CNN's Jack Cafferty again criticized Nancy Pelosi on Monday's Situation Room, knocking her inaction in removing Congressman Charlie Rangel as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Cafferty highlighted how Pelosi "vowed to 'drain the swamp' in Washington when she became speaker," but at the same time "refuses to force him [Rangel] out as chairman."
The CNN commentator devoted his commentary 16 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour to Pelosi's handling of the Rangel matter. After noting that some Democrats were joining with Republicans in calling for the New York congressman's resignation as chairman, and highlighting how even the New York Times called on the Speaker to "stop protecting him," Cafferty knocked her inaction: "Pelosi says she's waiting for the Ethics Committee to finish its investigation before she makes any decisions. This is the same Nancy Pelosi who vowed to 'drain the swamp' in Washington when she became speaker, and the same Nancy Pelosi who years ago called on Republicans to remove the 'ethically unfit' Tom Delay as their majority leader."
Over the past months, the commentator has lashed out several times against Pelosi. On January 26, 2009, he compared the Speaker to Chinese mass murderer Mao Zedong. Almost a year later, on January 6, 2010, he ripped President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress for their lack of transparency on the health care "reform" issue, singling out Pelosi specifically, and hinting that she deserved to be defeated electorally:
CAFFERTY: The Democrats insist this is all on the up-and-up, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying- quote, ‘There has never been a more open process for any legislation,’ unquote. Oh, really? This is the same Nancy Pelosi who, you may recall, after becoming speaker in 2006, promised the Democrats would have- quote, ‘the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history,’ unquote. Here’s hoping the voters remember some of this crap when the midterm elections roll around later this year.
On January 13, he twice called Pelosi a "horrible woman." Two weeks after that, the CNN talking head ripped her failure to explain her spending on a trip to the UN's climate summit in Copenhagen: "Her arrogance on this subject: breathtaking."
The full transcript of Jack Cafferty's commentary from Monday's Situation Room:
CAFFERTY: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that Congressman Charlie Rangel's actions don't pass the 'smell test,' but she refuses to force him out as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. However, the pressure is mounting. Some Democrats are now joining with Republicans, calling for the New York congressman to be removed. The New York Times says the 'arrogance' Rangel showed after the Ethics Committee ruling gives one more reason for Pelosi to 'stop protecting him.'
Pelosi acknowledges that 'what Mr. Rangel has been admonished for is not good,' but that he didn't 'jeopardize our country in any way.' Pelosi says she's waiting for the Ethics Committee to finish its investigation before she makes any decisions. This is the same Nancy Pelosi who vowed to 'drain the swamp' in Washington when she became speaker, and the same Nancy Pelosi who years ago called on Republicans to remove the 'ethically unfit' Tom Delay as their majority leader.
The Ethics Committee admonished Rangel for taking two corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean, and there's a laundry list of other stuff they're looking at that involves Rangel's personal finances, like not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets. They're also looking into Rangel's fundraising efforts, his use of several rent-stabilized Harlem apartments, and his failure to pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic.
So here’s the question: why does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continue to defend Congressman Charlie Rangel? Go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile, post a comment on my blog.