Retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) offered his assessment of Mitt Romney Thursday on MSNBC, at host Martin Bashir's request.
"Mitt Romney is a man who appears on the basis of a long effort to be a politician," said Frank. "He claims he doesn't want to be a politician, but that's mostly because he's generally been unsuccessful in his efforts to be an elected official. Mitt Romney is a man totally devoid of any commitment to any principle except his own advancement. There is literally not a public policy which he has not advocated one side on one time and one side on the other. I've never seen a major political figure so absolutely unburdened by any commitment to any principle whatsoever."
Continued Frank on the former Massachusetts governor, "Usually when a politician shifts position to a certain group, they don't mind. People are very tolerant of people who flip toward them. But Mitt Romney has been so obvious in his absolute lack of principle that even the people who he temporarily says 'I agree with you' are not reassured, because they understand when the wind blows, there he will go again."
Frank also said that there is a "meanness" at Romney's core.
"You know, he ran ads. I never thought I would feel some sympathy for Newt Gingrich," said Frank. Frank famously called Gingrich a "lobbyist and liar."
He went on, "But Mitt Romney, with enormous amounts of money at his beck and call from people who want him to treat them right and protect their riches, has run the most relentlessly savage campaign against anybody who dared get in his way."
Frank then detailed Romney's past campaigns. "He ran an abusive personal campaign against Senator Kennedy. He ran a demeaning personal campaign against a first-rate woman who ran against him, [former state treasurer] Shannon O'Brien. When he wanted to be governor, he undercut the then Republican governor, Jane Swift," said Frank.
"He has a record of being very abusive toward women politicians if he has to be. With all this planned image of his, you will not find a more devoted practitioner of the most vicious aspect of American politics than Mitt Romney."