Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) told NY1's Inside City Hall on Tuesday that the Tea Party movement was opposed to President Barack Obama because of racism.
The congressman, who is seeking a 23rd term, said Obama was naive to think that conservative Republicans would work with him in a bipartisan manner.
"It’s hard for me to explain how you work with a president that thought that he could really deal with the Republican leadership," Rangel said. "He really thought -- and maybe it was the water they drink at Harvard -- that he could deal with the Tea Party."
He added that the Tea Party hated the president so vehemently because of his skin color.
"They are mean, racist people," Rangel continued. "Now why do I say that? Because in those red states, they’re the same slave-holding states. They had the Confederate flag. They became Dixiecrats, they had the Confederate flag. They're now the Tea Party, they still got the Confederate [flag]. I don’t think that’s a coincidence... There is nothing the president can do -- not love of country, not love of party -- that they’re not prepared to kill themselves to get to him."
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by Truth Revolt, below.
[Image via Rep. Charles Rangel's Flickr page, Creative Commons-licensed]