December 5th, 2010
11:04 AM ET
7 years ago

Rangel responds to punishment

Washington (CNN) - New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel, who was formally censured by the House last week for violating House ethics rules and tax laws, said Sunday that members' standing in their home districts influenced the vote outcome.

Rangel said the low approval rating of Congress and the past election swayed congressional leaders, who he said were afraid of appearing to go "easy on anybody in Washington."

"I can understand that feeling back home, but I tell you, individually, whether it's Republicans or Democrats, they knew what I had done did not reach the level of a censure," Rangel said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Rangel called the vote an "embarrassing and painful experience," but said he is now trying to move on.

When asked if he thought race was a factor in the vote, he smiled and avoided directly answering the question.

"That's the last thing in the world that I would want to discuss because God has been very good to me," Rangel told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I'd be hard put to start complaining now."

The House ethics committee found the 20-term Harlem Democrat guilty on 11 counts of violating House rules, including failing to pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic, and improperly using his office to raise money for an educational center bearing his name.

The House voted in favor of the censure Thursday by a vote of 333 to 79.

Rangel said he was "overzealous" in trying to raise money for minority children and relied too heavily on his accountant and chief of staff.

Although he said he broke House ethics rules, he also said "the whole idea of corruption has been just laid to rest."

–The CNN Wire Staff contributed to this report

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Time Grows Short

    This clown is the primo-example of the typical Demo/Progressive. Steal from everyone and give to themselves. Iif he and Pelosi and Obama and other Demo/Progressive were sent to jail for their crimes this crap would stop.

    December 5, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Bill

    This man should be prosecuted in criminal court.

    December 5, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. malabar

    The people that reelected him must be total bottoms

    December 5, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Matt

    Or how about they made the right call and you're a filthy criminal? Ding ding ding – right answer!

    December 5, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Kurt


    December 5, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. argylesox

    what a lying thief...gee wish i could get away with not paying income tax for 17 years...rangel is a perfect example of corruption in politics

    December 5, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Latesha Bo

    A CRIME is a CRIME and should be Punished. Charlie Rangel is a Criminal and should be sent to JAIL

    December 5, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Lynn

    Everything in D.C. has become chocked with politics. We send our legislatures there to do the Country's business and all they do is bicker among themselves, turning every issue into a political bloodbath. The Republicans promised jobs if elected in Nov., but instead more jobs were lost. All the politician's want is to get elected so make themselves look good to their voters, everything else is secondary.

    December 5, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  9. Danram

    I don't think you could get any clearer window into this man's core character than this video clip. Rather than take responsibility for what he did and candidly admit "Hey, I was wrong." he tries to make us believe that it was all some purely politically-motivated witch hunt and that he's as pure as the driven slow. What a POS.

    December 5, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. 2X4

    To Charlie Rangle. ........ Charlie. ..... You are very lucky! You should be out of a job, maybe even in prison. ... Don't give the cry baby crap about servicemen fighting, you are a cheat, admit it. ....

    December 5, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. Scott in Boulder

    Sure, it was a political event...just as Rangel's actions leading to the event were purely corrupt, debased and deserving of complete expulsion from all government service and with all pensions rescinded.

    December 5, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Bill in CA.

    "the whole idea of corruption has been laid to rest"...sure it has Gnarley Charlie. If you told the truth. you'd tell a lie just to cover it up!!! You need the same treatment they gave De Lay...

    December 5, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  13. CyndyP

    Rangel down and Ensign to go! Why hasn't Ensign been charged for paying off his mistress?

    December 5, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Troy

    Political? Rangel was caught and he pays the price. Just like everyone else.

    December 5, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Anton

    Don't leave me swinging in the wind, until november!

    December 5, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. jdf

    Charlie you represent everything that is wrong with American politics. You are corrupt, irresponsible, and totally convinced of your own importance. Please shut-up and quit reminding us of how inept, self-serving, and unethical our government is.

    December 5, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Keith Long

    Congressman Rangel obviously believes that he is immune from the prosecution that any common citizen would suffer since he is a powerful political figure. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. Any of the rest of us who did what he did would be in prison and he gets a little talking to from the rest of the corrupt politicians in the house.

    December 5, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Rb's called tax evasion of which you benefited greatly...and leave GOD out of it, he knows the real truth and nothing but the truth. Pleaase pass that on to the rest of congress!

    December 5, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Ed

    He keeps telling the same lies, hoping they will somehow become truth. You're a thief, you got caught, and you're not going to prison. Suck it up and be a man.

    December 5, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. John

    How ironic, isn't it? Claiming to be victimized by the same process which contributed to your private agenda. You call yourself a politician and then argue the process was political? You sir, are not only a criminal but a moron too.

    December 5, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Dad The Great

    Still in denial....!

    December 5, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Guest

    This has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican. It is all about power and its abuse. Rangel, Delay, and several others are all guilty of violating public trust. Unfortunately, these criminals get off due to their connections – anyway you look at it, you lose!

    December 5, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Duck

    The guy just plain does not get it! In fact a whole bunch of folks, in his district, just don't get it.

    December 5, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. tom

    What a parasite... fitting that CNN would take his side. Rangel, please go away.

    December 5, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Paula

    This man is guilty of tax evasion, which he has admitted to, for failing to pay all his taxes for the last 17 years. He was publicly chastised by his colleagues. Big deal he needs to get over it. Wesley Snipes is going to federal prison for 3 years for tax evasions. He should thank his lucky stars he is a privileged congressman and not in criminal court on charges of tax evasion. He got off with a scolding not its time to move on.

    December 5, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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