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Charlie Rangel: 'I Am Not Going Away'

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Rep. Charlie Rangel, the New York Democrat currently under an ethical cloud, took to the House floor Tuesday to plead his case.

His 37-minute floor speech has been described by some who watched the whole thing as "rambling."

Being accused of giving an imperfectly formed speech however is the least of Rangel's problems. He faces 13 counts of violating House ethics rules, including using his office to raise money for a public service center at City College of New York to be named after him and not properly disclosing income or paying taxes when they were first due.

Some fellow Democrats have wished, not too loudly but enough to be heard, that Rangel would retire and not jeopardize his party's chances of holding onto its House majority.

Rangel, former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, dashed such hopes, though, saying "I am not going away."

He demanded an expedited hearing in order, he says, to clear his name since while he made mistakes, he publicly maintains he didn't violate House ethics rules.

Of some of the ethics missteps he's been accused of, he said:

"It may be stupid, it may be negligent, but it's not corrupt.

Needless to say, that's not exactly a line many Democrats would like to run for re-election on.

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