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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

June 24, 2014 - 9:13 am

Eric Cantor might not be the only big name in Congress to fall this primary season, as voters head to the polls in New York today to decide if 84-year-old Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) will keep his job.

His challenger in the Democratic primary is Adriano Espaillat, 59, a member of the New York State Senate.

“Ever since he’s been censured, he has not been effective. He hasn’t passed any legislation and he has become a liability for the Democratic Party,” Espaillat argued to MSNBC this morning. “You know, he can no longer go across the country and campaign to gain the majority. You know, that’s probably what the Tea Party radicals want him to do, so they can rally their troops against President Obama and the Democratic Party.”

Rangel has served more than four decades in Congress. “It’s time for him to leave. The district wants a new voice, someone that will bring a big-tent approach to politics and government and include everybody,” Espaillat said.

Rangel told the network he has a purpose in wanting to serve one more term, though.

“I truly believe that the Republicans have to break their arrangement with the Tea Party. I truly believe if they’re going to try to become a national party once again, they have to cut the Tea Party loose,” he said. “I think they’re going to have to do something positive in the next couple of years, whether it’s immigration, infrastructure, education. They’re going to have to do something besides just saying no.”

“I’ve been with the president for six years and the Congress, the leadership of the House recognized the contributions I’ve been able to make. And I think the main reason is that none of the competitors have any experience in doing anything.”

Rangel noted that the press keeps hammering at the fact that the Bronx part of his district is heavily Latino, hence an edge for Espaillat.

“And so you know, the press tries to act as though I’m the only one that’s supposed to not be aware of it. But the fact remains if you take a look at his support for me over the years, you take a look that he has no legislative record, you take a look at — at the fact that I’ve represented this district and represented it well, what reason in the world would he decide to look at the map and run?” the congressman said.

Espaillat noted that in his last challenge, he only fell short by a thousand votes.

“Last time I had nobody with me; that was doing it empty handed. Now I have the support of many of the elected officials, citywide elected officials, the United Federation of Teachers, Transport Workers Union, hotel trades,” he said. “…So you know, I’m well equipped right now to bridge that thousand votes. We’re going to win tonight.”

(For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Don't be surprised if ol' Charley comes up with a whole bunch of magic votes from funeral parlors. That's been a Democrat specialty since the 1960 election; what's ironic is that he'll use it against another Democrat this time.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Rangel told the network he has a purpose in wanting to serve one more term, though."

He's got a lot of bodies to bury?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
We can only hope the "old guard" can be retired. We have not been served well in the past decade by those who will not acknowledge a movement that wants more honesty and transparency from its leaders.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Will monkeys fly out of my butt?

Film at 11:00 pm.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Same old [blank] different flies!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
When you boil it all down there will still be a democrat representing Harlem regardless of who wins. But it will be nice to hear Rangel's whining fading into the background noise - never to be heard from again...

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Be still, my beating heart. Vote away Rangel?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"They’re going to have to do something besides just saying no.”

No, their job is to just say no. It is what they were elected to do, first and foremost. They were elected to slam on the brakes.

The Dems were elected to do stuff, then the country saw what the actual product looked like, and they decided, "Not just no, but Hell no!"
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
It doesn't matter. We know whomever the Dems nominate, he's going to be a big spending, big government, potentate, and he's not going to do anything good for the country. And he'll be the next congressman, not the tea party Republican.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Meet the new Dem; Same as the old Dem.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rangel or Espaillat, what's the difference. They are both Democrats, and will toe the party line if elected. And don't think for a minute any Republican challenger has a chance. Its NYC boys and girls.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
All we can do is hope for the best!!!!! Go Espaillat!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't be surprised if ol' Charley comes up with a whole bunch of magic votes from funeral parlors. That's been a Democrat specialty since the 1960 election; what's ironic is that he'll use it against another Democrat this time.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only item from Christian doctrine that Democrats like: the resurrection.
St Lazarus the Voter is their favorite saint!
My former landlord in Boston, Mr Santo DelMonico continues to vote in Massachusetts even after passing away in Florida during the 90's. That's loyalty!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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