In an interview on NY1, the democrat blamed Republicans for blocking federal programs meant to restore the failing infrastructure in his community, the Daily Caller reported.
"This is the president's program," Rangel said of the proposed programs. "It's hard for me to explain how you work with a president that thought he could really deal with the Republican leadership. He really thought -- and maybe it's the water they drink at Harvard -- that he could deal with the Tea Party!"
"They are mean, racist people," he added. "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 Tea Party, they still got the Confederate flag!"
This isn't the first time Rangel has made inflammatory comments about race.
Last summer he called compared Tea Party members to segregationists during the civil rights movement.
"It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police," he said. "They didn't care about how they looked. It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused America to say enough is enough."
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