Rep. Charles Rangel said Tuesday that “bias” and “prejudice” toward Obama are fueling opposition to health-care reform.
Those incendiary comments came on the heels of [Gov. David] Paterson’s controversial comments about race that also mentioned the nation’s first black president.
“Some Americans have not gotten over the fact that Obama is president of the United States. They go to sleep wondering, ‘How did this happen?’ ” Rangel (D-Manhattan) said Tuesday.
Speaking at a health-care forum in Washington Heights, Rangel said that when critics complain that Obama is “trying to interfere” with their lives by pushing for health-care reform, “then you know there’s just a misunderstanding, a bias, a prejudice, an emotional feeling.”
“We’re going to have to move forward notwithstanding that,” said Rangel, the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and a chief health-care negotiator.
Rangel then likened the battle over health-care expansion for the uninsured to the fight for civil rights.
“Why do we have to wait for the right to vote? Why can’t we get what God has given us? That is the right to live as human beings and not negotiate with white southerners and not count the votes. Just do the right thing,” he said.
After the town hall, he had the nerve to lie about what he had said earlier:
After the forum, Rangel insisted he was not smearing opponents as racists.
“What I’m saying is, if you watch the town-hall meetings, people were angry and did not care what the answer was to some of their questions. They were angry with their member of Congress, period,” he said.
Charlie Rangel: Once a race-baiter, always a race-baiter.