Former New York Gov. David Paterson Monday upbraided Rep. Charles Rangel for equating the tea party movement with Southern segregationists of the past.
"It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police," Rangel, a New York Democrat, said in comments to The Daily Beast published Friday
Paterson, also a Democrat, appearing on the "Mike Huckabee Show," sharply differed with Rangel.
"I thought it was totally out of line for [Rangel] to lump what went on during the desegregation movement in with people who just have honest political disagreements,” Paterson said
Paterson discussed his own experience as a radio-talk show host to put the issue in context.
"I would not describe myself as a conservative, but I really had a lot of respect for my listeners. Many of them were tea party supporters," Paterson said.
"They were concerned about the economy, they were concerned about overspending in government, they were concerned about government intrusion … they were concerned about the opportunity to get a job. … I don’t find that to be particularly strident."
To be sure, the tea party has "had some nutty people come under their banner and do things," but that doesn't justify Rangel's remarks, Paterson said.
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