September 28th, 2009
05:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Rangel tells Obama to back off of local politics

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, is making it known he's not happy with President Obama's recent meddling in the state's 2010 gubernatorial race.

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, is making it known he's not happy with President Obama's recent meddling in the state's 2010 gubernatorial race.

(CNN) - Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, is making it known he's not happy with President Obama's recent meddling in the state's 2010 gubernatorial race.

"The whole thing to me was not presidential," Rangel told the New York Daily News over the weekend. "It wasn't good for the president, and it wasn't good for the governor."

The comments came a week after the New York Times reported that administration officials had asked New York Rep. Gregory Meeks to convey to embattled Gov. David Paterson that Obama would prefer he not run for re-election next year.

The Times reported that the White House is concerned about Paterson's dismal poll numbers becoming a drag on the entire Democratic ticket in New York next year, and would prefer Andrew Cuomo - the state's popular attorney general - carry the party's banner instead.


Rangel also directed fire to his Democratic colleague Meeks, whose district encompasses nearby Queens, for his involvement in the discussions.

"I wouldn't want to be anywhere near it then or now," he said. "And anyone who has been involved in this has to be embarrassed. Period."

It's not the first time Rangel has been critical of the White House's political outreach: The 79-year-old congressman expressed similar frustration last May when the administration actively discouraged New York Democrats from challenging newly appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in a primary.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs would not confirm a separate report in the Daily News on Monday that said the president will not get involved in New York City's mayoral race, where the Democratic candidate, Bill Thompson is trailing Independent Michael Bloomberg by nearly 20 points, according to recent polls.

A spokesman for Rangel confirmed to CNN the accuracy of his comments to the Daily News.


Filed under: Charlie Rangel • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. fellow from chicago

    And the Dems continue to eat their own.

    September 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Sue

    Why isn't this Democratic Tax evader in jail and out of public office? Democrats love to raise taxes...........since they don't pay them anyway!

    September 28, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Rangel is right......

    Obama needs to stop listening to those kids praising his cult personality in song and dance......it's going to his head......he thinks he's the Kaiser and that he controls everything......butt out Obama....

    September 28, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Dennis

    Never thought I would see the day when I agreed with Rangel, but, in this situation he is correct. Obama canoot micromanage everything.

    September 28, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. rr

    Rangle isn't in jail yet?

    September 28, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  6. TCM

    Once crook calling out another.....

    September 28, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Jane/Seattle

    While I like Charley Rangel, I think he needs to back-off President Obama and observe the president acting in the way he sees fit. President Obama IS The leader of the Democratic Party now and it is within his realm to make his ideas known if he so wishes. If Mr. Rangel wants attention in the media perhaps he might try doing something note-worthy to attract attention for himself. I say talk to the Republicans, Charley, about their divisive conduct and meddling in the affairs of others. Better yet, talk to the Dems and get them to quit pandering to the corporations as we the people are suffering and dying. Tell them to get some backbone regarding a single payer option! Peace

    September 28, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. gary

    Move on. Find a real story.

    September 28, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Robin

    I guess Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, unemployment, and healthcare is not keeping Obama busy enough.

    He needs to also put in his two cents on local politics and travel to Coppenhagen to campaign for the olympics.

    September 28, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Grrr-awful-o

    Now Charlie, don't go getting yourself all over worked up over all of this. You've put in a lot of years in Congress working for the people and doing good all over the place. And I'm sure president Gelding would be the first one to carry your water pail for you. But you've worked hard and you deserve a rest. Have a seat and let president Gelding figure things out from here on in. He's knows what's best for everyone and you can count on him. Now just sit back in your rocker and take a load off. Isn't that better? Yes, it is!

    September 28, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. clifford in New York

    WOW! For once I totally agree with Charles Rangel! Although Charlie may be using this as a distraction from the fact that he was caught not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars as taxable income. Obamas meddling in our states affairs will actually help Gov.Patterson in the short term due to public backlash!

    September 28, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. Idiot_Pelosi

    I'm not an OBUMMER fan, but why would he listen to this CROOK?

    Why is the corrupt CROOK still in office, and not in jail?

    September 28, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Tennessee Libertarian

    The first time I've ever agreed with Rangel!

    September 28, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. HBO

    Didn't this dude endorse Hillary Clinton for president? I'm not surprised that he would be critical of the person he never supported in the first place.

    What he needs to do is focus on his own issues.

    September 28, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. M. Nix

    The classic Democratic circular firing squad. Gotta love it.

    September 28, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Right on

    He is meddling in affairs that don't concern him-even though he has valid arguments. Patterson hasn't done a good job in governing his state but, it isn't Obama's job to give him advice.

    September 28, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Cynthia

    Did rangel see meet the press yesterday? If he didn't paterson was on there and he said the president did not tell him not to run. I wish these idiots would have their stories straight before they jump out in front of the camera and start to critizie the President. Paterson shouldn't run his poll numbers are a joke and so is this clown rangel.

    September 28, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Buster

    Charlie, Obama is the savior. If you question the savior, then you may have a stronger prosecution for all your questionable activity. The thugs will be coming after you.

    September 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Chris

    All Rangel is thinking about is keeping a black man in office, any office, anyhow, anyway. He doesn't care about what's best for his state or the country. People like Rangel have no business in politics

    September 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. SayWhat

    Isn't this the guy who runs his campaign headquarters out of one of five rent controlled apartments in the same building and forgot to report $600k in income one year? Another self-sacrificing civil servant.

    September 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Paul from Phoenix

    Rangel should be thankful he has a job. He should be in jail for his tax evasion and money laundering scheme. But...he is a dem, so he doesn't have to worry, unless the FBI finds money in his freezer (Jefferson). Even then, he wasn't forced to resign.

    September 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. felicia

    rangel needs to shut up and tend to his own affairs

    September 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Roger

    Dear Charlie,

    President Obama just happens to be the leader of the democratic party.....he can get as involved as he wants at whatever level....so get over it you have got enough problems going on with yourself so let it be....

    September 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Dan

    Rangel says "The whole thing to me was not presidential." Of course it wasn't. We are a nation without a president. The current resident of the White House is nothing more than a campaigner for the Democratic Party. The American people can decide in 2012 if that's the sort of change that they really want.

    September 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. TRA

    Let me get this straight! Obama can swing the Tide to have the Olympics in the US which is good for the economy and for American Pride and he should back off.

    You people are shallow, if there's nothing in it for you it can't be right!

    September 28, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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