CNN Wonders What Censure Will Do to Charlie Rangel's Health

During coverage of Charlie Rangel's verdict delivered by the House Ethics Committee, CNN's John Roberts called the situation "tough times," for the congressman – and wondered what the trauma will to Rangel's health given that he is 80 years old.

Referring to the censure of Sen. McCarthy in the 1950s which "broke him," Roberts remarked that "now Charlie Rangel's 80 years old, what will censuring potentially do to him?"

CNN anchor Candy Crowley also mentioned Rangel's age, saying that the hearings were "tough to watch." She added that "the next step" of the House voting on having the censure or not "is really even more painful."

"This is a rough one, but certainly one that has had, if you will, bipartisan support on something that's difficult, clearly, for the congressman to deal with," Crowley said, putting the situation in perspective.
 

A transcript of the segment, which aired on November 19 at 8:07 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

JOHN ROBERTS: Good to see you, Candy. So the panel voted nine-to-one to censure Charlie Rangel. If he is censured, it's going to be the first time it's happened since the early 1980s. I mean this is – these are really some tough times for him.

CANDY CROWLEY: They really are. It-It's tough to watch, I'll tell you. It was – he was at times defiant going into this saying, you know, the process is flawed. In the end, he talked about the things that he had done, both in his military service, which was heroic, as well as for his constituents. He is 80 years old, I mean this is tough to watch. Nonetheless, it was pretty overwhelming from his Democratic and his Republican colleagues who found these ethics violations. And now the next step is really even more painful, because the House of Representatives itself will vote on whether to have this censure. He stands on the House floor. People could or might come out and talk about what he's done. Certainly he will have to listen to the Speaker talk about what the Ethics Committee has found. So this is – this is a rough one, but certainly one that has had, if you will, bipartisan support on something that's difficult, clearly, for the congressman to deal with.

KIRAN CHETRY: Yeah, and I – it doesn't bode well in general for the Congress, to have to have all that, and it would be Speaker Pelosi doing that? Because it's not the new congress yet?

CROWLEY: Yes...it would be Speaker Pelosi. And it's – you know, it's a very sort of solemn side. As you say, I think they've done – the Ethics Committee has been around for about 40-plus years, I think they've done it four times. This is a big deal. I mean the next step would have been expulsion, so censure is huge.

ROBERTS: You know Candy, David Gergen was on with me last night on 360 talking about this. And he pointed to Joe McCarthy's censure, and said that really, really broke him. Now Charlie Rangel's 80 years old, what will censuring potentially do to him?

CROWLEY: Well he was just re-elected by his constituents obviously, and, but I think it's – you know, when, when you are looking back at a career, the kind of career that Charlie Rangel has had, both in the House and in the military, this is in – this is in the history books now, and that's something that as you know, always shows up in that first graph of history. It's not – clearly from his remarks he made yesterday – this was not something – he does know that this is something that does put a taint on his record.

 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014