Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) explained this week why President Barack Obama has not been able to work with the Tea Party members of Congress: They’re “mean” and “racist.”

Rangel’s comments were made Tuesday night during an interview with New York’s TWC-TV.

“They are mean, racist people. Now, why do I say that? Because in those red states, they’re the same slave-holding states!” Rangel said. “They had the Confederate flag, they became Dixiecrats, they had the Confederate flag, and the Tea Party, they’ve still got the Confederate flag! I don’t think that’s a coincidence.”

He also referenced Obama’s education background during the interview, joking that perhaps there’s something in the water at Harvard that makes certain alumni so “optimistic” that they think they can work with groups like the Tea Party.

Rangel, who has in the past referred to members of the Tea Party as “crackers,” made headlines last week when he referred to a deadly blast in his Harlem, N.Y., district as being his community’s 9/11.

(H/T: Mediaite)

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