Charlie Rangel Takes On Everyone

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Congressman Charlie Rangel just gave quite a long, remarkable speech, taking to the floor of the House to defend his reputation against the ethics charges that have been leveled against him and say that he deserves to know when a hearing will be held, won't leave Congress to save anyone embarrassment, and that he deserves his day in court.


In the process, he took on just about everyone possible. Below find quotes (transcribed as Rangel spoke) from the New York congressman regarding...

Republicans: "Republicans, hey, you don't have much to run on, but what the Hell, if Rangel's an embarrassment based on newspaper articles, I can see [why] you would do it..."


The House ethics committee: "Isn't this...the first time historically that it appears as though partisanship [has made its way into] the ethics committee?"

"I am not asking for leniency, I'm asking for exposure of the facts."

"When does Rangel get a chance to talk to witnesses?...I haven't talked to anyone on the ethics committee..."

"...and they had to expedite this case" which means Rangel, as he says, won't get as much time to prepare

Rangel also complained repeatedly that a hearing date has not been announced (he wants one) and that it could come around Election Day.


His critics/opponents: "If I can't get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot at getting rid of me through expulsion."

"...everyone knows who they are, and they followed me on vacation, they followed me when I was doing business, they have, at the airport, outside where I live...this has to stop sometime. It has to stop."


President Obama: (not really an indictment) "I do want the dignity that the president has said, and the dignity is that even if you see fir to cause me not to come back, because you're not going to do it in my district...[through a] recommendation that I be expelled, for me that would be dignity."


The Democratic Majority:  "I'm the guy that was raising money in Republican districts to get you here."


The House ethics process: Continuing the earlier quote about Obama's "dignity" comment: "...for me [expulsion] would be dignity, because it shows openly that this system isn't working for me...some if you might think that if it doesn't work for me, maybe it doesn't work for you."


Democratic House leadership: (also not really an indictment) "and I expect the leadership to help me" with legal costs associated with appearing before the ethics committee
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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