Rep. Rangel: We have to find out what happened in Benghazi

New York congressman on Petraeus resignation


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," November 9, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": I want to get gauge reaction as well from New York Congressman Charlie Rangel on this. And we're going to talk about other storm-related events as well.

Congressman, good to see you again.

What do you think about this?

REP. CHARLES RANGEL, D-N.Y.: I really think we're all on the same page.

We've got to find out what happened, to find out whether there was wrongdoing at worse or miscalculations. But I'm just hurt that it is -- still continues to be looked at as a political issue.

There's an inference that the president of the United States deliberately wanted to cover this up, or that now we are bringing in people who have dedicated their likes to our country? I don't think -- it's almost like...

CAVUTO: You don't find the timing a little curious? He is resigning.

RANGEL: No, I don't find it at all.

I do find one thing. There should be a united non-partisan search for the truth. And even when you pause and said, is he going to be beholden to the president or -- what do we have an or for? Is he beholden to the flag should be the only question?

CAVUTO: Weren't you among those questioning during the weapons of mass destruction in the Iraq war whether leaders were beholden to tell the truth about that when people were questioning whether everyone was being up and up?

RANGEL: No, no, no. When you take an oath that's enough for me. And the Congress has the power to go beyond that as it relates to perjury.

I really think that does a disservice to the credibility of all of the people who serve

CAVUTO: So, you do not think there is anything that you've seen or heard, congressman, that's odd or that maybe the administration, if it didn't involve the president and others near and around him, his security folks, knew about a bad situation and did nothing about it?

RANGEL: It's odd enough to warrant an investigation.

And I think we all should be concerned about what the results of the investigations going to be. But the inference that some...

CAVUTO: So, this timing of Petraeus resigning right now over a personal affair you think is just -- has nothing do with anything?

RANGEL: I have trust in him.

And I think he's telling the truth. And, believe me, there are tools out there for people who lie under oath. And I don't think see why, when you're pursuing a search for the truth because four Americans were killed, that there should be any assumption at all there would be a cover-up, especially when we've just begun the investigation.

If you wanted to talk about partisanship, we do have a Republican that's the chair of the committee that is doing the investigation, and in all likelihood, all of his investigations have been on television. So the American people will be able to listen to the answers that are given under oath.

But I don't think whether it's this president or a Republican president that, after the death of four heroes, that we should now infer that there's been a cover-up over this. There's no evidence at all. If the information that Ambassador Rice got was not accurate, and they admitted it wasn't, let's find out why it was not accurate.

CAVUTO: But at the very least, there's an awkward timeline, right?

RANGEL: There is no question about it, but I don't think that warrants alleged perjury.

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

Well, let me switch gears very quickly on this olive branch both sides have offered each other on avoiding the fiscal cliff, John Boehner open to revenues and the president supposedly open on a lot of issues, but really have we moved a meter?

RANGEL: No, but thank God they've created a climate that America will be monitoring to make certain that they do make a good-faith offer.

John Boehner has to really start counting votes. He has the majority in numbers, but how much he can do or not do will be dependent on a handful of fiscal conservatives on the right.

CAVUTO: Would Charlie Rangel be OK with a plan initially for Republicans, if this is what they put forward, that closes loopholes, tax breaks for millionaires, all of this stuff, without formally raising the rates, and that's their initial proposal on revenues? It will mean taxes go up, but it's not formally raising the rates. Would Charles Rangel say yes or no to that?

RANGEL: There's enough money there to make it revenue-neutral, but we have to raise money from the upper-income people

CAVUTO: I understand that. And the only way to do it in your eyes is to raise the rates?

RANGEL: Well...

CAVUTO: Or is his proposal...


RANGEL: How much the rates would be, we have to really see what he is talking about, because they get a lot of preferential treatment in the tax code.

CAVUTO: So, you could do it doing that?

RANGEL: It is possible to do that, if you cut out all of the preferential treatment that they're getting. And that's not going to be easy to do.

Everyone wants tax cuts and wants to get rid of loopholes. And then they go back home...

CAVUTO: But you would be open to that as a starting point?

RANGEL: No question about it.

CAVUTO: OK. Maybe you and I can broker this agreement right now.

RANGEL: Well, you know you said starting point. The thing is to avoid this fiscal cliff, because that's a total disaster.

CAVUTO: Absolutely.

RANGEL: So we have to have something to get us over into next year and I hope the American people stay on our case to make certain we do the job.

CAVUTO: OK. Sir, always a pleasure. Thank you very, very much.


CAVUTO: We had a lot to throw at you today.

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