January 15th, 2008
01:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Major Clinton supporter calls Obama remark 'absolutely stupid'

 Rangel had some tough words for Obama Monday.
Rangel had some tough words for Obama Monday.

(CNN) - As both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama tried to lower the tension after days of charged rhetoric over race, a congressional supporter of Clinton's presidential bid called the Illinois senator's remarks attacking her over recent comments about President Lyndon Johnson and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “absolutely stupid.”

"How race got into this thing is because Obama said ‘race,’” New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, one of the highest-ranking African-Americans in Congress, said in an interview on NY1.

“But there is nothing that Hillary Clinton has said that baffles me. I would challenge anybody to belittle the contribution that Dr. King has made to the world, to our country, to civil rights, and the Voting Rights Act,” said Rangel. “But for him to suggest that Dr. King could have signed that act is absolutely stupid. It's absolutely dumb to infer that Doctor King, alone, passed the legislation and signed it into law."

Rangel’s remarks came in response to Sunday comments from Obama, who told an audience at a Nevada campaign event: "I am baffled by that statement by the Senator. She made an ill-advised statement about Dr. King, suggesting that Lyndon Johnson had more to do with the Civil Rights Act. For them to somehow suggest that we're interjecting race as a consequence of a statement she made, that we haven't commented on, is pretty hard to figure out."

The New York senator has since tried to explain the intent of her remarks was not to diminish the contribution of King, but to point out the benefit of experience in enacting positive legislation.

Rangel also implied that Obama’s admission of prior drug use in his autobiography may have had a financial motive: "I assume that the book was not written for political purposes. It was honest….It was a big mistake for him to have done it [used drugs.] For him to be honest enough to write about it, I guess he thought it might sell books."
 
Video: Watch Rangel on the Clinton-Obama spat

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
soundoff (1,694 Responses)
  1. Angela

    And thank you Mr. Rangel for stating the obvious.

    Hillary 08 .............. the only candidate the Repubs are truly afraid of.

    If Obama gets the nomination , republicans take the election.

    End of story.

    January 15, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  2. Gobama

    Is rabid Rangle on crack? lol
    And the Clintions desperately wants a THIRD TERM.

    The Clintons started the furor.
    After their loss coming out of the box in Iowa, the Clintons decided and declared to GO NEGATIVE AND PERSONAL on Barack!

    Every time the Obama 'fairy tale' gets neck and neck with the divisive Clintons, they go personal with their attacks instead of staying on issues they don't have.
    All the heat and no light coming out of the Clintons.
    How dare an African American compete with their Black President and First Lady? LOL

    January 15, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  3. Axel, California

    I would post "Who cares?", but CNN probably wouldn't approve it.

    January 15, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. Dave C - NJ

    Did any of you actually read Rangles comments?

    Obama never stated that "MLK signed any laws."

    Obama stated that MLK had more to do with the civil rights movement, and guess what....MLK certainly had "MORE TO DO" with the civil rights movement than LBJ, regardless of who signed what.

    Obama was correct. Next, please.

    January 15, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  5. anthony

    Hillary Clinton was making a point that without the assistance and fortitude of Lyndon Johnson to get the civil rights bill passed and signed, all the marches, speeches and words of wisdom would have gone no where. That is why Dr. King allied and campaigned for Lyndon Johnson. Those statements in no way negated the tremendous courage of Martin Luther King Jr.
    Obama chose to inject race in those statements and inflame the African American community by insinuating that she was belittling Rev. King. Once again, Hillary is being unfairly characterized by the male establishment. Hillary and Bill Clinton have been loyal and steadfast friends of the African American community and deserve to be treated fairly and not have their words twisted for political gain.

    January 15, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  6. Manicotti

    Obama: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though. ..."
    What does this quote from Obama have to do with the issue at hand? Nothing. However, if Obama wins the nomination, his campaign better get used to hearing this quote over and over again. The Republicans will slice and dice this into different messages all pointing to:
    Obama= pothead
    Obama= boozer
    Obama= coke head
    Obama= soft on drugs = threat to your kids
    Is this right? No. But the Republicans, and especially their unbridled surrogates, will throw enough doubt into the electorate so that the Dems will lose the White House for possibly another 8 years. A train wreck waiting to happen.

    January 15, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. Alta Hron

    In Michael Moores movie. it was stated that when Hilary was First Lady and working on a health care plan. It was dropped quit suddenly.(I remember this in the news ,Both her and President Clinton said it wouldn't work) The movie said she was paid approximately $800,000. to drop it and never talk about it again.
    So why has the Clintons never been asked about this. If she was bought off once can she be bought off again?

    January 15, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  8. JAy C from Sac

    Wow the Clinton's are just dirt bags playing dirty politics. Poor Obama.he's like "what the heck did I say"? If this is how clinton wants to get to the white house then I am cool on Voting for her. Gosh even Bush wasn't this bad.

    January 15, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  9. tony

    why is Rangel or bill clinton coming into the aid of Hillary Clinton? i think Hillary is a big girl, she should stand up and defend her statements. for Range to suggest that
    obama wrote his book with the mention of drug is for sales purpose, is making me sick in in my stomack, how illiterate can Rangel be? what amazes me is that people like Rangel who literally get old in congress all comfortabe with out having to offer anything to the American ppl, yet stand in away of change. now we know who the stupid is.

