September 28th, 2009
05:13 PM ET
11 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. Jackie in Dallas

    By the way, even in the most pushy of pushy notices about this event, someone in the White House says that the President is "concerned" about Paterson's low figures and wants him to consider the good of the Democratic ticket below the Governor's slot. How is that forcing anything? And how is that meddling?

    Micromanaging would be where President Obama is making decisions for Governor Paterson. He's not. As his party's titular head, it is a part of his job to consider the effects on the party as a whole for decisions being made.

    By the way Fellow from Chicago, watching the Repubs out in California is a much more entertaining, and much more divisive, version of the Reps eating their own!

    September 28, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Sandy

    Dear Guv. Paterson:
    Please do all of us Democrats a favor and bow out now. I was never impressed with your skills as governor, and if Spitzer hadn't screwed up (literally) we wouldn't be in the mess we are in. Mr. Rangel: please keep to yourself as well, as you are no knight in shining armor. Ms. Gillibrand, Mr. Espada, Mr. Monserrat, Mr. Rangel, and Mr. Paterson, you have all lost this Democrat's backing. Real change involves cleaning house on the elected officials we have in Albany now.
    Please let Mr. Cuomo run against (most likely) Mr. Guiliani, or we don't have a prayer next November.

    September 28, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Mike in MN

    But Mr. Rangel, please. Obama knows what is best for everything.
    He knows what is best for the state policits of N.Y. or any other state for the matter. He knows what is best for banks, auto companies, health care, energy, what we eat. He is so wonderful!!! Just let go Mr. Rangel, let Obama take over, drop your resistance. If we all just stop making decisions for ourselves and let Obama make them for us, we will all be so much better off. We won't be free thinking self sufficant Amerians and more. But who cares, Obama knows better than us what is best for us. He is so wonderfull and smart and talks sooooo good. Just let Obama run everything for you.

    September 28, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Jim

    How about Obama telling Rangel to get out? Rangel is as corrupt a politician as there is and he is in charge of tax policy-now that's the inmates running the asylum.

    September 28, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Alex

    I am not a NY resident, but I am with Rangel. The Democratic Party fails to live up to its name if its leadership tries to control local elections and even national congressional elections. Primary challenges to incumbents are a simple expression of the public will; if the public wants the incumbent, he/she will win the primary. (And likewise, if Paterson is bombing this hard next spring, he probably won't even bother to run). Clearly Rahm-bama is more interested in power and the illusion of majority if he will try to discourage competition at lower levels in the party, and use strong-arm financing tactics to keep worthless conservatives like Arlen Specter and Harry Reid in office, just because of the D's after their name.

    September 28, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. MatthewDetroit

    I love you DEMS on the Blog that are ripping on Charlie Rangel...
    Most of you were defending him just a few weeks ago and either calling it a Republican witch hunt, or using the old, George Bush is a thief line....

    Pretty funny how your liar # 1 is in conflict with liar # 2 and either way you dont know which one to blame....

    HA HA HA. The fact is that you people tolerate thieves and liars and think one of them is okay. They are both evil and bad men. They both take advantage of their power and position. They both lie cheat and steal in manipulation of politics and people.
    They both should be thrown out of politics.

    September 28, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Moe, NY

    If President Obama could clean up the political cesspool that is Albany, I, for one, would welcome it! Personally, I am for voting all the bums out of NYS. I am sure everyone is aware of the spectacle these politicans made of themselves over the summer. Republicans started a power play (figures) and absolutely nothing got accomplished. Come on fellow New Yorker's vote them ALL out this coming election.

    September 28, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    Loose translation: Obama is not an asset to Dems who want to keep their jobs in 2010.

    September 28, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. sonya

    So Dave- what exactly is it you think the President is supposed to do if he isn't concerned or "butting into" our economics & our lives???LOL!! OMG are you really serious??!! Please say you're not an adult, but still a child just commenting!!! So I'm just curious, what did you call it when BUSH sent all of our toops to the Middle East to destroy those countries & then rebuild with our TAX PAYERS DOLLARS????!!!!! Is that not "butting in"????You know what I call these comments from people who say Obama has no right to butt in (even though he is the party leader)??? You are all HATERS and need to leave running the country to OUR PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!

    September 28, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Truth time

    You cant always get......what you want.....

    September 28, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. fumblinstumblinoidiot

    Why not stick his head in new york politics..the occupant of the white house just got through telling massachusetts to replace the hero of chappaquittic didn't he??

    September 28, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. Reggie

    Obama has to meddle in everything. Isn't his 4 years up, yet?

    September 28, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. O- Butt -in

    Why does Obama engage in fights between cops and professors, attorneys, governors etc. HEY OBAMA. DO YOUR JOB!!! What the hell is he constantly doing this crap for when we have Iran testing missiles? FOCUS HUSSIEN FOCUS.

    September 28, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Sea.gem

    Obama won't respond...he's too busy working on his Olympic campaign..."Come to Chicago or be beaten to death by 2x4s"...ahh, the sweet success of Obama in Illions continues on...he was elected, why?...oh yeah, he did the empty promise of change thing..and people were desparate enough to believe him...I suppose these muderers in Chicago are not racist, just victims of circumstance!

    September 28, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. MatthewDetroit


    It is because your QUEENIE Nancy Pelosie WILL NOT ALLOW a congressional investigation of poor Charlie simply because he is a Democrat. Pure Politics here folks....

    You can all cry and lie about it but ALL CORRUPT politicians should be removed from office.
    Both sides of the aisle.

    September 28, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. worriedmom

    That's a good one, from one crook to the other! Guess Rangel won't call it a race thing will he! At least the Republicans stick together on issues, right or wrong but you Democrats will eat your own!! ha,ha.

    September 28, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. lou

    How bad is it when you get chewed out by Rengel, who himself is under investigation, AND you can't crybaby about "racism"? Looks like NObama is beginning to be shown up by his ideas finally. What a joke these people are.

    September 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. bljr

    Here's a headline for CNN " Rangle pay your taxes" now that I provided the headline maybe CNN could write a story.

    September 28, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Gail

    Now he's meddling in Colorado politics too promising Andrew Romanoff an administration job if he doesn't run against Michael Bennet.

    September 28, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Mike in MN

    Since when it it the job of the president to worry about state politics in New York or any other state? The people of NY have the right to self determine their own politics. Who is Obama to suggest a black blind man should not aspire to be whatever he can be? Obama is a fraud, if that does not prove it nothing will.
    Obama should be spending all his time getting the good people of America back to work and growing the economy instead of government and the deficits.

    September 28, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. Greg in MO

    Some of you folks are going to have to suck it up and realize Obama has not had any good ideas yet and that his advice is pretty useless.

    September 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  22. Pking

    I am a staunch Democrat- but I have to weigh in on this one on the side of the critics. I understand the reasoning behind the President's meddling- but that does not make it OK in my book. Let the States take care of their own business, Mr. President. The Federal government should stay out of this one.

    September 28, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. tony_n_atl

    Shouldn't he be more concerned about his tax issues? See, thats why he missed the millions of dollars he is worth cause he worried about other things!

    September 28, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    As an aside, Charlie you're a good looking old man. Tell me, what kind of hair relaxer do you use? You're not still "conking" it are you?

    September 28, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. domincan mama is obama

    haha we're all dopes for believing anything can change up on the pillars of D.C. Let's vote out the corrupt repubs for corrupt dems, rinse and repeat please.

    September 28, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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