Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Charlie Rangel Opponent Calls Him ‘Liability’ for Democrats

charlie rangel

Rangel faces another tough primary challenge Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat challenging longtime Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., in Tuesday’s primary, called his opponent a “liability” for the party, saying the congressman’s past ethical issues have crippled his ability to be effectively serve.

“Right now, [Rangel] cannot get us to the majority,” Espaillat told Chuck Todd Tuesday morning on “The Daily Rundown” on MSNBC. “I doubt very seriously that any marginal Democrat in a tough race would take his support.”

Espaillat, Rangel and Pastor Michael Walrond will face off Tuesday in a primary in New York’s 13th District, based in Harlem and the Bronx. Last cycle, Espaillat came within 1,000 votes of defeating Rangel.

In the cable television interview, Espaillat added that Rangel’s effectiveness in Congress ended in 2010, when the House voted to censure him  after the congressman was found in violation of numerous ethics laws.

“He has become a liability for the Democratic Party. He can no longer go across the country to campaign to be in the majority,” Espaillat said. “He served 44 years, but he hasn’t been effective since he’s been censured.”

Rangel pushed back on Espaillat’s comments on “The Daily Rundown,” telling Todd that his ethical issues are behind him.

“I think voters overwhelmingly have approved of my conduct, especially as a legislator,” Rangel said. “I think that issue is behind us.”

Whoever emerges from the Democratic primary is the overwhelming favorite in November. The district voted for President Barack Obama with 95 percent in 2012, making it one of the strongest districts for Democrats in the country.

New York’s 13th District is rated a Safe Democratic contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Ray

    Funny thing the statement that Rangel made regarding why voters elected him. LBJ had it right. When you serve a community that has a majority that depends on the government for its existence i.e food stamps, welfare, section 8 housing a candidate can do no wrong as long as you bring home those entitlements.

    As for the other candidate, Mr. Espaillat, Interesting enough he made a statement recently that he wants to give illegals the rights to vote. To me it’s a scary situation how this nation “DEMOCRATS” hands over so easily this nations benefits, and rights to people that have NOT earned that right yet; furthermore, just because you work, and live here does not make you an American. Being an American is something sacred, and honored; something that most democrats will never understand or just bypass it on the way to an election because their only drive is to win elections by any means necessary, even it it means trading in our country for a vote.

  • teapartyidiots

    I used to live in this district. Rangel is revered, like a grandpa of the district. Espalillat will be his successor, but won’t beat him.

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