Rep. Rangel: GOP Will Never Agree With Obama

New York congressman on president's jobs speech, Republican plan


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 8, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: If you were looking for any Republican blitzes on the president after his big speech, well, you are going to have to wait for the big NFL game, because word is GOP leaders are playing it cool and telling their troops to all but play nice.

They don’t want to look too divisive, we’re told, which could be playing into the decision earlier not to offer any official GOP response to the president at all.

Democrat Charlie Rangel says he ain’t buying this newfound civility and he’s more than willing of course to put up a fight himself.

Congressman, good to have you.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL, D-N.Y.: How you doing, Neil? Good to be back with you.

CAVUTO: What do you make of that, the Republicans, no response, and for that matter telling a lot of their troops, tamp it down?

RANGEL: Neil, someone asked the Republicans that earlier today. Why aren’t you responding to the president and why are you putting out your job plan? And they said that’s because we have our plan, and that is to get rid of Obama.

So the whole question really is, as someone said early in attacking the president, if we know as a fact that the Republican leadership have decided that they have to get rid of Obama and try to gain control of the Senate as well as the House, if the Republicans know that anything they could do for Obama, they are doing it for the nation, they are not going to do it for the nation. And that is sad.


CAVUTO: But, Congressman, what if they are saying to do what the president wants to do, which seems to be a lot of what he has already done, in other words, another jobs stimulus measure, and they have offered already -- and Speaker Boehner, I think you have to be fair in saying that he did offer dramatic tax cuts, across-the-board tax relief to give both corporations and individuals more of their money.

Now, you might be right. They may be very far apart. But if they are saying, look, to do more of what the president is proposing isn’t the answer...


RANGEL: Neil, the Republicans -- the Republicans haven’t said that they have got any plan to create jobs. They say their plan is to get rid of Obama. And so, no matter what the president...


CAVUTO: No, but you are there and I have heard what is covered there and I was in that room you are in. And I remember them saying they had a plan on the table to dramatically cut tax rates, regulations, and the rest for businesses and individuals alike. That was their offer.

RANGEL: Neil...

CAVUTO: Now, you may repudiate it. You may not like it. But I’m just saying it is not as if they are just intent on killing off Obama, right?


RANGEL: Neil, there is no one that is prepared to tell you, Republican or Democrats, that they believe that any of the Republicans are prepared to accept anything the president is offering in order to create jobs.


CAVUTO: Well, because they look at what he has done before, Congressman...


CAVUTO: ... and they say that that didn’t create jobs. So they don’t want to do more of it.

RANGEL: I am -- I am not arguing with you about reasons. I’m arguing with you about facts.

It goes unchallenged that we had the Republican majority in the House of Representatives that were prepared to go into default, rather than to extend the debt ceiling. Now, you can tell me a million and one reasons why they feel this way.

But the fact of the matter is, if they feel politically now is the time to get rid of Obama, then it means that they are not going to agree with him.

CAVUTO: All right.

RANGEL: If he was to walk on water today, the Republicans would say, see, Obama can’t swim, I’m telling you.



CAVUTO: But, Congressman, let’s get back from whether they have an agenda or you guys have an agenda.

I guess let’s look at the facts as they are. The president is back in the well of the House to restart this economic engine that sputtered out.


CAVUTO: So I guess I’m going to ask, whether you have a Republican view on this or a Democratic view on this, whatever he tried didn’t or hasn’t worked. So what is to stop folks if they hear of a $400 billion jobs plan or targeted initiatives or whatever wording the president will use for this to think that this is going to be any better or just he’s rehashing old themes that didn’t work?

RANGEL: Neil, you are following the leadership. You are saying what if -- what he’s going to say. The Republicans...


CAVUTO: No, no, I’m asking you, I’m asking you, Charlie Rangel, if he says that, that the centerpiece of my offering tonight is a $400 billion dollar jobs program, targeted investments, that’s the headline, that’s the highlight, what do you say?

RANGEL: This is a political game that is being played. You and I know that if the president and the congressional leaders wanted anything to happen, they would have met first...


CAVUTO: Fine. I’m not...


CAVUTO: ... that that’s what the president is going to say. Now, he might surprise us, you are quite right. But if he says that -- now, I know how you feel -- what is to stop them from saying, more of the same?

RANGEL: What’s to stop them from saying what?

CAVUTO: More of the same.

RANGEL: No, no, no, no.

Neil, there has to be something the president can say that’s right. And if they can grab whatever it is, how small it might be -- and I hope it’s larger...

CAVUTO: Yes, but if it’s more spending when we don’t have it, is that right? I’m asking you.

RANGEL: I’m responding by saying, no matter what the president says, I would hope that, in the best interests of the country, that the Republican majority in the House would say, I don’t believe I think this is more of the same. This is one thing that I think we can do.

CAVUTO: All right.

RANGEL: I’m willing to sit down and build around this, so that at the end of the day we can come with a plan that is good for the country.


CAVUTO: All right. Then let me ask you this. Then let me ask you this, finally. Let me ask you this, finally.


CAVUTO: Why are you wearing red? Why are you wearing red? Because you know the deficit is going to get worse.



CAVUTO: I’m kidding. I’m kidding.

RANGEL: I know you are kidding. I know you are kidding.

CAVUTO: All right.

RANGEL: But I do hope one thing.

If the president misses the mark with Republicans and the Congress, I hope we can hear from our business leaders, our community leaders, our religious leaders...

CAVUTO: All right.

RANGEL: ... because the future of this country is too important for politics to trump getting people back to work.

CAVUTO: All right, well, it’s not just -- I think you would fairly then say both sides play that pretty adeptly, right?

RANGEL: I said -- I didn’t say Democrats and Republicans.


RANGEL: I’m saying that it is abundantly clear what the country thinks about the Congress.

CAVUTO: All right. OK.

RANGEL: And that includes Washington generally.

But what do we think about ministers, what do we think about rabbis? Where are the businessmen that should be concerned about economic growth in this country?

CAVUTO: All right.

RANGEL: We don’t hear from them? And this is too important to leave it just to the politicians.

CAVUTO: Well, actually, I do on this show a lot.

But, Congressman, it’s always a pleasure having you on. Thank you.

RANGEL: Yes, but you don’t work, Neil. I mean, you are on your show.


CAVUTO: What do you mean I don’t work?

RANGEL: I would pay somebody -- I would pay somebody to have...

CAVUTO: I toil away for hours reading a teleprompter. What do you mean I don’t work?

RANGEL: All right, Congressman, thank you.

RANGEL: I mean, I would pay somebody to have your job, OK?

CAVUTO: Oh. Oh. That’s -- that’s nice.


CAVUTO: Very good seeing you again. Be well.

RANGEL: Good seeing you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Charlie Rangel in Washington.

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