To the liberal media, there is nothing sweeter than a Republican who attacks other Republicans. And ever since he left the George W. Bush administration, former Secretary of State Colin Powell has been willing to do just that, loudly and publicly.
Powell appeared on Friday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC to discuss education, but Mitchell eventually steered the conversation in a juicier direction. She asked about Powell’s past criticism of his own party: “You've been quoted -- you said that there's a dark vein of intolerance in your Republican Party.” [Video below. MP3 audio here.] Powell took that as an opportunity to rip the GOP as racist and xenophobic:
I will repeat that now. There are certain elements within the party which go out of their way to demonize people who don't look like the way they’d like them to look like or who came from some other place.
Echoing a typical Democrat, Powell went on to chide party members for making supposedly intolerant statements about women and minorities. He also blasted the voter ID efforts in some Republican-controlled states:
[Y]ou see a party that seems to, in some states, go out of their way to restrict voting on the pretense that there is a lot of fraud going on. And I want to see a party, either Democrat or Republican party, that is working to get everybody to vote.
Having absorbed that MSNBC-pundit-like tirade, Mitchell was surely confused about where Powell’s party loyalties now lie. She remarked, “Memorably, you endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press. Are you still a Republican or what do you think you are?”
Powell insisted that he was still a Republican despite his vocal support of Obama in 2008. He then haughtily sniffed that he thinks "the Republican Party needs me more than the Democratic Party needs me."
Way to alienate your supposed party, Mr. Powell. There are plenty of conservative Republicans out there who don’t believe the party needs a man who would steer the GOP sharply to the left. The fact that Powell bypassed the moderate John McCain in 2008 in favor of the liberal Barack Obama speaks volumes about where he stands ideologically.
The Republican Party doesn’t need Powell, but MSNBC needs him to help out with the network’s constant attack on the GOP.
Below is a transcript of the segment:
ANDREA MITCHELL: Then we have the lack of bipartisanship and the most recent setback for immigration change or reform is, you know, the speaker said not now, it seems to be a lot of resistance to even having some sort of compromise on immigration. At a time when our workforce desperately needs to keep some of these highly educated foreign students in particular –
COLIN POWELL: If not now, when? If not now, when? We keep putting it off. At the beginning of President Bush's administration, I was secretary of State. We were moving on this and then 9/11 threw it off track. But sufficient time has passed so that we should all understand by now that we are an immigrant nation. We are fueled with every new wave of immigrant who comes to this country. People wonder, are we still the great country that we pretend to be or present ourselves to be, and the answer is yes. They are lined up at all of our embassies and consular offices saying, I want to go to America. 800,000 students from other countries are in America. And whenever they get the skills that can be useful in America and when they graduate with a Ph.d. in computer science, give them a green card. The DREAM Act should be a no-brainer. And so I think we really have to buckle down and do something about immigration reform and do it as quickly as we can. This has been a siren song of mine for many years.
MITCHELL: You've been quoted -- you said that there's a dark vein of intolerance in your Republican Party.
POWELL: I will repeat that now. There are certain elements within the party which go out of their way to demonize people who don't look like the way they’d like them to look like or who came from some other place. And I think the party has to deal with this. And the party says we're doing it. They came out of last year's election with a lot of ideas about how they were going to make themselves a little more acceptable and yet you see things happening. You see members of the party and senior levels making statements about women, making statements about minorities that once again make the party look less tolerant than it should be. When you see a party that seems to, in some states, go out of their way to restrict voting on the pretense that there is a lot of fraud going on. And I want to see a party, either Democrat or Republican party, that is working to get everybody to vote. Isn't that what America is all about? Get everybody to the polling place and not keep it harder to get people to the polling place? And they should have learned a practical lesson when they tried this last year, say in Florida. Rather than stopping the minority vote, they came out in droves. You're not going to stop us. And the lesson should have been learned there that if you try to tell people they can't vote, you'll get more and more people voting and longer and longer lines and they'll wait to vote. That's what America is all about.
MITCHELL: Memorably, you endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press. Are you still a Republican or what do you think you are?
POWELL: I'm a Republican -- I was a Republican for the eight presidential elections before Mr. Obama, where I voted for a Republican president. But when I was in the phase of deciding what I should do in 2008, I was disturbed by the direction in which the party was moving and I made it clear at the time and I thought Mr. Obama was the best choice for economic reforms that we needed and for other things that we needed. And so people said, well, did that make you a Democrat? No, I'm still a Republican. And I think the Republican party needs me more than the Democratic party needs me. And you can be a Republican and still feel strongly about issues such as immigration and improving our education system and doing something about some of the social problems that exist in our society and our country. I don't think there's anything inconsistent with this.
And as I go around the country, everybody is focusing on 2014, 2016 and I said, don't think that Superman or Superwoman is coming in 2016. If you don't like the lack of -- if you want to do something about the lack of civility in this country, it's the super people are going to change it, not whoever the next president is. We the people have to start pushing back on all the incivility that exists in our society, especially in our media and we also have to start listening to other sides to get a more balanced perspective with respect to the issues of the day. And make the compromises necessary to keep our country moving forward just as our founding fathers did in 1787.