Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is campaigning with another scandal-plagued politician in New York City: Rep. Charlie Rangel.
“I also want to acknowledge my long-time friend, the person I give credit to for starting me on this journey, that is congressman Charlie Rangel,” she said during a campaign event in Harlem’s Apollo theater this afternoon.
Rangel took the stage prior to Hillary, doing a little jig onstage and flashing a peace sign.
Charlie Rangel shakin' on stage pic.twitter.com/GbcDnUdy3V
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) March 30, 2016
Earlier Clinton stopped for coffee and cake at a Harlem Bakery with Rangel next to a “Life’s Short Eat Cookies” sign. She arrived with a hug for Rangel, smiling at his jokes about Donald Trump.
“New York City’s contribution to the Democratic party is Donald Trump,” Rangel said, claiming Trump is fueling discord in America and advocating riots. That kind of politics, he said, was “certainly not what the people who wrote our Constitution was all about.”
He praised Clinton, who he supported for the Democratic nomination in 2008 rather than President Obama, which angered many Obama supporters at the time.
“There’s just no question in my mind that Hillary would be in a better position than a freshman senator,” Rangel said in 2008. “This ain’t no time for a beginner.”
He suggested that Obama had never gotten over that.
“I still think that I’m on Obama’s list for supporting our First Lady,” he said to reporters today.
Clinton thanked Rangel for persuading her to run for Senator from New York in the first place.
“When he finally persuaded me to do it, it was one of the best decisions I ever made,” she said. “And I give you credit for it Charlie, because it never crossed my mind until you began to put the pressure on.”
“Our country is proud of you,” Rangel replied.
Rangel was found guilty on 11 ethics charges as the House Ethics committee found “clear and convincing evidence” after a review of his personal finances.
When the investigation was underway, Rangel embarrassed many of his colleagues after delivering a rambling speech on the House floor to condemn the investigations.
“You’re not going to tell me to resign to make you feel comfortable,” he said. “If I can’t get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot and get rid of me through expulsion.”
The House voted 333 to 79 to censure Rangel in Dec. 2010 as a result of his ethical violations.
“I am confident that when the history of this has been written people will recognize that the vote for censure was a very, very, very political vote,” he said defensively after the vote.
In spite of the ethics scandals, Rangel won his re-election primary races in 2010, 2012, and 2014.