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. JP

    I swear some of you people are so bitter its sickening... I was mad when Al Gore was ripped off, but I didn't hold it in for the next year. Do you really have so little else going on that you can't get behind the RIGHTFULLY ELECTED PRESIDENT! He was elected following the rules of our country and constitution and so those who claim to be so patriotic should respect that..

    As a matter of fact, it is the business of the administration to worry about their ticket in important elections. The President has always been considered the head of his party, regardless of which party were talking about. The fact that many of you can't stomach a democratic president doesn't change his role from that of any other president.

    September 28, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. Jayson

    Just to let some of you people know, a lot of Presidents have done this...Obama is not 5the only one. Presidents do this to try to keep the party strong..its not a Democratic or republican thing. Some of you need to get educated on how politics works instead of camping out at your computer ready to attack the President everytime he blinks his eys...it looks desperate and pathetic.

    Also, Rangel needs to keep his mouth shut and be happy he still even has a job...considering it was just weeks ago that the Repulican party was after him cheating on his taxes.

    September 28, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Emmanuel Goldstein

    Rangel: "Oh yeah, and get the IRS out of New York as well. They're cramping my style, you dig?"

    September 28, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Voter

    Charlie Rangel is right on this one.

    Obama is used to the political machine that is Chicago politics. Guess what, Mr. O? It doesn't work that way everywhere in America.

    I resent Obama's presumptuous and arrogant intrusion into NYS politics. But that's the kind of guy he is, presumptuous and arrogant.

    September 28, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. leroy

    good thing charlie be black or he be reprimanded by nancy piglosi

    September 28, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. sonya

    For those of you who think Mr. President Obama is just butting in & not doing his job....WHAT IS IT YOU PEOPLE THINK THE PRESIDENT'S JOB IS???!!! LOL I'll tell you what he job is: HIS JOB IS TO RUN THE COUNTRY!!!! I know, you people just aren't used to a President actually addressing REAL issues RIGHT HERE in our OWN COUNTRY!!! Thank god he's not related to any of the BUSHES is all I have to say!!!!!

    September 28, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Sgt. USMC

    If you have no chance of winning why even run??? Why deny your fellow Democrats the opportunity of doing something you failed to do??? Is this about New York or is it about you Paterson? Rangel, quit giving the republicans a reason to talk trash.

    September 28, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. KJ

    As a Democrat, I don't think Rangel should be taking a moral stand given his lack of ethics (i.e. non-payment of taxes, using rent control apartments for his campaign hq etc.). That is like having Sen. Ensign and Vitter bearating

    September 28, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Adam from Ohio

    Hey, isn't Charlie Rangel about to get ensnared in an ethics probe of his own? Ugh ... get rid of the lot of 'em and give us some good progressives, please.

    September 28, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. rob

    why is obama getting into states politics??? he has his own crap to deal with in the WH which it looks he can handle....

    September 28, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. The Czech

    The Dems are turning on each other now. I thought BHO was going to be the Great Unifier. Looks like his plan (if there is one) isn't working out too well.

    September 28, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Kick the Bums Out

    Is Charlie Rangel a racist?

    September 28, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. hjt

    Maybe obama should spend more time talking with McChrystal instead of getting involved in NY politics

    September 28, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. Observer

    In reading this article, I did not read one quote from Rangel saying "Obama back off..." please be smarter people, headlines are sensationalized in order to make more money, get more attention and make more uneccessary noise.

    September 28, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. T. Martin

    I think Obama should not have messed with it. On the other hand, if national political leaders should not have messed with local politics, then how do Republicans justify Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, etc. (Rove was not elected, true. But they all butted in where they had no business.) At least in Obama's case he was just telling it like it is–what was already known about the governor's low popularity figures. The governor is hurting himself and not helping the Democrats in New York by continuing to play.

    September 28, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Jay

    I whish all of the Obama lovers would get off trying to defend him on any little thing. He needs to deal with issue effecting this economy and this countries defense. He was out of line pure and simple like the professor gates comment he'd made. Pres O just needs to concentrate on the pressing needs in this nation and not worry about political stuff.

    September 28, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  17. Objective Thinking

    If Presidents have been doing this before, then it was wrong for them, too. It doesn't mean it's any less wrong for Obama to do it.

    September 28, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. rorsharch

    btw Charlie Rangel = Korea Vet
    BO= Yale Vet

    Huevos edge- Rangel

    September 28, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. Patty of N.J.

    Before Rangle opened his crooked mouth he should have found out if his info was true or not. According to Patterson, President Obama did not ask him not to run. Who do you think is telling the truth ?

    September 28, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Morally Bankrupt

    This is just more idiocy from one corrupt, morally bankrupt liberal to another!

    September 28, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  21. patrick

    He's getting and got what he wanted, the whole ball of wax.

    September 28, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  22. CJK

    The most recent Marist poll shows that 70% of NYer's don't want Paterson to run next year. So what if one illinformed idiot in DC joins in with the majority?

    September 28, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  23. Larry of Boston

    While you are at it Charlie, you could tell the president to stop meddling in a few areas:

    1 – Get out of the auto industry.
    2 – Get out of AIG
    3 – Get out my doctor-patient relationship
    4 – Don't mess with my right to free speech and the right to protest
    5 – Get out of Afghanistan
    6 – Get out of Iraq
    7 – Get out of your cozy relationship with Godman Sachs, your biggest contributor
    8 – End your cozy relationship with the Disgraced tom Daschel, your health care advisor and a paid pharmaceutical lobbyist
    9 – Get out of the banking industry
    10 – Try fixing the economy before you try to bring the Olympics to Chicago

    September 28, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  24. John

    Obama was a community organizer, so I think it's difficult for Obama to stay away from local politics. I am proud of Obama for caring, so I don't mind that he pokes his nose around. I wish more politicians would.

    September 28, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    Finally, a Democrate who is tired of Obama and his meddling.

    September 28, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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