May 4th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Rangel says issue of religion will 'come back to haunt us'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rangel appeared on CNN's Late Edition."](CNN) - Hillary Clinton supporter Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, attacked the media coverage of Barack Obama’s former pastor on CNN’s “Late Edition”, blaming them for over-hyping the issue and implying that it could hurt the Democratic Party down the road.

“It's disgraceful that he has to make any explanation for anything,” the outspoken congressman told Wolf Blitzer. “The intrusion of the media and Republicans into the sacred relationship that worshipers have with their spiritual leaders, I think, is going to come back to haunt us.”

“To think that we have to go into the lives and the beliefs of rabbis and priests and ministers and imams is absolutely ridiculous,” he went on.

Rangel’s comments defending the privacy of Obama’s relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright goes against what even the Illinois senator has said about the issue. Last Sunday, Obama told Chris Wallace that it is a “legitimate political issue” and that he understands why people are discussing it.

But Rangel argued that the Democratic candidate’s beliefs are completely different than those of his pastor— and the media know it.

“Of course he's a candidate, and he doesn't want to take all of you on,” Rangel alleged. “If we've got to get into the Jerry Falwells and to the [Pat] Robertsons and to the number of people that have what appears to other religions to be bizarre beliefs, we'll never get to the issues that America is concerned about.”

Filed under: Charlie Rangel
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Helene

    But Mr. Rangel who started the race card ? If not your candidate and her ex-President husband ? You are supporting the wrong person.

    May 4, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Tom

    I support Hillary but I disagree with Rangel – the pastor and Obama's long term relationship with him go right to who Obama is, his character and what he stands for and no one can get elected with Obama's scary closet full of monsters (including his own words in S.F. and his wife's opinions).

    May 4, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. The Truth

    If Obama sat in that church for twenty years and didn't hear the minister what was he doing in the church. I wonder what he did in the senate for one year? All he does is talk I guess, and he doesn't listen. Give me a break

    May 4, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. MM

    Rangel is Right.

    Hillary, and McCain supporters are wrong for beating this into the ground. Media is wrong for covering this and not the issues. Another example of Media playing on fear for ratings, this time it is racial fear.

    May 4, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Western Voter

    Congressman Rangell is right on! How dare we start judging political candidates by the sermons thier pastors deliver. I cannot imagine any greater interference of state in the affairs of the church.

    Frankly we ought to be far more concerned about candidates whose pastors preach milk toast. Pastors who are true to Christ's call serve up challenging did Jesus of Nazareth.

    This issue raises a serious question about whether Americans are mature enough to permit a campaign to be anything but negative and focused on issues that should not matter. If Clinton's pandering on the gas tax and the side show produced by Rev. Wright derail Obama, it is the Aermican voters who should take responsibility for becoming too immature to deserve a democracy.

    May 4, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. acorn

    Thank your Rep. Rangel. CNN has went down hill since Ted Turner left. They have now reached the bottom.

    May 4, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    I wondered where the good Charlie Rangel stood on the candidates..somehow I am not surprised. I am sure alot of senior so called "black leaders" are supporting Ms Clinton. Sen Obama must make them feel like the lame ducks they are.

    OBAMA 08

    May 4, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Ben Gabson

    Thank you Mr. Chairman, you are finally opening your eyes. Don't forgert that Billary made this an issue in the campaign with her recalcitreance-her delusional refusal to accept defeat.

    May 4, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Bill, Covington

    I wouldn't expect anything different from Charlie Rangel. No matter what he thinks, the relationship betewwn Jeremiah Wright ( the Terrorist ) and the Obama is relevent. Wright is dangerous and after 20 years of listening to that crap the entirety of the obama family are dangerous. And, if Charlie Rangel ascribes to Wright's brand of preaching, he also is dangerous as is any one or all the rest of those that ascribe to that crap.When do they start strapping explosives on their children and send them into shopping malls.

    May 4, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Willy

    Rangel should know as he too is a race warlord

    May 4, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. mt

    I am Obama supporter, but I want to thank Rep. Rangel for telling Blitzer like it is, blaming the media for over-hyping the issue on Obama's former pastor. Someone needs to be blunt with this so-called media circus. Why doesn't the media bring out the important issues that the american people want to hear? That's what important and nothing else.

    May 4, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Tee


    May 4, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. all American

    I wonder if Rep.Rangel knows who is is in office to represent? It is very inportent that this type of news comes out on a canadidate. These are the values he beleives in and these are the values he will take to the white house and make desions on. This is not about race or what church anyone goes to, this is about the beleiving in hate messages and anti- american statements. And Obama had to beleive this to attend that church fo twenty years.

    So Rep.Rangel you are elected to make desions for the good of our country and the americans that live here. Not to defend some one that is in question if they should be president, the most importent job in America.

    May 4, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |

    I watched Late Edition this morning and specifically that interview with rangel, donna brazil and roland martin. I disagree with charlie rangel. I think that the crazy christian right have dominated the course of America (and have tried to infulence the rest of the world) for the last 20 years and have contributed to THE MESS we're in today.

    Religion should stay out of GVT's business, however, these nutty pastors, priests, rabbis and whatever have millions who follow their everyword and if one of their members is going to run for President I think it is fair game to align the candidate with the pastor. LOOK WHO WE HAVE IN THE WHITEHOUSE AT THIS MOMENT- a CRAZY person, who was also an on the job trainee, and pretended to be a christian so he could be crowned king.

    May 4, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. G

    Hilary Clinton tell lies. And let the real truth be told, so has Bill Clinton, he just knows how to cover his lies up, well he had to give up the truth about Monica (LOL). I am one who voted for Bill, for many other reasons. Now trust me, if Hiliary runs against McCain. I promise you I WILL NOT VOTE (just like many others). A message to Hiliary .... You can not be the President with only NY, CA, TX, Ohio, PA and a few others states votes. You act like the small states DON'T count. Bet you cannot win without them (the small STATES). You as a President ... HA! Lets review the all records of NY (you don't even has control on one State) how are you going to handle the rest of the States in the UNITED STATES. Please. Ps Stop telling LIES.

    May 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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