Monday, January 14, 2013

Powell: GOP Must Fix 'Identity Problem'

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that the Republican Party is having "an identity problem" with Hispanic and African-American voters on a range of issues like immigration reform.

The former Joints Chief of Staff chairman who twice endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president told NBC's "Meet the Press" that in recent years there's been "a significant shift to the right," and that's produced two losing presidential campaigns.

The GOP needs to "take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed" demographically, and that if the party doesn't change, "they're going to be in trouble," Powell said.

Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney received just a quarter of the Asian-American and Latino-American votes in the 2012 election. By comparison, former President George W. Bush received 44 percent of the Hispanic vote during his re-election in 2004.

Romney did even worse among African-Americans, where Obama received over 90 percent of the vote, according to CNN exit polls from Election Day.

"I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed," Powell said. "The country is changing demographically. And if the Republican Party does not change along with that demographic, they're going to be in trouble."

"There's also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party," he said. "They still sort of look down on minorities."

He pointed to Republican figures issuing racially-tinged slurs at President Obama and the GOP's tolerance of the birther movement.

He said he isn't a Democrat despite his support of many policies of the Obama administration.

"I'm a moderate, but I'm still a Republican," Powell said. "And until I voted for Obama twice I voted for seven straight Republican presidents."

? 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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