Congressman Charles Rangel

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Nineteen-term New York Congressman Charles Rangel grew up hard in Harlem, dropped out of high school, and shipped out to fight in the Korean War before he was twenty.

When you hear Charles Rangel call for a draft for the Iraq War today, you need to understand that history. And now that Rangel is Democratic chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means committee, there's more you need to know about his life as well.

This hour On Point: a conversation with Charles Rangel on a life in politics, and the meaning of the Democrat's takeover of Capitol Hill.

Quotes from the Show:

"In order for me and Democrats to succeed, we need Republicans to work with us because of the diversity of our party." Charles Rangel

"Those people who support war, those people who say 'you go ahead and fight, I'll hold your coat' - they should realize that other people's children are dying in this, and if you don't think it's worthwhile to draft people and have everyone make some sacrifice, then you should not believe in the war. ...If you support the war, then you support the draft." Charles Rangel

"So, there's no question in my mind when Congress made the decision to authorize the President to invade Iraq, that if they thought their children or their constituents' children would be involved, then we never would have gone." Charles Rangel

"This war [in Iraq] is not about national security." Listener from Sandwich, MA.

"The President's judgment on this [Iraq] war has not been credible." Charles Rangel

"If you think I am reluctant to talk about taxes right now, you're right." Charles Rangel


Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has been in office since 1971.

This program aired on April 3, 2007.


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