Former Secretary of State Colin Powell blasted Rush Limbaugh Monday during a speech in which he said the Republican Party is in a state of collapse.
The GOP is "getting smaller and smaller" and "that's not good for the nation," Powell said, according to the National Journal. He also said he hopes that emerging GOP leaders, such as House Minority Whip Cantor, will not keep repeating mantras of the far right.
Powell lashed out at Limbaugh and conservative icon Ann Coulter. Neither serves the party well, Powell said during a speech to corporate security executives at a conference in Washington sponsored by Fortify Software Inc.
"I think what Rush does as an entertainer diminishes the party and intrudes or inserts into our public life a kind of nastiness that we would be better to do without," Powell said.
And Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate last year, is "a very accomplished person" but became "a very polarizing figure," he said, adding that Palin's advisers created the polarization.
“The Republican Party is in deep trouble," he said, according to the Journal. “The party must realize that the country has changed. Americans do want to pay taxes for services. Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less."
Powell stirred controversy last year when he came out for the Democratic presidential candidate, then-Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Powell said he told the GOP candidate, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, that the party had developed a reputation for being mean-spirited and driven more by social conservatism than the economic problems that Americans faced, the Journal reported.
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