Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), speaking at his final convention before he retires at the end of his term, ditched his prepared remarks on Thursday at the Democratic National Convention and instead attacked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's single term as governor of Massachusetts.
Smiling a bit as he took the podium, Frank quipped, "Nice of them to leave a gavel for me to make me feel nostalgic."
Frank cited Romney's middling job creation record in Massachusetts. "So if in fact if Mitt Romney's private sector experience makes him the superhero of job creation, we would've seen that in Massachusetts."
"Under Mitt Romney we got no help, under Mitt Romney we got no jobs," Frank said, speaking about the district he represents, which includes the declining southern Massachusetts industrial towns of New Bedford and Fall River.
Frank drew a comparison between "Mitt" Romney and "Myth" Romney. If the latter had been governor, he said, Frank would be riding the Commuter Rail to Boston from New Bedford.
"He did the Democrats a favor -- not the state. After four consecutive Republican elections ... he gallantly let his lieutenant governor take the fall and the Republicans haven't won an election for statewide office," he said, adding, "for state office," a clarification to allow for the election of Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in 2010.
As the first member of Congress to be in a legal same-sex marriage while in office, Frank needled Romney on gay rights, saying that Romney now "takes orders from Rick Santorum" on the matter.
Frank then turned to financial regulation. As the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank shepherded through financial regulations that bore his name following the financial crisis.
"Mitt Romney and for all I know Myth Romney opposes all of that," Frank said, adding that Romney would support "allowing an unregulated financial community to go back to where they were." With a Republican president and a Republican Congress, a repeal of many financial reforms would be possible.
Frank drew fire for a controversial remark earlier Thursday, when he compared the Log Cabin Republicans to "Uncle Tom" in an interview with The Huffington Post's Michelangelo Signorile. Other LGBT groups distanced themselves from the comment.