Rep. Charles Rangel (CNN Photo/File)
(CNN) — Longtime Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York compared congressional Republicans to terrorists and likened supporters of the tea party movement to “White crackers” in an interview published Friday.
Rangel said House Republicans are doing more damage to American competitiveness than al Qaeda, according to The Daily Beast. “What is happening is sabotage. Terrorists couldn’t do a better job than the Republicans are doing.”
As for the tea party, the outspoken congressman said the movement should be defeated in the same way segregation was confronted during the Civil Rights movement.
“It is the same group we faced in the South with those White crackers and the dogs and the police,” he said. “They didn’t care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough. ‘I don’t want to see it and I am not a part of it.’ What the hell! If you have to bomb little kids and send dogs out against human beings, give me a break.”
Rangel, who’s now in his 22nd term, has become known for some of his outlandish statements in the past and has struggled to hold onto his seat in the last couple of elections after facing questions over ethics violations. He was ultimately censured by the House in 2010.
Rangel doesn’t have negative feelings about all Republicans, though. According to the Daily Beast interview, he likes neighboring Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
“Chris Christie, who is a big Northeasterner, and people only go for Christie because he is reasonable. He says something nice about the president helping out Jersey and now he is on the hit list by Republicans,” Rangel said.
He also looped in his friend, Republican Rep. Peter King of New York, as someone who’s on Republicans’ “hit list.”
King defended Christie in a recent spat with Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican from Kentucky. King and Christie publicly disputed Paul’s stances on federal surveillance programs, while Paul painted the congressman and the governor as establishment Republicans who live in a part of the country where the GOP is shrinking.
CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.