On Sunday, Colin Powell gave a staunch defense and support of President Obama’s choice of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense on NBC’s Meet The Press. However, he provided his sharpest criticism to date of the Republican Party when David Gregory asked him if, after voting for President Obama twice and supporting more moderate social policies, if he could still call himself a Republican:
David Gregory: As I go through your record on some social issues and even foreign policy issues, I challenge you a little bit to say on what basis are you still a Republican?
This question was a rather silly question since it is generally not asked of Blue Dog Democrats who could be considered the reflection of Colin Powell relative to their own party. But the answer was still startling.
Colin Powell with his characteristic civil choices of words excoriated the Republican Party even as his tone seemed rather pleasant. He first said he was a Republican in the vein of Bush 41 and other well-known moderate Republicans.
Listen to the videos below:
In the following snippet, Colin Powell goes even deeper on the attack just coming short of accusing the Republican Party of being racist. He hits all the major failures of the modern Republican Party.
Colin Powell: There is also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party….They look down on minorities…When I see a former governor say that the president is shucking and jiving. That is a racial era slave term. When I see another former governor – says that the president was lazy. It may not mean anything to most Americans. But to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there is a third word that goes along with it.
It is quite evident General Powell wanted to ensure that everyone knew what that third word was. He even brought up the non-response or proper response of the GOP to the birther fiasco.
Colin Powell left the GOP with a warning. They will either heed it and change or they will be relegated to permanent minority status.