Charles Rangel, the venerable U.S. Congressman from Harlem, has caused something of a firestorm as a result of comments he made recently criticizing the Tea Party movement.
“It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police,” Rangel said of the Tea Party, in an interview with the Daily Beast. “They didn’t care about how they looked.”
The 83-year-old Democrat continues: “It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough. ‘I don’t want to see it and I am not a part of it.’ What the hell! If you have to bomb little kids and send dogs out against human beings, give me a break.”
The congressman’s comments drew a sharp response from Donald Trump, the businessman and one-time presidential candidate, saying that Rangel’s use of “cracker” was no different from Paula Deen using the N-word.
“Paula Deen was absolutely crucified, what they did with her,” Trump said, speaking on Fox News. “I don’t know what even happened to her. I see everybody dropped her. She has really got some problems. It’s amazing.”
Trump, who is well known for questioning whether President Obama was born in the United States, said that there was a double standard at work.
“If Charlie or whoever it was was a Republican and they made that statement, they’d be resigning from office right now,” Trump said.
In the interview, Rangel said he was not painting all Republicans with the Tea Party brush and added that there were some GOP officials who he thought gave sensible deliberation to many issues.
"Chris Christie, who is a big Northeasterner, and people only go for Christie because he is reasonable. He says something nice about the president helping out Jersey and now he is on the hit list by Republicans,” Rangel said. “And now my friend Peter King is on their hit list,” he said of the Republican congressman from Long Island.
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(Photos from left: Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images)