Colin Powell is engaged in a war of words with two GOP heavyweights: Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Addressing 1,500 business leaders in Boston, the former secretary of state took on Cheney and Limbaugh, who have criticized Powell for endorsing Barack Obama in last year's presidential race. Powell recently lambasted Limbaugh, saying the radio icon "diminishes the party" with nastiness.
Limbaugh dismissed those comments, calling Powell "just another liberal."
Powell hit back on Tuesday night, according to the Boston Globe: "Rush Limbaugh says, 'Get out of the Republican Party,'" Powell told the business executives. "Dick Cheney says, 'He's already out.' I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there's another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again."
Limbaugh returned fire on Wednesday, telling his radio show audience: "The version of the party that he's waiting to emerge is not the Reagan wing of the party. Does Powell have the pulse of the Republican Party, folks? He's for more spending. He's for higher taxes. He's against raising the social issues. He's for affirmative action. He's for amnesty for illegals. He endorsed Obama.
"And now there's an agenda -- an emerging agenda -- that he's waiting for for the Republican Party? The only thing emerging here is Colin Powell's ego. Colin Powell represents the stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything. The party of Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Bill Scranton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and those types of people. Has anybody heard Colin Powell say a single word against Obama's radicalism -- or [Rep. Nancy] Pelosi or [Sen. Harry] Reid, for that matter? Maybe he has, but his fawning media sure hasn't reported if he has said it."
Limbaugh also told his audience that he is "resigning as the titular head of the Republican Party."
"I have been anointed to this position by members of the drive-by media, and of course the Obama White House," he said. "I hereby today ladies and gentleman announce I am resigning ... as the titular head of the Republican party. ... It was a position that rather was ladled onto me. ... I quit."
Cheney also has ripped into Powell, recently saying on "Face the Nation" that Limbaugh, not Powell, would be his choice if he had to pick someone to lead the Republican Party. "My impression was that Colin was no longer a Republican," he said.
Cheney is scheduled to deliver a key speech on national security Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. The address, titled "Keeping America Safe," will be delivered at the American Enterprise Institute.
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