Rangel was on the New York City channel NY1, talking about what the federal government could do to prevent incidents like last week's deadly building collapse in East Harlem.
"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.
Then Rangel, who last summer said the tea party was "the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police," spoke about the tea party directly.
“They are mean, racist people," he said. "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,” he continued. “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.”