Barney Frank: Green New Deal a ‘Loser’ for Democrats

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Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box Tuesday, former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) called the Green New Deal a “loser” for 2020 Democrat presidential candidates, arguing that you “don’t destabilize a society by doing too much change at once.”

A partial transcript is as follows: 

JOE KERNEN: Do you have positive feelings about the list of candidates you have right now and where the geographic center of ideology of those candidates is in terms of being able to beat President Trump? … Who’s your favorite right now? How do you think is electable? I don’t know, I can’t see the future, but I can’t point to anyone who’s ready running right now that can get elected by the rest of the country. Maybe you can and I can be totally right.

BARNEY FRANK: Let’s take a look. We know there are people running out there that haven’t announced. I haven’t kept track of who’s announced and who isn’t. Nines senators are very likely to be running for president. Five of them voted for the comprise appropriation, four voted against it. I think that’s fairly representative… I think the distinction between who’s announced and who isn’t is somewhat artificial right now.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Do you think that if, for example, Biden runs he has a much better chance? Do you think Klobuchar has a chance?

FRANK: The answer, in part, is I don’t know… I go back and look and I don’t see many people who thought Bill Clinton winning or Barack Obama. The American people are unpredictable in this way. And by the way, it is also the case, we forget, we complain about some things. But, America has the most open small-d Democratic process for picking the chief executive of any country in the world, by far… I do worry about the tendency of people, particularly the most ideologically motivated, left and right, to assume that what they want is what the public wants.

And yes, there are some, I think the Green New Deal would be a loser. I do not think that people are going to be advocating that whole package. There’s not a lot in there I disagree with. Some I do, about meat etc., but there’s an argument that you don’t destabilize a society by doing too much change at once. And partly, We have people who are skeptical of government, people like me who do want to expand the government role in some areas, need to understand that we have to show how that works. You have to do it in pieces, and then as you show it has worked, you can build on that.