Charlie Rangel gave a fist-pumping speech today at a rally for organized labor at the Federal Building on Wall Street, and afterwards in a scrum with reporters took time to (damn with faint) praise his leading opponent in the September 14 primary, Adam Clayton Powell IV.
Asked his opinion on Powell, he said, “He’s a good-looking guy. His dad was really one of the best. And that’s all I can say. I don’t see that much of him to be honest with you.”
Asked then why he thought he was better a candidate, Rangel simply said, “I think my record speak for itself…There may be a lot of people that are better than I am but they are not running.”
The rally was for a march on Washington by labor and progressive groups on October 2, and included such local liberal luminaries as United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew, NAACP chapter head Hazel Dukes, and Working Families Party head Dan Cantor. At the rally, standing in the heart of Wall Street, Rangel assailed Wall Street, and took a knock at another rally in Washington.
The heart of America is not Wall Street. What made America great are jobs and working your dreams and aspirations. Not just for us but for our children and our children’s children. People come from all over the world because they know what we got is pride, self esteem, paying rent, paying mortgages, sending kids off to school. You take that away from America and you are taking away our heart…We have a lot of strange people coming to Washington. Don’t let them fill the vacuum of the Stars and Stripes, that is really you. That is what you stand for. Get fired up once again. Don’t give up. Don’t give out. Don’t give in. This is our country.
Rangel appearing at today’s rally shows some optimism about being there on October 2, since it would be more than a little awkward if he loses on September 14.