Rep. Charlie Rangel Explains His Controversial Remarks...

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 10, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Earlier this week, New York Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel sparked a controversy when he compared the war in Iraq to the Holocaust. He said the war is, "It's the biggest fraud ever committed on the people of this country. This is just as bad as the six million Jews being killed. The whole world knew, and they were quiet about it because it wasn't their ox being gored."

Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean (search ) continues to take heat for remarks he's made in recent days about Republicans.

According to published reports, Dean was scolded yesterday by members of his own party behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.

Dean has said Republicans have, "never made an honest living in their lives," and he called the Republicans "pretty much a white Christian party."

Now, for reaction on both of these issues, we're joined by New York Congressman Charlie Rangel.

Now what is the Holocaust comment about? What — you said it on WWRL, where I'm also on at night there. But what was the...

REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: It wasn't a comparison between the Holocaust and the war in Iraq. The point I was making is that, when we have atrocities being committed throughout the world there are a lot of good people that know what's going on and something should be said.

If people had spoken out against what Hitler was doing against the Jews in Germany, in Europe, in the Vatican, in the United States, we could have stopped that. We've had the war in Vietnam, people were silent until they get fed up.


RANGEL: We've had slavery. We've had genocide. All of these things.

COLMES: What's going on in Iraq that compares to those tragedies you mentioned?

RANGEL: That we are recruiting young people that come from areas of poverty, and offer them $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 to fight a war, and yet they say this is the patriotic thing to do.

The president hasn't made any appeal for all Americans to come forward. And the reasons for the war are unjustified, completely unjustified.

COLMES: Does it compare to the Holocaust?

RANGEL: No. But there are so many things that are outrageous that people are silent about. This should — we should hear from the church and ask, "Why did we lose 1,600 lives? For the election there? Why do we have 12,000 people and tens of thousands of Iraqis," and the world is silent, including you.

COLMES: Let me talk — well, I'm not silent about it. I'm against this war, and I've spoke out about it.

RANGEL: Well, I'm outrageous and — I'm outraged, and I think that if I offended anyone — I'm not talking about FOX but — the offense would be that I'm saying that good people ought to stand up when they see things that are happening that are wrong...

COLMES: I want to talk about Howard Dean...

RANGEL: And say something when things are wrong and injustice.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hey, Congressman Rangel...

COLMES: Well, Sean's speaking. Sean's turn — Sean.

HANNITY: Congressman Rangel, you know something?

RANGEL: Where are you, Sean?

HANNITY: I'm in Washington, D.C. I'm watching — I'm watching the fort for you while you're away.

RANGEL: But I came up here to debate you, and I thought you'd be here.

HANNITY: No. We can do it via satellite.

I'm disappointed in you, Congressman, and here's why. I don't mind that you have a different opinion than I do, and we often disagree on a lot of things here.

You say the reasons are unjustified, the biggest fraud committed on the people of this country. But you are politicizing the war. And here's the evidence.

When Bill Clinton cited the exact same reasons to bomb Saddam in '98, I find no comments of Charlie Rangel saying the same thing. When John Kerry (search) laid out his case a year before the war, talking about weapons of mass destruction (search), biological, chemical and nuclear capabilities, you ended up voting for the guy who had the same position. Hillary had the same position. The U.N. had the same position.

You're just mad because it's George Bush, and you're politicizing war. Isn't that true?

RANGEL: That's not true at all. As a matter of fact, I got on John Kerry's case for voting for it, as well as Clinton and all the other people.

But the truth of the matter is that we have lost 1,600 young people. We haven't had any losses like that in any things you talked about. We have 12,000 young men and women that are coming home. We have all the...

HANNITY: All right. I might have to apologize to you. Wait a minute. I might have to apologize to you.

So are you saying that John Kerry, when he said he had nuclear weapons capability, biological and chemical weapons capability, you're saying John Kerry also committed the biggest fraud committed on this country? He's as guilty as George Bush?

RANGEL: If John Kerry had had a preemptive strike against Saddam Hussein that was preplanned by most of the people in the Bush administration, I would say that.

HANNITY: Do you have any evidence of that, sir? Before you — Congressman, before you make accusations like that, you'd better have evidence. There's no such evidence that exists, and you know it.

RANGEL: There is the Project for American Century (search) that in 1998, it was composed of Wolfowitz, Cheney, Pearl and then Rumsfeld.

HANNITY: Oh, Congressman...

RANGEL: And they put it...

HANNITY: You've got black helicopters flying all over the world, too. Come on, Congressman. That's not evidence.

RANGEL: Please let me finish my point. Let me finish my point.

They put in writing and sent a letter to President Clinton, to Majority Leader Lott and to Gingrich. And they asked that there be a preemptive strike. This is before 9/11.

HANNITY: Clinton preemptively struck...

RANGEL: You're not going to tell me...


RANGEL: This was planned long before 9/11. And 90 percent of the American people thought...


HANNITY: Oh, stop it.

RANGEL: ... thought there was a connection between it.

COLMES: We've got to break. We've got to break. Clinton didn't start this war against Iraq either, by the way. Charlie, good to see you. Thanks for being here.


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