Rep. Charles Rangel speaks after declaring victory in the Democratic primary in New York’s 15th Congressional District on June 26, 2012, in New York City. 
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A little over a year ago, New York Rep. Charles Rangel caught some flak after a Daily Beast interview during which he compared the Tea Party to “the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police” in the Jim Crow era.

On Monday, however, sitting down with the Huffington Post’s Marc Lamont Hill, the 84-year-old veteran congressman shrugged off the comment that inspired quite a bit of ire.

“I thought [white cracker] was a term of endearment,” he told Hill on HuffPost Live. “[The Tea Party is] so proud of their heritage and all of the things they believe in.”

Rangel did apologize to those offended, in his own way, but at the same time, he also pointed to the hypocrisy behind their anger.

“With all of the feelings I have against these people that have been against justice, fair play, equality and the freedoms as we know it, if I offended them by calling them a white cracker, for that I apologize,” Rangel said. "For the rest of it, there’s a lot that has to be done here; with the names I’ve been called, I never really put cracker in that category. But I’d certainly love to have dinner with some of the people that were offended.

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“A guy from Lenox Avenue who’s in Congress calls mean-spirited people that bomb and kill people, set dogs on them, lynch people and still refuse to believe that we’re suffering in pain from this—they can say, ‘That guy makes a lot of sense, but he had no business calling us a white cracker,’” he added.

Read more at the Huffington Post.