The Washington Times - March 10, 2011, 11:28AM

Rep. Charles Rangel said Thursday he is confident that his fellow New York congressman, Peter T. King, has the temperament and training to keep the controversial Muslim radicalization hearings on Capitol Hill from turning into a circus.

Mr. Rangel, appearing on The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News” radio broadcast, said, “I wish that it wasn’t characterized the way that it is,” but he suggested critics wait to see how the hearings, which began Thursday, unfold.

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“Ginning this thing up, one way or another, for or against, we’re really not adding much,” he said.

“I’m very anxious to see which way this hearing goes. I have enough confidence in Peter King to believe that his training would want him to do the right thing,” the New York Democrat told radio hosts John McCaslin and Amy Holmes.

Mr. Rangel has been dogged by ethics problems in recent years — he was censured by the House in 2010 — but the 80-year-old congressman said he intends to seek a new term in 2012.