Maybe he was sunning himself on the beach outside his oceanfront villa in the Dominican Republic when anti-police protesters marched through the streets of New York chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now!” That might explain why Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) claimed on CNN this morning that those words were never uttered by demonstrators, whose peaceful behavior has been exemplary.
The conversation was between Rangel and host Ashleigh Banfield. When she brought up the ugly chants, Rangel insisted no such thing happened. That was until Banfield “went to the videotape,” as Warner Wolf used to say. The money portion of the back-and-forth starts at around the 2:50 mark:
After viewing the video evidence, Rangel writes off the protesters as “crazy people.” He never explains what differentiates these demonstrators — whose numbers, by the way, are legion — from those who are not crazy. Are people who set fire to cars and stores crazy? How about those who assault police officers?
In the end, you almost have to feel bad for Rangel, who also believes his many ethics violations never happened. He was censured on the House floor in December 2010 after the ethics panel found him guilty of 11 charges related to his conduct outside the Capitol. The vote against him was a bi-partisan 333-79. But to Rangel it was all racism — just like the racist cops in New York.
Howard Portnoy contributed to this report.
Cross-posted at The Lid