Washington (CNN) - Gov. Rick Perry’s meeting Monday in New York with Hispanic business leaders had an unexpected guest in attendance: Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, who represents the district where the meeting took place.
Rangel said he was simply doing the neighborly thing by welcoming the Republican presidential candidate to his locality. But a statement released by Rangel on Monday night did away with bipartisan pleasantries after the first sentence.
"As a courtesy, I stopped by Inwood to welcome Governor Rick Perry to the most beautiful congressional district in our nation,” Rangel said. “However, the Governor's visit ironically came on the very same day that my constituents heard President Obama's speech earlier today on getting America back to work. The President has made it clear that he would veto any bill that would change benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking millionaires and billionaires or biggest corporations to pay their fair share.”
Rangel went on to slam the Texas governor for his record on the death penalty and for recent remarks Perry made on Social Security.
“It is frightening that Governor Perry has shown no compunction in executing his constituents or calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme,” Rangel said. “The Governor could come back to our District anytime he wants, because his visit only reinforces the need for us to rally around the President's plan to reduce the deficit in a fiscally responsible way and get Americans working again."
The meeting, in upper Manhattan, took place at Papasito Mexican Grill and Agave Bar. Perry was invited to speak by a stockbroker who owns taxi companies and a construction company.
After the event, Rangel spoke to reporters, who asked the congressman why he was at the event.
"I'm here for the same reason that you're here, to find out why he's here," said Rangel as he arrived at Papasito.
When asked on his way out if the event was a fund-raiser, Rangel said only, "I don't how he's going to conclude, but I got out before he asked for money."
–CNNMoney's Aaron Smith contributed to this report.