Even after supporting the election of President Obama two times, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he’s still a Republican and he keeps his registration that way for a reason – to annoy them.
The ‘them’ in this context, Powell explained, is a Republican party that has moved too far to the right.
‘I think the party has shifted much further right than where the country is and it should be obvious to party leaders that they cannot keep saying the things that they are saying and doing the things that they were doing and hope to be successful in national level elections in the future, not just 2016,’ Colin said at today’s Washington Ideas Forum taking place in downtown D.C.
‘So I want to continue to be a Republican because it annoys them,’ he said, grinning.
Party ID came up because Aspen Institute head Walter Isaacson pointed to not just Powell’s support of Obama, but his recent expressed support for the Iran deal and several other stances that are more commonly held by Democrats.
‘You didn’t mention the fact that I worked for about five presidents in a row who were Republicans,’ Powell interjected, but then answered the question.
‘Yes, I’m still a Republican,’ said Powell, who most recently served as President George W. Bush’s secretary of state. ‘In Virginia, you don’t have to declare a party, where I live, but I’m still a Republican,’ he added.
Isaacson pointed to Powell’s pro-immigration reform stance as another way he stood out from his GOP peers, but Powell knocked down that assessment – though used the opportunity to needle Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
‘I don’t agree that it’s the Republican position on immigration,’ Powell said.
‘I think most Republicans understand that we need immigration, we are an immigrant nation, it is in our best interest to do it,’ Powell continued. ‘But there are pockets, as I said previously, there are pockets of intolerance within the Republican party [and] the Republican party had better figure out how to defeat that.’
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