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Rangel Criticizes Obama For ‘Dignity’ Remark

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Rep. Charles Rangel (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Charles Rangel (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) – Rep. Charles Rangel has shot back at President Obama’s recent comment that he “end his career with dignity.”

Speaking at a candidate’s forum in Harlem Monday night, Rangel said the president hasn’t “been around long enough to determine what my dignity is.”

The embattled 80-year-old congressman said it was more likely that he would protect Obama’s dignity over the next two years.

Obama’s remark was made three weeks ago.

The former House Ways and Means Committee chairman was accused of using official stationary to raise money for a college center bearing his name; delaying tax payments on income on a rental unit in the Dominican Republic; failing to file his financial disclosure statements on time; and operating four rent-stabilized apartments in New York, including one he used as a campaign office.

The Democrat has vowed to fight the charges and is refusing to resign. He says he is focusing on his re-election to his district in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood.

Rangel is seeking his 20th term. The state’s primary is Sept. 14.

His rivals include Adam Clayton Powell IV. In 1970, Rangel defeated his father, the legendary Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

Rangel insisted his problems wouldn’t affect the outcome of other races.  

“I refuse to believe that I’m either that important or infamous that my problems are going to interfere with any good person getting elected,” Rangel said recently, adding that he was sure his Democratic colleagues were serving their constituents well and that most were safely on their way to re-election.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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