Congressman Charlie Rangel has taken a lot of hits in the media over the years, and at today’s press conference announcing the endorsement of his 2010 rival Adam Clayton Powell IV, he let the crowd of reporters know, completely unprompted, that he didn’t have any hard feelings about any of it.
Before taking any questions, he asked if anyone from the New York Post was in the crowd.
“I’d always like to extend a courtesy to the New York Post,” he explained. “I know that they’ve had problems internationally but I do believe that [we’re] entitled to hear from the Post.”
No one from the Post was available to hear his zinger about Rupert Murdoch’s various problems, so he concluded, “Well I had hoped that they would have been there.”
Mr. Rangel proceeded to move on to New York City’s other main tabloid.
“The Daily News — are they here? — they wrote an editorial that was so complimentary it even ended up saying good night,” he said, sarcastically referring to what might technically be a Post editorial suggesting he should say goodbye to his career. “But I just know that you have to do what you have to do, and I don’t have any animosity about them.”
The first question he did in fact take was from the New York Times, which uncovered Mr. Rangel’s expansive use of multiple rent-subsidized apartments back in 2008, an article Mr. Rangel clearly remembered. The reporter asked about the impact of endorsements in a political race.
“There was a time that people said that because of a newspaper story I wouldn’t have them,” he said in the middle of an extended answer. “So I appreciate it and I’d appreciate the Times endorsement because a lot of people read the Times and they don’t know who I am. They rely on the Times endorsement and I’m relying on the expertise of the Times to continue to investigate reports that go back a long time ago.”
Citing the ethics allegations, the Times endorsed another one of Mr. Rangel’s opponents in 2010, Joyce Johnson, who is also running again this year. They have yet to issue an endorsement for 2012.