Would someone tell New York Democrat Charlie Rangel that describing Tea Partiers as “tea baggers” is so 2009?
On Monday’s “Bulls & Bears” on the Fox Business Network, Rangel fresh off his December censure for ethics violations, said Republican leaders will face trouble from “tea baggers” in the House — though not from Democrats — in attempting to raise the $14-trillion debt ceiling.
“I think if what you say is true, then the Republicans forgot who won the majority,” Rangel said. “They don’t negotiate with us as to who the heck votes for increasing the debt ceiling. They have to provide the leadership in doing it. So maybe they’ll have a problem with the tea baggers who don’t believe in having a debt ceiling at all. But, this will be interesting. So, they have to come to us for support.”
The “tea bagger” label generally has been employed by anti-Tea Party pundits at left-leaning outlets such as MSNBC. However, Rangel made it clear he didn’t think much of the Tea Party movement. He chalked up the 2010 Republican wave to the public’s disillusionment with incumbents.
“First of all, to say the Tea Party is an organization I think is an overstatement,” Rangel said. “A lot of people ran on the idea that they were disappointed in government. They were disappointed with incumbents. And if you’re out of work and your dreams have been shattered, I can understand it and certainly Democrats who lost understand it. So it doesn’t mean that they are in love with Republicans. The second thing is that now that they’re in charge they set the House of Representatives agenda. And so if the debt ceiling is being $14 trillion, they have to the come and offer us a suggestion or government closes. We can’t borrow. You are used to being in Democrats in charge. You just assume we continue the leadership. No, in this case the leadership has to come – tea baggers notwithstanding.”