Chuck Hagel | Colin Powell | James Hormel | News | Republican Party

Colin Powell Defends Hagel, Chides Racist Republicans: VIDEO


Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, defended Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel on Meet the Press today.

Asked about Hagel's past remarks about gay people being unfit to represent the United States abroad, and whether those remarks would impact the continued implementation of Don't Ask, Don't Tell's repeal, Powell said, "I think that what Sen. Hagel will do — as he has said, and as he will certainly testify at the confirmation hearing — is that he will fully implement 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' [repeal]."

There are still issues that have to be resolved, but, I think, he will go after these issues in a way that will be very consistent with the administration’s position, with the law and with the aspirations of our gay and lesbian men and women in the military. He is now responsible for them, he is now responsible for them having a proper environment in which to do their jobs. And that will include making sure that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and the elimination of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is fully implemented.

Powell also said Hagel is "superbly qualified" for the post and described him as a "strong supporter" of Israel, a commitment Hagel's opponents on both sides of the aisle have questioned.

In addition to addressing Hagel's nomination, Powell, a registered though moderate Republican, accused his party peers of sustaining a race-based "dark veil of intolerance," particularly their use of racially-loaded terms when discussing the president and his policies.

Via ThinkProgress:

There's also a dark — a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? I mean by that that they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that?

When I see a former governor [Sarah Palin] say that the President is "shuckin' and jivin'," that’s racial era slave term. When I see another former governor [John Sununu] after the president’s first debate where he didn't do very well, says that the president was lazy. He didn't say he was slow. He was tired. He didn't do well. He said he was lazy.

Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African Americans, the second word is shiftless and then there’s a third word that goes along with that. The birther, the whole birther movement. Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?

Watch video of Powell's comments on racism within the Republican Party and on Hagel AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Re racists in "some parts" of the party, I am still awaiting Powell's opinions on if fire is hot and water is wet....

    Posted by: Anthony | Jan 13, 2013 2:55:21 PM

  2. because, Mr. Powell, without keeping alive racial bigotry, anti-gay bigotry, and idiocy about "more guns and fewer abortions for jesus" then the GOP has no way in order to continue tricking its base into voting against their own best interests.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 13, 2013 3:03:52 PM

  3. In Arizona, being openly racist towards Mexicans gets Republicans elected.

    Posted by: homer | Jan 13, 2013 3:31:43 PM

  4. "fully implement Don't Ask Don't Tell"

    Revealing slip, Powell

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 13, 2013 4:09:43 PM

  5. Give him a break. What other Republican would make comments like this? Alan Simpson and Chris Christie (who I used to hate) are the only others I can immediately think of who stand up to their stupid party.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 13, 2013 5:03:16 PM

  6. "and the elimination of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is fully implemented."

    Posted by: Polyboy | Jan 13, 2013 5:18:39 PM

  7. It's worth noting that when Bill Clinton wanted to do away with bans on gays in the military Colin Powell was a total f*cking prick about it, which is how DADT came to be. Believe it or not, DADT was supposed to be a compromise position, better than what existed before. It was supposed to be Don't Ask, Don't Tell, DON'T PURSUE, in other words that the anti-gay witchhunts of the past were supposed to stop, but that isn't what happened. It got worse.

    So pardon me if I don't trust Colin Powell's word on who is or isn't a homophobe.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 13, 2013 5:57:29 PM

  8. Caliban, in the future could you please refrain from using clarity and facts when talking about the reality of DADT? It makes it very hard for our resident republican trolls to continue pretending that Bill Clinton and the Dems implemented DADT out of a loathing of LGBT people, and not as a compromised response to the outright bans they wanted :D



    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 13, 2013 6:07:51 PM

  9. And, here, we agree, Caliban. While Powell suddenly became in favor of repeal after a black President supported it, he has STILL never apologized for being the ONE person MOST responsible for torpedoing Clinton's hopes of lifting the ban entirely—and causing the needless discharges of some 15,000 more afterward. But he had a 10% higher approval rating than Clinton, threatened to resign as Chair of the Joint Chiefs if it were lifted, PLAYED THE RACE CARD in insisting it was offensive to say antigay discrimination was anything like racism because, according to him, skin color is natural and neutral while being gay is a choice. He's a FRAUD.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 13, 2013 6:12:58 PM

