Colin Powell: 'Certain Elements' of GOP 'Demonize' Minorities

Friday, 07 Feb 2014 05:31 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday repeated his 2013 assertion of a “dark vein of intolerance” in the GOP, claiming “certain elements … seem to go out of their way to demonize people who don’t look like the way they’d like them to look like.”

In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the retired general also insisted “I’m still a Republican.”

“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,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything inconsistent in this.”

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When Mitchell reminded Powell of his January 2013 remarks of “a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the Party” that “still sort of look down on minorities,” Powell boldly responded: “I will repeat that now.”

“There are certain elements in the party that seem to 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,” he said.

“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’re going to make themselves a little more acceptable.”

Without calling out individuals, Powell said some GOPers, “even senior levels,” make statements about women and minorities that “once again make the party look less tolerant than it should be.”

Powell also decried restrictive voting laws that have been passed “on the pretext that there is some sort of fraud going on.”

“I want to see a party — either a Democrat or Republican party — that is working to get everybody to vote. Isn’t that what America is all about? Getting everybody to the polling place, not keep it harder to get people to the polling place?”

And he adamantly urged immigration reform.

“If not now, when?” he asked “We are an immigrant nation… The Dream Act should be a no-brainer. I think we really have to buckle down and do something about immigration reform and do it as quickly as we can.”

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