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Rangel: I Thought Bill Clinton 'Was Running For Re-Election Rather Than Campaigning For His Wife'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Longtime Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., had an interesting take on former President Bill Clinton's appearance at a Harlem church on Sunday.

"I thought he was running for re-election rather than campaigning for his wife," Rangel told Politico about the rally at Abyssinian Baptist Church.

Rangel believed the former president was touting his past more than talking about his wife's future.


"He was talking about all the great things he and I had done together – the empowerment zones," the Democratic congressman said. "As far as I'm concerned, that's nice, but that had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. But I enjoyed it, it's OK for me."

He added: "There are times that I think he's got it; there are times when I think he's off subject. But it's clear the crowds love him."

Bill Clinton told the crowd, "On the day I took the oath of office, the unemployment rate in Harlem was 24 percent. On the day I left, it was eight … We had three balanced budgets and the longest expansion in history."

He also said that as president, his wife would lift some of the economic barriers that keep many stuck in low-wage jobs, imploring New Yorkers to again vote for her.

A week before, Bill Clinton exchanged words with "Black Lives Matter" protesters in Philadelphia.

"I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out on the street to murder other African-American children," he told the crowd. "Maybe you thought they were good citizens. She didn't. You are defending the people who killed the lives you say matter. Tell the truth."

Recent polls show Hillary Clinton with a substantial lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders ahead of next week's New York primary.

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