Punchlines ripped from the headlines

Top House Dems Visit Late Night to Talk Campaign Finance

Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank both decried the Citizens United decision

By Sam Schulz
|  Thursday, Feb 23, 2012  |  Updated 8:12 AM EDT
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Top House Dems Visit Late Night to Talk Campaign Finance

AP

Congressional bosom buddies Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Nancy Pelosi each dropped by a different late night show Wednesday to discuss campaign finance and the 2012 presidential election.

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Late night got a heavy dose of campaign talk from two top House Democrats on Wednesday.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi broke her own promise not to appear on "The Colbert Report" and gamely talked super PACs with Stephen Colbert, while Rep. Barney Frank talked the same, plus President Obama's reelection effort, with Jimmy Kimmel.

"If we want to cancel elections and just have the wealthiest people in America — and you know what their names are — give millions and tens of millions of dollars, we can just ask them, who do they want to be president?" Pelosi said. "That would be a plutocracy, and we are a democracy."

Promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which seeks to limit the effects of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision on campaign finance and boost transparency, Pelosi described what she'd like to accomplish:

"We want people to stand by their ad. If they're going to have tens of millions of dollars that they're putting up for a candidate or a cause, the public has a right to know by whose authority is this coming to them."

On "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Pelosi's long-time House cohort Frank, soon to retire, reiterated her stance.

"We have a system in America that is unlike any other, and the U.S. Supreme Court has made it worse. There's this view that says you can't have a democracy unless people can give as much money as they want to candidates. If that's true, we should be supremely proud in America — because if that's the case, we're the only democracy ever in the history in the world, because most other places put some limits on the money," he said.

"I gotta say, being nice to people I'm not crazy about — that's not my default position," the famously cantankerous Congressman admitted, by way of understatement, to everybody else's laughter.

"We're the only people, elected officials, who by the system are supposed to take money from strangers and have it have no influence on our behavior. Practicing being ungrateful takes a little out of you," he deadpanned.

Frank also said he thinks Obama will win reelection — and that he hopes Rick Santorum will wind up being the one to run against him.

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