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. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    And being "presidential" is something Rangel knows about how???

    September 28, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Brian in MD

    "NY is my bread and butter, hands off. I'll give you your monthly cut just as we agreed." – C. Rangel

    September 28, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  3. Ms. Johnson, Pearland,Texas

    Charles Rangel needs to get his personal affairs in order.

    He never liked Obama in the first place.
    Check out the expression on his face when Obama gave the address at the DNC convention in 2004.

    It is time for these jealous old men to move on regardless of race.

    Patterson is at 18% in the polls and has bungled just about everything ,to support him because he know s his dad and knew him all his life is stupid.

    September 28, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. sonya

    I think everyone has a comment or something to say about whatever President Obama does. He is our President and folks just need to accept it! Just like the Democrats had to accept Bush for 8 years! Do you people think that was easy to do??? Yet no one grossly disprespected him every chance given like they do today with President Obama! To those who can sit back & make comments like being the President is easy I say this: What is your plan? What is your solution to any of the problems facing Obama right now?! The problem people, there's too many CHIEFS & not enough INDIANS!!!

    September 28, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Mike Dallas

    Uh, Charlie, President Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party, he was completely correct and within his sphere of influence, in trying to weed out weak candidates.

    Speaking of weak candidates, paid those taxes yet Charlie?

    September 28, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. illinoisman

    You people in New York have to learn how Chicago politics are. That is the CHANGE you'll get from Obama. I dont like Rangel but he is correct. OBAMA is not god.(though he thinks he is) and has ZERO buisness telling people who can and cant run for political office.

    September 28, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    You have enough problems Rangel. Keep to YOURself.

    September 28, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Buffalo

    Do you think the prez will "wrangle" with Charlie?

    September 28, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Wanda J. Brown

    Charlie Rangel is another New York HYPOCRITE that needs to shut
    up and tell the truth about his property taxes. He and Shumer should be great friends. Birds of a feather always LIE together.

    September 28, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. suzyku

    Old story, is Cnn running out of idea's! Rangel shouldn't speak right now considering his own problems!

    September 28, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. cesar

    i am so glad this party is starting to implode and even happier people are realizng what shmucks they were to vote for them in the first place...keep up the good gentlemen

    September 28, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. ObamaFan

    I like Barrack but I must admit he needs to reign in that little attack dog who is his chief of staff.

    Anytime you see some slimeball Chicago style curb stomp political maneuvering come out of this administration, think Rahm Emanuel.

    September 28, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Real-Repub

    Well, Mr. Obama is about to find out what happens when a black politician meddles in the affairs of two black politicians. I'm guessing Charlie has his shorts in a bunch because the Pres would dare to say something negative about a black politician.
    Mr. Obama will soon find out that racism cuts both ways (And has, for a very long time)
    He will be expected to make exceptions for politicians of color and will be excoriated for not doing so.
    Welcome to Washington Mr. President

    September 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    And Rangel is forgetting just one minor detail...President Obama is his party's titular head, and entitled to discuss possible issues with people in his own party. You see, I believe President Obama didn't "pressure" Paterson, just laid the issues on the table. That's a whole lot less "pressure" than past Republicans have done while President! Or past Dems, for that matter.

    Just some more of the whine, whine, whine of many of our country's legislators. Rangel, pay more attention to what's going on on the House floor than getting involved in this discussion. What business is it of YOURS, either?

    September 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. m.mcc

    Rangel's right, this so-called President needs to start acting "Presidential" and keep his nose out of this....and the Olympics.......and college football rankings, etc. There are plenty of other more important things for him to do.

    September 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. cesar

    presbo isn't the leader fot he dem party folks...the head of the dnc is and that would be tim kaine – don't you people know anything about your party...do you people actually vote – god save us...

    September 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Jack

    Unless of course Rangel can find someway to make some money from Obama's involvement...then press on Hussem.

    September 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Bob

    I agree with Congressman Rangel. A state determines who it's candidates will be. It is real bull when the democratic national committee calls on the President to send the sitting governor a message about stepping down.

    It's the governor's right to decide what he is going to do in New York, not the President's. And by the way, you see how meddling really screwed up the transition for President Obama's senate seat in Illinois. I'm sure the President had someone handpicked for that position but the governor (corrupt as he may be) outflanked the President. Now we all know who will be the candidate for the Illinois senate seat in 2010. It will be Jesse Jackson Jr, the handpicked choice.

    September 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. AB

    Listen Rangel, didn't you hear...

    The Time For Games Is Over.

    September 28, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. TiredofDem

    I smell another Beer Summit coming. Get together and pound some 40's down and get it worked out.

    September 28, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. An Ex-NC-Pub

    I thought Rangle was in prison.

    September 28, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Richard

    When Fuhrer decides who he wants to govern his state it would be best to abide by his decree. Heil Obama , lets not have anymore of this nonsense. Just kidding... maybe. How about all of the govenors get together and call a constutuional convention so we can fix some of our problems and stop this power hungry Marxist from doing any more damage until we can boot him out in 2012.

    September 28, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. NY

    I don't think anyone should have anything to say unless they live in NY. I think Gov. Patterson should not run. He has not done a good job for us New Yorkers.

    September 28, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Mike D

    It's not unusual for a sitting president to stump for a politician of the same party. Likewise it's not unusual to ask them to step down.

    Gov. David Paterson has an 80% disapproval rating which would suggest that if he ran, he'd lose. Gov. Paterson has alluded to running regardless. This isn't about running for the sake of running but to win, and win for your party.

    These guys are are only hurting their own and are doing nothing that benefits their respective elections.

    September 28, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Joe Black

    I'm making it clear that iI'm not happy with this Rnagel guy publicly dissing the President, a member of his own party. How is that beneficial to anyone? The Obama adminstration, and any democrat with an ounce of sense, knows that in order for the democratic party to retain their hold on the state of N.Y., a stronger candidate will be needed to run against Giuliani. Paterson, while a man of integrity, is not capable of winning that race. The honorable thing to do for Paterson, would be to step aside and let the same strategists who were respnsible for President Obama's large win, take over and do whatever is necessary to help the democratic party keep governorship of N.Y. If Paterson fails to do this, he will lose more than just his office, he will lose the respect of many, and many people will suffer because of his arrogance. Rangel is as out of touch as they come. The fact that he would publicly call out the President like this, giving the GOP free ammo, tells you that he's lost his marbles.

    September 28, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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