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Frank Calls White House Bailout Meeting a ‘Photo-Op’

Struggling to stay relevant as the economy flails, President George W. Bush has gathered congressional leaders and the presidential candidates at the White House today in an effort to rally support for his $700 billion economic bailout blueprint. But at least one major player — House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) — thinks the mini-summit is an utter waste of time, not to mention a political ruse designed to benefit the economically challenged John McCain. From ABC News:

“Frankly, we’re going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill, where I think we’re getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo-op, and then come back and get on to it,” Frank said.

“We’re trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign,” he added.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino defended the meeting in a press conference this morning, telling reporters that “airing out the final issues that we have to deal with could help us finalize it and get it to a vote.”

“But Dana,” one reporter wondered, “is that not happening on the Hill?”

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