With all of the xenophobic and racist rhetoric that pervades the Republican presidential primary, you’d think that Colin Powell might’ve left the party.
But when the former secretary of state spoke at the Washington Ideas Forum yesterday, he reaffirmed his allegience and joked that he’s sticking around “because it annoys them.”
In a chat with Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson, Powell, whose family hails from Jamaica, defended the GOP as accepting and understanding of immigration while insisting that it’s only a vocal and influential minority that is pushing forth a xenophobic agenda:
I think most Republicans understand that we need immigration, we are an immigrant nation [and that] it is in our best interest to do it.
If I was around Mr. Trump—Donald, who I know rather well—I would say, “You know, Don, let’s see what happens—let’s tell all the immigrants working in Trump hotels to stay home tomorrow.”
Powell also stated that he thinks the party has shifted too far right to be successful in major elections:
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 and doing the things that they were doing and hope to be successful in national-level election in the future, not just in 2016.
(H/t The Hill)