- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, said on Tuesday he’s retiring because his district has changed so much that he would have to spend too much time campaigning for re-election.

Mr. Frank told NBC’s “Today” show that his decision had nothing to do with Democratic prospects for retaking control of the House.

Asked what people should think, the 71-year-old Mr. Frank said, “This does not mean that we’re not going to take back the House.”

But he said that redistricting had given him 325,000 constituents he doesn’t know. Because of this, the veteran Democrat said, he was afraid he would have to spend too much time next year raising money and campaigning in the district.

When pressed on this point by his interviewer, Mr. Frank said the media are too negative, complaining that “it’s gotcha this, it’s gotcha that, it’s gotcha journalism.”