Congressman Charles B. Rangel today held a press conference on 116th & Lexington Avenue to tout some of his Mexican-American and Puerto Rican supporters. Rangel’s electoral hopes require a strong showing in El Barrio, a predominantly Puerto Rican portion of East Harlem.
Rangel pitch to voters involves portraying himself as the candidate most able to assist President Obama in the last two years of his presidency. He ignores the distance that the president has kept from Rangel since his tax woes, focusing on his more than four decades in Congress and his resulting knowledge and experience. Today he pushed that argument, and also portrayed himself as a deeply embedded part of El Barrio, with his supporter Adam Clayton Powell IV attacking competing candidate, Domincan-born and Washington Heights resident, Adriano Espaillat as an “interloper”.
Here are selected excerpts from the press conference:
Debate “Phone Call”:
Rep. Rangel’s “phone call” at last week’s candidate debate has garnered lots of attention. Here’s what Rangel had to say today about it: