[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/04/art.rangel.cnn.jpg 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.”