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. bluesky

    Oh, Rangel needs to get over it. This sort of thing is typical in politics.

    September 28, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    The President is also the leader of the Democratic party which means he has every right, and indeed a responsibility, to make sure that the Democratic party remains viable throughout his tenure and beyond.

    September 28, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. No More Incumbents

    There's an opinion to value.......

    September 28, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. HSNP

    Charlie Rangel is right. It wasn't Presidential. Just like it's not Presidential to travel to Denmark to appear before the IOC to pitch Chicago for the Olympics.

    September 28, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. jay

    Patterson attained office by chance and default. If he doesn't want to be a team player there are other ways to deal with him. In the animal kingdom as in politics, those that don't cooperate are outlawed and left defenseless. Clearly Rangel cannot claim principles for his statement. That leaves some kind of debt owed. Rangel in some perverted way seems to prefer that his Party lose New York. Who can understand that.?

    September 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. No Hillary = No Obama

    Paterson got blindsighted once more by Obama. Power run amuck.

    September 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. rachel

    Stay out of it Obama. Let the chips fall where they may.

    September 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Ron

    A democrat challeging President obama–say it ain't so!

    September 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Jim in New Mexico

    Interesting, considering Rangel is never Represential.

    September 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Tim

    Yes, back off local politcs, unless of course it involves changing the rules to allow the governor to appoint a temporary senator until a new election can be held. In that case, please put your wait behind the hypocrasy.

    September 28, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Manny

    Who else is tired of politicians taking to the airwaves to air their grievences when the President's door is wide open.

    Not a day goes by where a politician stands in front of a camera thinking they can do the job better than POTUS.

    Get behind the President or get out of the way. You're nothing more than a distraction.

    September 28, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Tim

    "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."

    Embarrased? What in the name of God would Rangel now about abbarased?

    September 28, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I have to clean this up for you Charlie and CNN: mind your own business Charlie. You've got your hands full of crappola. Wash them off before you start dispensing with unsolicited advice to the POTUS. I did'nt hear much out of you or any of the Black Caucus Members pre-election, so continue to hold your tongue and mind your own nasty and convoluted business. When the POTUS wants your two-cents, he'll e-mail you. Don't hold your breath.

    September 28, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. eolufemi

    He's the leader of his party.

    September 28, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. ANGIE IN PA

    Shut your pie hole Rangel President Obama is the Leader of the Democrat party so he does have a say!

    September 28, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Linda

    Since when is it part of th POTUS responsibilities to dictate who runs for office within a state???? I think he needs to turn his attention to what is happening in our country, the Economy, Unemployment, Immigration, etc. The people of the State of New York will elect who they want for their next govenor.

    September 28, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Doug

    Ahhh Yes, good ol Charlie Rangel. So..............How bout them Taxes?

    I've often wondered when my account with the extra half million would magically appear.

    Still lookin.

    Glad to see he got his.

    September 28, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Beverly - NYC

    Clean up your own issues Mr. Rangel. The President is the head of the Democratic party and as such can have an opinion when it comes to it's elected officials. Better him that some tubby non-elected radio host. David patterson has skated through NY politics for years, based on his name and his father's years in politics. We know how this works in NY, name your price Governor patterson, choose a reason (health, family time etc) step aside and collect your checks. I can't bear the thought of Rudy Juliani and Judith don't call me Judi running this great state.

    September 28, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. J.Crobuzon

    I despise Rangel; he illegally held onto several rent-controlled apartments in NYC while my friend Tom D killed himself before being thrown out of his apartment home on a technicality. If there was any justice Rangel would be making these speeches from the belly of a shark instead of from his choice of luxurious homes. And I also think he's wrong; Obama's White House may think Paterson should back down but I doubt the President said it himself. Paterson's no good in the job and should back away from it.

    September 28, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. Rob

    Obama's new tag line: "Have nose, will stick it wherever it doesn't belong."

    September 28, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Gary P.

    Herr Obama should be able to choose what governor he wants, no? His Reich cannot survive without such powers.

    September 28, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Dave

    This could be the first smart thing Rangel has ever said 🙂

    Obama needs to just butt out of most everyting... especially the US economy and our lives, since he has done nothing but make both of them worse since the day he took office.

    September 28, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The GOP tear me up. They criticize the POTUS for getting involved in a race that could be costly, politically, to his party in the larger scheme of things. So, you don't want the POTUS getting involved in the internal politics of another entity?

    Show me your missives with your critical comments when Bush decided to go to the Vatican to remind the Pope on what the church's stance is on abortion. Never mind the fact that the Pope certainly didn't need Bush's input, or I should say Rove's because you don't honestly believe Bush was sharp enough to come up with it in his own, it just galls me the GOP's approach on everything – as long as we do or say it, it's OK!

    September 28, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. RIDOSWORLD

    Anyone surprised? Obama has been blurring the line between state and federal powers since Day 1.

    September 28, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    You got to remember Rangel your talking to Erkel here. He doesn't have a clue on behaving like a President. This is totally a new experience for him. You call a fish out of water then look at what is representing us with the foreign leaders. Do you not hear them laughing. Take Iran's President he believed Obama was so serious about snactons, like he cared, he fired long range missiles the next day in spite. In your face OBAMA.

    September 28, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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