By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
A verbal slap from Rep. Barney Frank at House Minority Leader John Boehner over the Republican's criticism of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has prompted House Republicans to rally around their leader. "This is going to do wonders for Boehner's popularity among the base," said one associate. Frank's comment came in Politico in reaction to Boehner's suggestion that Geithner is on "thin ice" and that his performance in the next two days could determine his future. Frank, say Republicans, reacted with a personal attack when he said there was no justification for Boehner's comment. "Does Boehner need any justification? It says it right there on his partisan hack license that he can say anything that he wants," said Frank. GOP-ers called that an "ugly, personal" attack and plan to rally around Boehner and focus more on Frank's handling of the banking and economic crisis as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Republican officials also said the flare-up will likely lead to more calls for Geithner to quit as well as sneers at the treasury secretary, such as those calling him "Tiny Tim" in E-mails between members and staffers yesterday.
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