Charlie Rangel: Tea Party is made up of "mean, racist people" from former "slave-holding" states

The NYC congressman still can't figure out why Obama thought he could cut a deal with the Tea Party

Elias Isquith
March 19, 2014 11:52PM (UTC)

Speaking on NY1's "Inside City Hall" on Tuesday night, longtime Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel let loose on the Tea Party and criticized President Obama for previously believing he could make a deal with them.

“It’s hard for me to explain how you work with a president that thought that he could really deal with the Republican leadership,” Rangel said. “Maybe it was the water that they drink at Harvard,” he continued, referring to Obama's time at Harvard Law School.


While Rangel was disappointed with the president, his ire was at its most intense when discussing the Tea Party. If Rangel had to describe the right-wing movement in a word, it would appear he'd have a hard time choosing between "racist" and "mean."

“They are mean, racist people," Rangel said of the Tea Party. "Now why do I say that? Because in those red states, they’re the same slave-holding states."

"They had the Confederate flag," he continued. "They became Dixiecrats; they had the Confederate flag. They’re now the Tea Party; they still got the Confederate [flag]."


"I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” Rangel added. “There is nothing the president can do – not love of country, not love of party – that they’re not prepared to kill themselves to get to him.”

As notes, this isn't the first time Rangel has attacked the Tea Party and described the movement as racist in nature. During the Summer of 2013, Rangel said Tea Partyers were "the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police."

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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