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Colin Powell: there is a “dark vein of intolerance” in the Republican Party

Republican and former Secretary of State Colin Powell had some harsh criticism for his Party on Sunday, saying some portions of it suffer from a “dark vein of intolerance.”

“What do I mean by that?” Powell said. “What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”

On NBC‘s “Meet the Press,” Powell accused the Republican Party of engaging in tactics to suppress the vote of minorities and making racial slurs about President Obama. The former Secretary of State took offense at one former Republican governor calling Obama “lazy” after his poor first debate performance during the 2012 election.

“He didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well,” Powell said. “He said that he was lazy. Now that may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless and there’s a third word that goes along with it.”

Meet the Press” host David Gregory called Powell out for being a Republican with some decidedly anti-Republican viewpoints. Powell, who voted for Obama in the last two presidential elections, responded that he still considers himself a Republican, but thinks the Party needs to reevaluate its priorities.

“I think the Republican Party right now is having an identity problem,” he said. “And I’m still a Republican.”

During the course of the interview, Powell also defended current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about her handling of Benghazi.


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