- Last Updated: 2:35 AM, June 19, 2012
- Posted: 1:32 AM, June 19, 2012
Rep. Charles Rangel yesterday picked up a key labor endorsement as he approached the homestretch in the fight of his political life.
The New York State AFL-CIO, a federation of more than 3,000 local unions, threw its weight behind the old Harlem war horse going into next Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
Rangel, seeking a 22nd term, faces strong challenges from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who hopes to capture the Latino vote in the newly drawn district, and Clyde Williams, who has ties to President Obama and former President Bill Clinton.
Rangel (pictured), 82, lamented recent “attacks on labor” nationwide.
“One thing is clear: The attack on labor is an attack on everything we believe as Americans,” he told a crowd from the steps of City Hall.
“Capitalism hasn’t got a darn thing to do with human beings and human rights and a fair salary, fair pay . . . That’s where the labor movement comes in . . . People just take so much for granted.”
Rangel, who has weathered a series of ethical woes, including public censure on the House floor two years ago for failing to pay taxes, went on to express his “disappointment . . . with people that just want the free ride after all the fighting has been done.”