*Colin Powell went in on his own Republican Party during an interview on “Meet the Press” Sunday, calling out some “former governors” as using racist statements to describe President Obama and noting that there is a “dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party.”
“What do I mean by that?,” he explained. “What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”
Powell specifically pointed to October 2012 comments by former Alaska Gov. and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin on the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
“When I see a former governor say that the president is ‘shuckin’ and jivin’ — that’s a racial-era slave term,” Powell said, referring to Palin’s words on Obama’s response.
He also brought up another “former governor” who described President Obama’s as “lazy” during his first 2012 presidential campaign debate with Mitt Romney. Powell told host David Gregory that the word “may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African Americans, the second word is ‘shiftless’ and then there’s a third word that goes along with it,” when racists describe African Americans.
Powell added that Republicans had become too preoccupied with the candidate-selection process, losing sight of the group’s overall message.
“You’ve got to think first about what’s the party actually going to represent,” Powell said. “If it’s just going to represent the far right wing of the political spectrum, I think the party is in difficulty. I’m a moderate, but I’m still a Republican.” [Watch below.]
Powell was the first African American to fill the role of Secretary Of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001-05. Despite maintaining his allegiance to the Republican Party, Powell has been an ardent supporter for President Barack Obama, giving him a 2008 vote and a 2012 endorsement.
“I think we ought to keep on the track we are on,” said Powell in October 2012, commending Obama on the economy and Iraq War.
Top Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu turned heads after the announcement, suggesting that Powell’s Obama endorsement was motivated by race. That statement prompted former Powell Chief Of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson to make Republican-Party comments similar in nature to Powell’s Sunday remarks. My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their positions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that’s despicable.