Didn’t Nancy want the swamp drained?

Rangel Plays Race Card, Says Obamacare The Victim

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Harlem Congressman: Some Americans Go To Sleep At Night Wondering About Presidency: “How Did This Happen?”

Here we go again for Congressman Charles Rangel. 

A major newspaper is calling for his resignation as chairman of the committee that writes tax laws. 

And then there’s this: The 79-year-old is under fire for comments he made about race and President Barack Obama. 

First, Gov. David Paterson did it. Now, Rep. Rangel is doing it as an ethics probe heats up. 

The “it” is playing the race card. Rangel said “bias” and “prejudice” are fueling opposition to health care reform. 

Already under fire for a wide range of ethical questions, Rangel played the race card in a health care forum the other night, saying racial bias against President Obama is behind opposition to health care reform. 

“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 also likened the fight to provide health care for the uninsured to the fight for civil rights. 

“Why do black people have to bargain for what is theirs? Why do we have to wait for the right to vote? Why can’t we get what God has given us? And that is the right to live as human beings and not negotiate with white southerners and not court the votes. Just do the right thing,” Rangel said. 

Rangel’s incendiary remarks come as the congressman filed amended financial reports to the House Ethics Committee admitting that he forgot to report millions of dollars in assets and income. 

Financial forgetfulness is apparently a disease that is spreading to his staff. Two top aides — chief of staff Jim Capel and Rangel legal counsel George Dalley — are among about a dozen staffers on Rangel’s tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee that have filed amended financial reports recently. Capel did not file any financial disclosure statements for six years. 

Rangel’s own forgetfulness prompted the political important Washington Post to demand Thursday that Rangel step down as chair of Ways and Means. 

Said The Washington Post: “Much is expected of elected officials. Much more is expected and demanded of those entrusted with chairmanships and the power that comes with them, especially when it involves the nation’s purse strings. From all that we’ve seen thus far, Mr. Rangel has violated that trust continually and seemingly without care.” 

Even some in Rangel’s neighborhood think stepping aside might be a good idea. 

“He’s not the only one. They’re all stealing. It’s just that they want to get him out because he has too much influence. He’s been there too long. Every last one of them is stealing,” Harlem resident Jacob Israel said. 

“He should step aside because who knows what else he’s doing that we don’t know about,” resident Jerry Watson added.

Rangel clammed up about the ethics probe on Thursday. He refused a request for an interview, saying through a spokesman he didn’t think it was fair to comment until the Ethics Committee completes its investigation. 

As Congressman Rangel faces calls to step down, New York politicians are weighing in. 

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he’d like to know all the facts before joining the chorus. 

“Charlie has been very helpful to this city in terms of doing things that we’ve asked him to do, bringing home the bacon if you will and I hope that he’s done nothing wrong,” Bloomberg said. 

Councilman and mayoral candidate Tony Avella released a statement saying, “It was also mar his effectiveness in representing Harlem in Congress. He should not stand for re-election.” 

Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson did not return CBS 2 HD’s calls.

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