Rangel Hits Tea Partiers, Calls Them 'White Crackers'

The 83-year-old Democrat likened the group's tactics to those of "white crackers" in the South who fought segregation. 

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Rep. Charles Rangel during a recent hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Beast published on Friday, 83-year-old Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) railed against the Tea Party, likening members to whites in the South who fought to preserve segregation during the civil rights movement. He also hit Republicans, accusing the party of sabotaging American competitiveness. 

There is little question that Rangel is nearing the end. First elected 43 years ago, after having defeated the man whose name adorns the building where the congressman keeps his office, he is musing aloud now about what he once forbade anyone to discuss with him: his own retirement.

But even at 83, dressed in a blue bow tie and crisp gray suit, Rangel is relentless toward those who he feels are slowing the forces of progress. 

House Republicans? Have done more damage to American competitiveness than al Qaeda ever could. "What is happening is sabotage. Terrorists couldn't do a better job than the Republicans are doing."

The Tea Party? Defeat them the same way segregation was beaten. "It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough. 'I don’t want to see it and I am not a part of it.' What the hell! If you have to bomb little kids and send dogs out against human beings, give me a break." 

Surely there are some good Republicans though, right. 

"Chris Christie, who is a big Northeasterner, and people only go for Christie because he is reasonable. He says something nice about the president helping out Jersey and now he is on the hit list by Republicans," Rangel said. "And now my friend Peter King is on their hit list. Peter King, a Republican, is considered a goddamn communist."

Read more at the Daily Beast.

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