Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) called Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) "disabled" in a recent interview with a New York CBS TV affiliate, WCBSTV.

"You've got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel said when asked about Palin's popularity.

Rangel went on to say that Palin is politically disabled because she lacks foreign policy experience.

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"There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live," Rangel said when WCBSTV's reporter asked him to explain the "disabled" comment.

Rangel later issued a statement that "disabled" was not the word he meant to use, and that the comment was in no way a reference to Palin's son Trig, who has Down syndrome.