Colin Powell Bashes GOP Candidates For ‘Belittling’ America With Their ‘Junior High’ Antics (VIDEO/AUDIO)

After witnessing disgraceful debate after disgraceful debate, former Secretary of State Colin Powell decided he couldn’t stay silent any longer and shared a harsh message to the Republican candidates: Stop it.

We all know that this particular election has deteriorated any and all respect the Republican party had left, but not many of us could say it as eloquently as Powell did in an interview on NPR’s All Things Considered. While expressing his sentiments for the late First Lady Nancy Reagan, Powell mentioned that he felt she would be “disturbed” by the way the current GOP candidates claim to keep her husband’s legacy alive.

Powell should know – he was Reagan’s national security adviser – and recalled that the former president acted with the utmost “civility” and lacked any of the “nastiness” the party’s current presidential candidates possess. He called out the childish behavior and bickering that accompanies every single Republican debate, comparing them to The Jerry Springer Show:

“To stand there and do junior high school tricks on one another I think is belittling the country and belittling the office to which they are striving to gain. And I hope they start realizing as amusing as it might be, and this is realty television, even Jerry Springer thinks it’s gone too far, and when Jerry Springer thinks you’ve gone too far, my friends, you have gone too far.”

Powell was referencing the fact that Jerry Springer, who was the Democratic mayor of Cincinnati in the 1970s before hosting his drama-filled talk show, had recently decried the GOP debates and said that “Our show is a circus, but the presidency of the United States is not supposed to be a circus.”

Powell’s words of wisdom to the GOP?: “We have to become more respectful of each other” – a message that the candidates are probably not mature enough to internalize. You can listen to the NPR interview below:

But Powell’s message doesn’t stop with the NPR interview. He also shared a similar message Monday morning with CBS, saying that the Republican “campaign has gone into the mud.” He said:

“The comments that they’re making toward each other, the nastiness, it’s running us into the ground. The foreigners of the world, looking at this, are distressed.”

You can watch that interview below:

While Powell has supported President Barack Obama for both of his terms, Powell insisted that he is still a Republican but that he will “always vote for the person who I think is best for America at that time.”

Powell has criticized the GOP before. During Obama’s first term, the former secretary of state said, “In 2008, I spoke out against calling the president a Muslim as if that was a curse. I don’t know anything in the Constitution that says Muslims are bad.” In 2012, Powell once again opposed “a level of intolerance in some parts of the party — and there was. And I think there still is.”

Powell has not said that he is endorsing any specific Republican candidate at this time, or that he is criticizing any particular candidate with his remarks. Either way, his message certainly applies to every single one of them.

Featured image via Charles Haynes