By Justin Sink
The White House on Wednesday offered a somewhat tepid endorsement of Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) in the upcoming general election following the 22-term House veteran’s apparent narrow primary win.
President Obama and other top Democrats, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, did not endorse the Harlem congressman during the primary.
Asked if Obama would endorse Rangel in his general election, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Democrats facing Republicans in federal election contests could "reliably know the president is eager to support them in this effort."
Rangel was leading challenger Adriano Espaillat by 1,800 votes on Wednesday, although a number of absentee ballots remained outstanding. Rangel has declared victory in the Democratic primary, although Espaillat, a state senator, has not yet conceded.
Asked in a radio interview Wednesday about his lack of endorsements, Rangel said he "can't figure it out." But he still offered praise for the president.
“I can’t wait to meet up with him,” Rangel told radio host Geraldo Rivera. “I really have gone through these six years. I want to wrap up the last two with the president.”