12:12 pm Jun. 13, 2012
With just two weeks remaining until the primary election in his heavily Democratic Harlem district, Charlie Rangel sat for an extended television interview last night, on Fox News.
"You have been dodging me because you were afraid I was going to beat you up on all the scandals you have been involved in," host Sean Hannity said. "Why have you not been on the show?"
"The record is clear, I haven't been invited," Rangel responded.
Hannity said the two "always got along," and made a very conspicuous point of not making a point about Rangel's past.
"I think you made some bad decisions," Hannity said. "You admitted it. And they are over. I have nothing to ask you about it because you've already dealt with it."
"You've never seen me run away from any show, Sean," said Rangel. "So I don't know why you're bringing this up. I am telling you, my records are clear that your popular show has not been requested, because I enjoy being on the show."
In fact, Rangel has been a frequent guest on lots of Fox shows, starting very soon after his censure, appearing much more often on the right-leaning network (whose interviewers, unlike Hannity, almost always brought up Rangel's censure) than left-leaning outlets like MSNBC.
Rangel has made his outspoken support for President Obama a key feature of his campaign for a 22nd term, and last night he did his best to rebut the aggressive questioning on that topic from Hannity, who conceded that he doesn't plan to vote for Obama.
Rangel credited the president for "saving the economy," which got a rise out of Hannity. And the congressman questioned Hannity about whether he supported the federal government's bailouts for corporations. (Hannity said he didn't.)
Rangel mostly focused on the need to close tax loopholes for corporations, and may have dodged something of a trap question about whether he thinks General Electric needs to pay more in taxes. (An anti-incumbent super PAC has attacked Rangel for helping GE secure a favorable tax bill.)
"Don't pick out GE," Rangel said. "I'm talking about, are you prepared to say we ought to clean up the code, get rid of the loopholes--"
Hannity asked about a flat tax, and they argued about, and then he thanked Rangel for coming on.
"Thank you so much," Rangel said. "And keep those invitations coming."
"They will come," Hannity replied. "You may regret it."
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