Adam Clayton Powell endorses Rangel, and says he didn’t mean what he said when he ran against him

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Powell and Rangel. (Azi Paybarah )
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Rep. Charlie Rangel rolled out the endorsement today of Adam Clayton Powell IV, whose father Rangel unseated more than 40 years ago.

Standing next to the Adam Clayton Powell Jr., statue, outside the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Rangel said he never had a bad word to say about the late congressman's son, despite having withstood two congressional challenges from him.

"For me, it's an emotional thing, in order to have his son to endorse me," Rangel said. "To AdamI know it's going to be disappointing to some that we're not fussing and fighting. But as I told you over the phone, your endorsement means more than just the political worth."

"Many of the people who support me will never forget and never stop loving your dad," Rangel said.

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Powell, a former councilman and assemblyman, brushed aside past complaints he made about Rangel, saying, "We have never had any animosity," and "we have always been friends."

When asked after the event why he had previously referred to Rangel as "corrupt" and unpopular, Powell said it was because "I was running. I'm not running now."

When a reporter asked Powell whether he still thinks Rangel is too old, Powell replied, "I'm not running."

After stressing what great friends he was with Powell, Rangel spoke about his June 16 fund-raiser at the Sheraton, strongly indicating he expected support from high-profile Democrats who attended it in previous years.

"In recent years, it has been a campaign endorsed by the mayor, the comptroller, the governors and outstanding public officials from across the country," Rangel said. "Now, we have not gotten all the names in yet, there was a time when people said, because of newspaper stories, I wouldn't have them. But I think they all agreed that most every politician, certainly those most people respect, did endorse, and it means a lot to me."

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg were among the guests at Rangel's birthday fund-raiser in 2010, amid the controversy surrounding his violation of House ethics rules. This year neither Cuomo nor Bloomberg has endorsed Rangel for re-election. Neither has former president and Rangel ally Bill Clinton.