    January 15, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  10. steve wilmington

    Rangel, a puppet of the Clinton camp. The Clintons are calling on all blacks to help them. If you are a black man, preferrably wearing a suit, please call Hillary Clinton immediately so you can weigh in on her poor judgement. Tell us that she wasn't a racist...
    Why are the Clintons doing this when Obama wanted to make peace....?
    Hillary, let it go.

    January 15, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  11. Bam Bam Vs Hillarious

    The Democrats are becoming an embarassing joke.

    January 15, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  12. Patrick, New York,Ny

    Finally some one notices how stupid Obama is being lately!!

    CLINTON 08!!

    January 15, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  13. jerzee gal

    Rangel please let it go. How come no one (cnn,fox etc) has any footage of Sen. Obama making any of these complaints about hillary's stupid comments. The clintons are staging all of this. Wake up!!! The only mud is going toward Obama !!Every other word that comes out of her mouth is "the Obama Campaign". If you focused on the issues hillary you might actually get a vote!!!Stop worrying about what Obama is doing, He is definately not worrying about you!!! He doesn't even comment before you keep "setting the record straight", again and again.SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  14. Sammie

    Here we go! the democrats just gave the republicans a victory in November.

    January 15, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. william

    i voted for bush and have been a republican but i will vote for obama, but i won't vote for the clinton's -presidents get 2 terms not 3 or 4 this whole mess is about getting back into the white house–hillary and bill step aside for the country's sake–please

    January 15, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  16. Matt A.

    Wow are you kidding me? Is that the best they can do?
    I think Hillary has pulled the gender card about 5000x more than Obama has pulled the "race" card.

    Hillary and this Ragell guy are the ones who are ridiculous, not Obama.

    Obama / Biden
    or
    Obama / Edwards 2008

    January 15, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  17. jerzee gal

    Bridget you have to LISTEN and WATCH and READ before you post a comment.!!!
    GO OBAMA!!!!!!

    January 15, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  18. J. Daniel, Ohio

    what a shame for black people, it was a Johnson yesterday and today Charle with something that they did not even understand. Black people will never and ever be a real human being. That is why they(Black) are dying everyday in Africa. They never see who can help them , they always like someone who is behind something else. Some may said i am glad not to be BLACK

    WAHT SHame JOHNSON AND CHARLIE, DR. MLK IS A GREATEST AMN AND HE ALWAYS WILL BE. YOU TWO ARE NOTHING TO AFRICAN AMERICANS AND OBAMA HIMSELF EVEN IF HE WILL NOT BE A NOMINEE HE IS STILL WILL BE SOMEWHEREIN AMERICA.

    GOD KNOWS

    January 15, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  19. Reginal

    Rangel is part of the problem we have in the senate. He is speaking for himself and not for the people. There is very few to non that would agree with Hillary statement regarding Dr.King. It would be to her benefit to stick to the issue. This is one of the many reason I have no faith in Hillary and will keep my hope alive for me and my familys with Obama.

    January 15, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  20. KB

    Hmmmmm......

    Why is there constant conflict wherever Hillary and Bill clinton go?

    January 15, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  21. PW Va

    Time for you to step down, Rangel...apparently you've stayed aroung long past your shelf life and are no longer viable.

    You haven't done or said anything that's been of benefit to anyone since the 70's wo what don't you do us all a favor and LEAVE!!! You're of no consequence!!!!! A dinosaur!!!!

    January 15, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  22. Brian Des Moines IA

    COULD THIS BE ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT THE MEDIA TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING? WHEN DID NEW YORK REP. CHARLIE RANGEL MAKE THESE COMMENTS....WAS IT BEFORE THE TRUCE? IF SO THEN CNN SHOULD HAVE LET IT GO!!! BUT THIS MAKES MONEY FOR THE MEDIA, SO WHY STOP IT!?

    HOPEFULLY CLINTON AND OBAMA HAVE ENOUGH SENSE TO STOP THIS MADNESS (WHOSE EVER FAULT) BECAUSE THIS DOESN'T MATTER....WHAT MATTERS IS THE ISSUES (WAR IN IRAQ, ECONOMY, HEALTH CARE, AND ALL OTHER THINGS IMPORTANT TO US THE PEOPLE)!!

    SO IF YOU SEE MORE MESSAGES ABOUT THIS DON'T HELP THEM...JUST MOVE ON TO THE IMPORTANT STORIES...THE ONES THAT MATTER!!!

    January 15, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  23. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Charlie, how can you call Obama "stupid." What a "stupid" remark!!!

    It seems to me that the Clinton campaign has gone beyond what is decent in trying to denounce this honorable man (Senator Obama).

    I'm embarrased for you. . .and for the Clintons who are obviously trying everything to bring this good man down.

    Get with it!! A good majority of Americans are tired of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton possibility!

    We want someone who will govern with the ideals of Americans in the forefront.

    We want Obama. . . not another Clinton. . .in the White House.

    January 15, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  24. Doc

    Just another example of these 'has beens' shooting his mouth off. Once had a lot of respect for the Congressman but now he's continuing to reveal himself as a true Stepnfetchit. Adam Clayton Powell Jr is rolling in his grave.

    Harlem: send this clown into retirement, please.

    January 15, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  25. shaun

    HILLARY 08 GO HILLARY. FIGHT FOR US. WIN FOR US. FIX OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM AND FIX THE MESS THAT BUSH SCREWED OUR COUNTRY WITH.

    January 15, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.