Politics

California: Barney Frank Tees Off on Brad Sherman

Rep. Barney Frank (above) has endorsed Rep. Howard Berman over Rep. Brad Sherman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On a conference call with reporters set up by the campaign of Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who is facing Sherman in a redistricting-forced matchup in November, Frank said Sherman has been inflating his role. The call was part of an effort by the Berman campaign to discredit Sherman's legislative record.

He described Sherman's claims as "appallingly off of the mark" and "fantasies."

"I am a great admirer of Howard Berman," Frank said. "I think he has been one of the most constructive Members I’ve shared with. I am not an admirer of Brad Sherman’s approach — I think it’s been superficial and headline hunting."

Members of Congress generally sit on the sidelines during races between two colleagues from the same party. But Frank, alerted to Sherman's claims by the Berman campaign, said he felt compelled to go beyond the endorsement he gave Berman last year.

On TARP, Frank described Sherman's take on his role in the process as "wholly and completely fantasy" and a "figment of his imagination." On Sherman's comments to LA Observed that he took "the bad stuff out" of Dodd-Frank, Frank said Sherman "cannot point to a single thing, it seems to me, that he changed."

After hearing that the call would take place, Sherman called Frank this morning to discuss it, Frank said.

"Everyone in the San Fernando Valley knows I opposed the $700 million Wall Street bailout. I know I made Barney Frank extremely angry because he says I was anti-bailout and Berman was pro-bailout, and now he's doing everything he can do to bailout Berman," Sherman said in a statement provided to Roll Call.