Spread of swearing video caps Rangel's tough week
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) has had a rough week.
While trying to promote his bill that would impose a 90 percent tax on executive bonuses for AIG and others who have received bailout cash, he was pummeled on CNBC with questions about his personal ethics.
On the same day, he tussled with MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell over questions about why he didn’t know how a provision in the stimulus bill was watered down to allow the bonuses to go through. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has admitted that he worked with Treasury to alter that provision in the stimulus bill.
On top of that, he's on the verge of going viral in an Internet video that captures some colorful language.
The powerful chairman of the Ways and Means Committee was caught on YouTube swearing at a conservative activist who approached him in the halls of Congress and asked two ethics questions.
Jason Mattera, a spokesman for the right-wing group Young Americans for Freedom and a conservative commentator and blogger, approached Rangel in the halls and told the Harlem Democrat that he was from Brooklyn. Rangel welcomed the man who appeared to be a fellow New Yorker until Mattera asked him about why he leases a Cadillac with taxpayer money and about his failure to pay taxes on a villa in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel put his hands on his hips and said: “Why don’t you mind your goddamn business?”
Rangel escaped in an elevator as Mattera continued to pound away, asking him why he is such a “disgrace” and whether he will sign his personal tax return and cite the Rangel rule.
The Rangel rule refers to a bill introduced by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) that draws attention to the recent ethics issues that have piled up around Rangel by enabling citizens who fail to pay taxes on time to do so later with no additional fees as long as they write “Rangel rule” on their tax forms sent to the IRS.