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. Melissa

    Obama is right! And he has every right to voice his opinion.

    September 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. What

    Obama is not the leader of the democratic party, he is the president. (If George Washington had his way, the president would not be part of a political party.) The head of the democratic national committee is Tim Kaine.

    September 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. MIKE

    This is kind of politicians that need to remove from Senate and House of representative, is so clear that Mr. Rangel has a lot to loose in his influence after so many year in the Senate, We need to clean the entire Senate and House of representative on both sides. We need new fresh blood and honest and educated people like President Obama, not just corruption and greedy like Rangel and many others Republicans, Joe Liberman is another who need to be remove from the Senate, is to much crap.

    September 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Catca

    Sorry, but Rep. Rangal (who I disagree with 99% of the time) is 100% correct on this issue. No political party has any business telling anyone, especially an incumbent, who can or cannot run, on their ticket. If the Gov's support is low in NY, then Andrew Cuomo can run against the Gov. in the primary and presumably win the democratic primary. Let the people decide – afterall, we are a democracy, are we not?

    September 28, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. JP

    Obama thinks he is absolute ruler and that his will must prevail at times. Look at the record of absolute rulers in the past 100 years its not pretty. How outrageous does your behavior have to be for criminal like Rangel to call you on it.

    September 28, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. OldUncleTom

    Mr President, your reach exceeds your grasp on this issue. If you were half the political strategist you want to be, you would not need so many recycled Clintonistas on your staff.

    Just be our President, please, and let New Yorkers have their own governor, whether that person be pink or blue.

    September 28, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. bess

    at least corrupt Rangel got one thing right "It wasn't very presidential" for Obama to interfere. this does, however, take Obama's micro-managing to a new level.

    September 28, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Laverne

    This has been done by many Presidents before Obama, Oh I forgot everybody holds President Obama to a different standard, pleez people politics is politics!

    September 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Island girl

    I am really wondering if this suggestion actually come from President Obama's mouth? If so, I find it rather strange that he would make it so public, hence my gut feeling that it was a private matter that was leaked out by those who wanted to create mischief. That aside, I believe that Mr. Rangel is now going the way of Mr. Jesse Jackson (the testicular surgeon). They all need to butt out.

    September 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Mike in SA

    Funny...Rangel wasn't saying this a couple weeks ago when Obama pushed the Massachusetts Dems to circumvent their own law to name a Senate replacement before the special election.

    September 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Dave

    Sounds like the Marxist is trying to line up his stooges to keep his agenda going no matter what the masses say or desire. yea for Communisum it has arrived in the USA and the Russians, Chinese, Cubans, Venezulains, and North Koreans are amazed at how easy it was to do, and with out firing a shot! Of course there will be no shots because the next agenda is to remove all the guns from the masses in case they try to revolt. As Clinton says I must be one of those extreme rightwingers that still believes in the US Constitution and not selling out the USA. How much can you believe from a man who redefines sex with lies and is caught on national TV? Lets see here, did either Clinton, Obama, Boxer, Palosi, or any of the other left wingers ever serve the USA in the military and earn the right to be a citizen other than being the winner of the plant the egg contest from their dad?

    September 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Dianne

    Obama needs to stay out of the board room and health care too. Obama is in way over his head, as he lacked the experience, knowlege and ability to ever assume the office of President.

    September 28, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Buddy Gilmour

    I think maybe its time for the Justice Department to take a harder look at Rangel.

    September 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. h kivette

    As my mother always says, "takes one to know one." This is one lying, cheating, stealing politician recognizing another.

    September 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Nathan

    As a Democratic leader, Obama has every right to spot weaknesses in our ranks and exert some influence. Presidents do this all the time. Now granted, the DNC chairman should have done this first, but big deal. What's Rangel so upset about? Obama is right, Patterson is a drag on the ticket. He should step down immediately.

    September 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Shari, NY

    Mr. Patterson landed this job because of Spitzer's indiscretion. Let us not forget that. Well, unfortunately for him, poll numbers seem to be on the skids (in the teens I think). With that in mind I think the White House is trying to save NY from a Giuliani takeover because that might just happen if he runs against Patterson. Think about it!

    September 28, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Stu

    Nor can he keep from meddling in local police affairs, nor can he resist using his celebrity to persuade the Olympic Committee to choose Chicago and anyone who disagrees with him is labeled a racist and an outcast....

    September 28, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Judi in minnesota

    That's exactly what Tim Pawlenty did for Norm Coleman. How come that wasn't such a big deal?????

    September 28, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. IndyVoter

    OMG! I cannot believe how ignorant and downright hypocritical Rangel and half the people on this blog are! Presidents have been doing this for decades! If President Obama had offered to come down and do a fund-raiser and talk about how wonderful Gov. Paterson was, they wouldn't say ONE WORD. But now that Obama is expressing his concern as the HEAD OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY who is well within his right, and is in keeping with Past Presidents' behavior, they want to get an attitude. Rangel sticks his nose in everything he can and has the nerve to tell the President to butt out!?! Get over it. If Paterson is not getting the job done, then he deserves a counseling session. Shape up or ship out. Just because you are black and disabled doesn't give you a free ride. Its politics and its about results (especially as a GOVERNOR). Rangel ought to know this better than anyone.

    September 28, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. CAL

    How can this crook even open his mouth to tell the President what to do. I get so sick of these democrats findiing fault in the President, especially this crook.

    September 28, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. mark

    Obama is like Oprah, both are merely and purely talk show hosts to amount to less than a bag of beans and do not say anything worth listening to. I don't like either, but Obama is my President . I just have to suck it up sometimes.

    September 28, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. i want my finger back

    Pay your taxes!

    September 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Mark

    I'll bet Paterson has a skeleton in the closet that Obama is trying to help not come out. Keep on Paterson, let out that skeleton so we can all see why you shouldn't run for gov.

    September 28, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Alison Wilson-McDamon

    People, do your research on Cuomo. He was at the forefront of cracking down on all of the crud going on with Fannie Mac. Then someone struck a deal with him and he backed off. Deals talk... you want more of that in office?

    September 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. John from Massapeuqa NY

    Obama is just doing what all party leaders do, so although I do not support him he is entitled to make such comments as leader of the Democratic party. However, it is amusing to see the Democrats fight internally especially since one is African American and blind and the other is African American and a Statist

    P.S. Rangel is a crook and anyone from the NY area has known that for years. Yet the intelligentsia fro Harlem will just keep voting him in because they see no problem with being a crook since they feel they deserve it and it gets back at "the man."

    September 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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