How Rep. Rangel Became a GOP Talking Point on Energy
House Republicans have wasted no time making use of that photo of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) napping on the beach in front of his controversial beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic -- the vacation home for which he failed to report rental income on his tax returns and financial disclosure forms.
The photo of Rangel, which appeared in a New York Post story on Aug. 31, is featured in a new video about energy and gas prices produced by the House Republican Conference and posted on YouTube today.
The GOP video makes the case that while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was out "trying to sell her book" during the Democrats' "five week vacation" this summer, Republicans stayed back in Washington fighting for an energy bill. (Or at least getting some good press by making a big fuss on the House floor each day.) The video got a big round of applause when it was shown this morning at the first post-recess House GOP Conference meeting.
The photo of Rangel dozing on the sun-drenched beach in front of his Punta Cana resort condo appears for only about three seconds in the GOP video, just as the announcer declares Democrats were "taking a five-week vacation." But with photos like that, and the energy crisis unresolved, House Republican Conference spokesman Brian Schubert says House Democrats shouldn't be too optimistic about making huge gains as previously predicted in November.
"Democrats are nervous and they should be," he says.
Though Democrats might just out "drill, baby, drill" Republicans on the energy issue, now that Pelosi has taken somewhat of a pro-drilling stance and agreed to bring an energy bill to the floor.
Mary Ann Akers
September 9, 2008; 1:17 PM ET
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