  10. However, Mr. Kiwi is misinformed. Clinton was stabbed in the back by even more Democrats than Repugs as the former controlled both houses of Congress in 1993. Repug thug Powell’s partner in slime was conservative Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn whose loathing of gays had already been demonstrated by his having fired two members of his staff when he discovered they were gay. But most even moderate Dems ran scared when confronted by the religiofascist Antigay Industry, just as many do now from the NRA. DADT passed in the Senate by NINETY-TWO to 7. In the House, it passed THREE HUNDRED & ONE to 134. [Thus, Clinton didn’t even try a symbolic, sure to be overridden veto, as the fight over gay service had brought the first months of his first term to a standstill.] Even Clinton’s Democratic SECDEF Les Aspin quickly undercut him, leaking to the press a memo he’d sent the President saying he didn’t think they could get the votes to defeat any bill intended to keep the ban. By Clinton’s first press conference about the ban the week after he was sworn in in January 2009 in which he announced the six-month "cooling off" period, his own Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell told him 70 Senators would support OVERRIDING any Executive Order to lift the ban. And spin aside, which sadly Clinton ended up buying into, it’s NONSENSE to say that somehow DADT was less of a total ban on gays than the policy that preceded it. Think about it: “gays ‘could serve’” UNTIL they FOUND OUT you were gay, and then you were out. That’s like saying “blacks could serve as long as they could pass for white.”

    As DADT history expert Dr. Nathaniel Frank wrote in “Unfriendly Fire”—"Looking back, we can see that don't ask, don't tell was the result of three different forces operating together and reinforcing one another-and all three rested on a belief that homosexuality was morally objectionable. The first was the conflicted feelings of the American public and, even more so, the military population. ... The second was the powerful empire of conservative Christian groups that made maintaining the gay ban into their cause célèbre. The extraordinary alliance of the religious right laid the elaborate groundwork for the successful campaign that convinced America that it would let gays serve their country at considerable peril. And the third source was the personal opposition to gay service of academic, political, and military leaders such as Charles Moskos, Sam Nunn, and Colin Powell. ... The new Clinton White House and the existing cadre of gay advocacy groups were totally unprepared for the opposition they would encounter.... In the hands of the religious right, Moskos's privacy concerns quickly morphed into sweeping homophobic declarations that homosexuality threatened to destroy the military and, ultimately, Western civilization. With the help of Sam Nunn and Colin Powell, Christian conservatives [would] stave off Armageddon for a little while longer.”

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 13, 2013 8:11:37 PM

  11. Incredible a guy who had so many promoting him and helping him along the way. This is the definition of biting the hand that feeds you and so is Barack Obama. Incredible after all the wonderful mansions, vehicles, protection they get they still look at the USA and hate it.

    Posted by: Douglas Joseph Dahlin | Jan 13, 2013 8:32:30 PM

  12. Give me a break with the "they hate the USA" crap talk Douglas.

    Posted by: LIZA | Jan 13, 2013 8:42:48 PM

  13. General Powell, I will give you credence once you finally drop the charade and admit that your testimony at the UN prior to the start of the Iraqi War in 2003 was fraudulent and contrived and that you KNEW it was fraudulent and contrived. Until then, and until you give the American people the apology they deserve for your shameful performance at the UN, I respectfully suggest that you sit down and shut the hell up, Sir.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 14, 2013 2:31:58 AM

  14. For those who had not noticed the racist comments that Gen. Powell pointed out -- sorry, you are too White.
    I admire the man, but he needed to make the leap that Gay rights were Civil Rights a bit sooner.

    Posted by: Bob | Jan 14, 2013 5:29:24 AM

  15. Things change, time changes things, and peoples' opinions and ways of thinking do as well.

    Posted by: billmiller | Jan 14, 2013 6:47:17 AM

  16. I am warming up to Mr Powell. I sure didn't like him very much when he was using his good name and reputation to help Cheney-Bush rush us into the NEEDLESS war in Iraq.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 14, 2013 7:36:24 AM

  17. @Michael Bedwell, When are you going to learn that being Black & being Gay are NOT THE SAME THING. Please stop comparing YOUR PLIGHT with the past plight of BLACK PEOPLE. In otherwords, get a life.


    Posted by: CLETUS | Jan 19, 2013 6:08:02 PM

  18. takip eden ibneler edin bakalim..

    Posted by: sohbet | Apr 7, 2013 8:04:30 PM

  19. dustum bir cukara bu genc yasimdaa

    Posted by: sohbet | Apr 7, 2013 8:05:24 PM

  20. gel kalbimi ac kir gulum

    Posted by: sohbet odaları | Apr 7, 2013 8:06:17 PM

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