NEW YORK (AP) — Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel wants voters to know he’s a big supporter of President Obama.

In a televised debate with Democratic primary rivals Thursday, Rangel went out of his way to praise Obama, saying the country has never had a more exciting president.

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A House ethics panel has charged Rangel with 13 ethics violations, and Obama has suggested the 40-year veteran might want to consider ending his career. Rangel has responded testily to the president’s suggestion in previous forums.

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But at the latest, Rangel said he looked forward to continue working with Obama, whom he called a great president.

Five challengers are hoping to defeat Rangel in the state’s Sept. 14 primary. There was general agreement among the candidates on most issues discussed during the debate.

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