Rep. Barney Frank ignored his prepared remarks and instead unloaded a speech during the Democratic National Convention Thursday that was a sharper attack on Mitt Romney and Republicans in Congress.
"I have the problem we all have when we speak here: there are a lot of issues to talk about," Frank said at the outset, the first clue he was about to scrap his speech. "So the question is which ones do you pick. There are a number that interest me, like why it is that so many Republicans are afraid that my marriage will threaten theirs. Or why Mitt Romney thinks it's a bad thing that the president ended the war in Iraq. But let's stick to the central themes of the economy."
The mince-no-words Massachusetts congressman, the longest-serving openly gay member of Congress, is in his last term.
Frank's prepared remarks had him focusing on reform of Wall Street's practices, an accomplishment from Obama's term that is also named in part after Frank as its principal architect in the House. The former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee attacked Romney for wanting to scrap Dodd-Frank financial reform in favor of deregulation that Frank argued had contributed to Wall Street's collapse.
But the Newton, Mass. congressman also spent a lot of time talking about what it was like to have Romney as his governor.
Frank spoke about the disappointment he felt when the supposed "wizard" of the private sector failed to generate jobs, pointing out his home state was 47th in job growth with Romney as governor.
"Under Mitt Romney we got no help, under Mitt Romney we got no jobs," Frank said, adding that it left him "puzzled."
"How come as I now hear about the great ability of this wizard of private sector financial engineering to create jobs that we didn't get any?" he asked. "And I realize here is the problem — and this is a hard one for me because of my diction, so please listen carefully — our governor was Mitt Romney. What we should have had as governor was Myth Romney."
Frank said Romney left the state after only one term because he was "afraid" to run for reelection.
And he got in one more jab at Romney on LGBT rights.
"You know there were a lot of Romneys," Frank said. "There's the Romney who was going to be better on gay rights than Ted Kennedy. And now there's the Romney who checks with Rick Santorum on that issue."
See more photos from Frank's last convention as an elected official on the following pages. And watch video of his speech via CPSAN.