Posted on February 18, 2005

Rangel Blasts Clinton as ‘a Redneck’

NewsMax, Feb. 15

Rep. Charlie Rangel is blasting ex-President Bill Clinton as “a redneck” after New York Sen. Hillary Clinton refused for the second year in a row to support his bill to help the mother of police shooting victim Amadou Diallo stay in the country.

“I don’t have the slightest clue who Hillary really is,” the dismayed Harlem Democrat tells New York Magazine this week. “All I see is a gal who knew she was as good as anyone else, and she saw this guy she could make something of, so she forfeited Illinois and went to Arkansas.”

Rangel then added, “That’s a hell of a move to make for a redneck, which is all he was.”

Asked on Tuesday morning if he really thought Clinton was a redneck, Rangel told WWRL Radio’s Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter: “Of course he is. He’s from Arkansas.”

Later in the interview Rangel tried to backpedal, telling Malzberg he thought the Clintons were “terrific people.”

“You have to remember, you know, Lyndon Johnson was one of the best presidents we had and he was a redneck out of Texas,” he explained.

The congressman’s non-pejorative pejorative comes just days after Sen. Clinton stiffed him on the Diallo case, a move the New York Post described on Monday as “a slap in the face to Charles Rangel.”

Without Sen. Clinton’s help, Rangel’s legislation to grant Kadiatou Diallo and her family permanent resident status crashed and burned in the 2003-04 Congress and has attracted no other support this year.