Charlie Rangel wouldn't talk to reporters staking out his various meetings on the Hill this week, rattling off his name, rank and serial number as he breezed by. But he sat down with CBS-TV reporter Marcia Kramer (who got Bill Clinton to say he never "inhaled") tonight to clear the air.
This worked not so much. When the question turned to Sarah Palin, things got weird.
"You got to be kind to the disabled," he said of Palin.
Asked what he meant, he added: "There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live."
Later, after Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) blasted him for insensitivity (Palin's young son Trig has Down Syndrome), Rangel released the following statement:
"Governor Palin is an obviously healthy person who in no way fits the description of disabled. I meant to say then, and I am saying now, that she entered the campaign with a disadvantage in the area of foreign policy."