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Frank denies retirement related to party prospects

November 29, 2011
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WASHINGTON—Rep. Barney Frank says he's retiring because his Massachusetts district has changed so much he'd have to spend too much time campaigning for re-election.

Frank tells NBC's "Today" show his decision has nothing to do with Democratic prospects for retaking control of the House.

Asked what people should think, the 71-year-old Frank says: "This does not mean that we're not going to take back the House."

But he says redistricting has given him 325,000 constituents he doesn't know. Because of this, the veteran Democrat says, he was afraid he'd have to spend too much time next year raising money and campaigning in the district.

When pressed on this point by his interviewer, Frank said the media are too negative, complaining that "it's gotcha this, it's gotcha that, it's gotcha journalism."

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