Saturday, September 20, 2008

Rangel on Palin: 'You Got to Be Kind to the Disabled'

Rep. Charlie Rangel described Gov. Sarah Palin as disabled in an interview with WCBS Channel 2 in New York today. Asked during an interview why Democrats seem afraid of Palin's popularity, Rangel replied: "You got to be kind to the disabled."

The reporter repeated the phrase.

"Yes," replied Rangel and then added, "There's no question about it. Politically it's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live."

Soon after the interview aired, Rangel in a statement said that he meant to say "disadvantaged."

"Governor Palin is an obviously healthy person who in no way fits the description of disabled. I meant to say then, and I am saying now, that she entered the campaign with a disadvantage in the area of foreign policy," Rangel said in the statement.

Alex Conant, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, told The Associated Press in referring to Rangel's remark: "As if achieving new ethical lows was not sufficient, now Rangel is hitting a rhetorical low. Insulting the next vice president will not distract from Rangel's tax scandals."

An advocate for the disabled was interviewed by WCBS and he too was upset.

"It makes me feel as if he's trying to put her down, trying to say she's not good for the presidency or the vice presidency," Michael Imperiale of Disabled In Action Of Metropolitan N.Y. told WCBS. "A disabled president ran this country. He was disabled. His name was Roosevelt."

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