-- Power Players
“When you are in public office and you vote opposite to the way you live your life, no I don’t think you have privacy,” Frank said. “Anyone who is gay and votes in an anti-gay fashion has, it seems to me, lost their right to privacy, because it’s been converted to a right to hypocrisy.”
Schock has not publically responded to the recent claims about his sexual orientation, but his father Richard Schock told ABC station WLS that “he’s not gay.”
Asked about the comment, Frank responded that it was “a perfectly valid thing to joke about” and that any controversy sparked by his remark “is a reflection of the notion that it’s a terrible thing to be gay.”
“I don’t think it’s a terrible thing, and now that I’m not in public office, I feel free to make jokes,” Frank said. “It’s a joke … making fun of gay men who obsess about being in the gym, and it did seem to me that it was an unusual thing. I don’t know many straight guys who spend that much time in the gym and pose with their shirts off all the time.”
And while he admitted that his joke could perpetuate a stereotype about gay men, he said it could also serve to diminish it--making the case that there is an element of truth in his humor.
“What determines your worry about how good you look is not whether you're gay or straight but whether you're trying to appeal to men or women,” Frank said. ”Historically … women, because they were economically dependent, couldn't be as choosy about their partners, so straight men got away with not having to worry about themselves. Gay men and women are both trying to appeal to men and obsess, so yeah, it's true.”
“She is very bright and very well informed and they cannot discredit her,” Frank said of Warren. “I don't think she has any chance to win right now. If Hillary Clinton decided not to run that would be a different story. But at this point if anyone were to beat Hillary Clinton, I don't think they would or should, it would be out to a very vicious battle in which unfair ideological arguments would be made.”
While Frank said he believes President Obama has been a strong liberal president – and praised his work on healthcare and gay-rights issues – Frank is not without his criticism of the 44th president.
“What I said in the book was, when he said he was going to be post-partisan, he gave me post-partisan depression,” Frank said. “I am a little bit disappointed; now he's moving in the right direction on the military but not far enough and I agree with those who say we should tighten up the language about going back into Iraq.”
Frank's strongest rebuke of Obama is that he promised the American people that anyone who liked their healthcare plan prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act would be able to keep it. That promise proved to be untrue. “He shouldn't have said that, you don't mislead people,” Frank said.
ABC News’ Ali Dukakis, Gary Westphalen, Brian Haefeli and Barry Haywood contributed to this episode.