With North Carolina’s Gov. Pat McCrory in the audience, former Secretary of State Colin Powell Thursday condemned the state’s new voter ID law, saying it hurts the GOP by turning off "a voting block the Republican Party needs."
"These kinds of actions do not build on the base," the Republican retired general told a CEO Forum in Raleigh, N.C. "It just turns people away."
Powell’s keynote speech came just after McCrory left the stage — and he was still in the audience for a portion of the remarks, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported
McCrory has suggested voter fraud
is hard to detect, but Powell rejected the notion.
"You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud," Powell insisted. "How can it be widespread and undetected?"
Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said the new law sends the wrong message to minority voters.
"What it really says to the minority voters is . . . 'We really are sort-of punishing you,'" he said.
McCrory’s office issued a statement first thanking Powell for complimenting some of the governor’s initiatives – but then noting: "…on voter ID we respectively disagree," the newspaper reported.
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