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

Rangel takes heat for 'disabled' comment

Rangel is facing criticism over calling Sarah Palin 'disabled.'
Rangel is facing criticism over calling Sarah Palin 'disabled.'

(CNN) - Rep. Charlie Rangel, the longtime House Democrat already mired in possible ethics violations, is facing a new round of fire Saturday after describing Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin as "disabled."

Interviewed by New York television station WCBS Friday evening, the powerful New York congressman was asked why Democrats appear "afraid" of Palin.

"You got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, responded in an answer the reporter interviewing him later called "astonishing."

Rangel later repeated the comment, adding, "There's no question about it - Politically it's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live."

Republicans, who have already been highly critical of Rangel over his failure to report taxes on income from his Dominican Republic beach house, are seizing on the comments.

"As if achieving new ethical lows was not sufficient, now Rangel is hitting a rhetorical low. Insulting the next vice president will not distract from Rangel's tax scandals," Republican National Committee Spokesman Alex Conant said.

Rangel reported paying $10,800 in back taxes Friday, according to the Associated Press, and complained that Republicans were waging a "guerrilla war" against him.

Shortly after the interview aired Friday night, Rangel issued a statement say his words were "misinterpreted."

"Sometimes in the heat of a political campaign you choose words that can be misinterpreted," he said. "Governor Palin is an obviously healthy person who in no way fits the description of disabled. I meant to say then, and I am saying now, that she entered the campaign with a disadvantage in the area of foreign policy."

Rangel was a supporter of Hillary Clinton's White House bid, but endorsed Obama immediately after the last round of primary contests in June.


Filed under: Charlie Rangel • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Larry

    Typical arrogance and ignorance from the whacko dummycrats!

    The lefties just need to go back to their parents basement, and surf the net. By the way, how is that Liberal Arts degree working out for ya?

    I bet this sounds familiar: "Would you like to supersize that order of fries?"

    September 20, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Steve

    @ Elizabeth:

    AMEN. :)

    September 20, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Bill

    Obama is ahead in the Polls. Do you actually believe in Polls? There is a factor that is not discussed much that makes the Poll results unreliable. On Nov 4th you will see what I mean.

    As for Rangel he is an idiot as well as a tax dodger.

    September 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Patti

    Put "Lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig" – Barack is right on this one – Put lipstick on Palin's Alaska Pork and it's still Palin's Alaska Pork – Color does play in this election whether anyone will admit it or not – and yes Barack is the first Black to win a nomination and the reason he has my vote is I know if there's ever been a President that wants this country going in the right direction it will be a Black, because they can't afford for this country to do otherwise. If the country doesn't do better after he's in office outcries will be heard on Mars. McCain doesn't need to make the country better, he's a White guy. Barack doesn't have a choice – he has to do good. I was a Republican but McCan't and Miss Piggy Lips have pushed me to the other side – thank God they showed me the light. I'm 65 and WHITE.

    September 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  5. Tom in Delaware

    I'm for the McCain/Palin ticket, but it just sounds as if this guy made a simple mistake.

    He's got enough problems.

    I know that none of the Chilren of the Corn would ever be anything like fair or objective, but it doesn't mean that I have to behave like a fool, just because they do.

    September 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. john from PA

    ive never been proud of my country. thats why it has to be obama 08. I can relate to your wife.

    September 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. jimmy

    THAT COMMENT BY CONGRESSMAN RANGEL REFFERING TO GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN " DISABLED" IS THE LOWEST ANY PERSON CAN GET.
    ANOTHER: WHO CALLS HIMSELF A RODHAM DEMOCRAT
    RANKS EVEN LOWER : DESCRIBES GOVERNOR PALIN AS
    " PARADING HER DOWN SYNDROME CHILD IN PUBLIC.

    THESE PEOPLE REMIND ME OF RATS COMING OUT OF THE SEWERS..

    September 20, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. MLD

    Not only is Rangel responsible for the debacle at Fannie and Freddie and the resulting financial crises, we now know that he is a racist, sexist BIGOT.

    What a moron.

    September 20, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Terri

    Rangel needs to go tend to his legal issues and keep on the low.

    Obama/Biden08

    September 20, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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