Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Powell Responds To Criticisms From Cheney And Limbaugh

Colin Powell responded to Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, who questioned his Republican credentials after he voted for Obama. Powell made the case for appealing beyond the party's right wing base, especially in view of the GOP's shrinking support–a point recently made by Senator Olympia Snowe (R) of Maine. Referring to Limbaugh as "an entertainer," a term the talk show host apparently loathes, Powell questioned why Republicans, including RNC chair Michael Steele, have to kowtow to him. Watch:

On party moderation: What the concern about me is, well, is he too moderate? I have always felt that the Republican Party should be more inclusive than it generally has been over the years. And I believe we need a strong Republican Party that is not just anchored in the base but has built on the base to include more individuals. And if we don’t do that, if we don’t reach out more, the party is going to be sitting on a very, very narrow base. ...what we have to do is debate and define who we are and what we are and not just listen to diktats that come down from the right wing of the party.

On Rush Limbaugh: The nature of our country is we ought to debate these things. But he shouldn’t have a veto over what someone thinks. And he’s an entertainer. He is a radio figure, and he is a significant one. But he’s more than that. When the chairman of the RNC, Michael Steele, issues the mildest of criticism concerning Mr. Limbaugh, and then 24 hours later the chairman of the RNC has to lay prostrate on the floor apologizing for it, and when two congressmen offer the mildest criticism of Mr. Limbaugh, they too within 24 hours have such pressure brought to bear on them that they have to change their view and apologize for criticizing him -- well, if he’s out there, he should be subject to criticism, just as I am subject to criticism.

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