question.” But he has little patience for Gingrich, commenting yesterday on Gingrich's relationship with Freddie Mac:

[Gingrich is] fundamentally intellectually dishonest. He’s a man with no ethical core whatsoever. ...There are a number of conservatives whom I respect … Newt’s just never had any principles, so no I’m not surprised about this at all.