Rep. Charles Rangel, the gravelly voiced dean of the New York congressional delegation, paid a “courtesy call” on GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry during a campaign stop in Rangel’s Harlem district. The Texas governor was in town to meet with Latino leaders and business people. Organizers had tried to keep the event at Papasito Mexican Grill and Agave Bar “off the radar,” CBS News reports, and Rangel couldn’t resist stealing a bit of the limelight.
“As a courtesy, I stopped by Inwood to welcome Gov. Rick Perry to the most beautiful congressional district in our nation,” said Rangel, who spent about 20 minutes at the fundraiser.
The New York lawmaker told a group of reporters that Perry’s campaign can only help President Obama win the White House again in 2012 and that his policies underscore the need to support the president’s deficit reduction plan, which calls for a shared sacrifice to help balance the federal budget. Rangel also said Perry is welcome to visit his district anytime.
“While we have an obligation to do the right thing and show compassion to those who are most vulnerable in our country, it is frightening that Governor Perry has shown no compunction in executing his constituents or calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme,” said in a statement issued by his office. “The governor could come back to our district anytime he wants, because his visit only reinforces the need for us to rally around the president's plan to reduce the deficit in a fiscally responsible way and get Americans working again."
(Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)