Charlie Rangel Opens Debate With Fake Phone Call

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In lieu of an opening statement, Representative Charlie Rangel kicked off his second debate against State Senator Adriano Espaillat and the Reverend Michael Walrond by pretending to take a phone call. "Espaillat’s already spoken … No, no he didn’t say he passed any bills. No, no, no, no, he’s been there 18 years, but he didn’t say he passed any bills at all," the 22-term congressman told his fake friend. As for Walrond, Rangel said, "Listen, how can he register to vote in New York when he lives in Jersey?" Rangel's opponents were not amused, but the crowd seemed to enjoy the improv routine, which the congressman came up with on the fly. "The people in my campaign, they’re probably having a hemorrhage," he told the New York Observer. At least he held his BlackBerry to his ear, rather than his thumb and pinkie.