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Massachusetts representative Barney Frank has blasted leaders of the Tea Party movement who called him a "fa**ot" and Rep. John Lewis a "ni**er" while protesting health care reform, saying Republicans should distance themselves from the grassroots movement.
According to Washington, D.C.,publication The Hill, Frank blamed Republicans for fanning the flames, singling out conservative congresswoman Michele Bachmann and calling her rhetoric "inflammatory as well as wholly baseless."
Bachmann has been accused of stirring up what many have called irrational fear over the idea of government "death panels" during the health care debate. Frank told The Hill that "any movement in which the intellectual leader is Michele Bachmann is obviously going to be problematic."
Speaking of the Washington protesters, at least one of whom called him a "homo communist," Frank suggested that his conservative colleagues denounce the groups actions. "If this was my cause, and I saw this angry group yelling and shouting and being so abusive to people, I would ask them to please stop it."
Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio denounced the Republican speakers at the rally and demanded an apology for the actions of some of the estimated 30,000 people who turned out to protest Sunday
Disappointed by the verbal attacks on Democratic lawmakers, House minority leader John Boehner of Ohio told NBC's Meet the Press that while he condemned the "isolated incidents," they should not distract from the rational fear of millions of Americans over the health care reform bill.