"You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on it. I believe we should build on it." - Colin Powell today on "Face The Nation," responding to Dick Cheney's comment that he would choose Rush Limbaugh over Colin Powell.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell calmly rebutted the GOP Gospel According to Dick on today's "Face the Nation." Cheney said in that interview he thought Colin Powell had "left the Republican party."
"By almost every demographic indicate, the Republican party is losing. The number of people who have identified themselves as Republicans have dropped significantly into the low 20s, and not all of them identify themselves as Republicans," Powell said. "I think the Republican party needs to take a good look at itself and decide what kind of party are we."
Host Bob Schieffer asked his reaction to Rush Limbaugh's statement that "the only reason he's [Powell] is voting for him [Obama] is because Barack Obama is black. Is he calling you a racist?" Powell called the remarks "unfortunate."
"Mr. Limbaugh saw fit to dismiss all those reasons [I gave] and put it in a racial context and ignored all the reasons I listed for it," Powell said. He said in 50 years, he voted for the person he thought was the best qualified at that time to lead the nation, and that he also voted for Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter.
"He shouldn't have a veto over what someone thinks. 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 even the mildest of criticisms 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 then 24 hours later have such pressure brought to bear on them that they too, had 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, " he said.