“What we can’t continue to have is to have somebody like a Judge Sotomayor, who is announced, and based on one simple, tricky but nonetheless case that the Supreme Court has now decided, have her called a racist or a reverse racist, and she ought to withdraw her nomination because we’re mad at her,” Powell said Sunday in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union.
“She seems like a very gifted and accomplished woman,” Powell also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. “She certainly has an open and liberal bent of mind, but that’s not disqualifying. But she seems to have a judicial record that seems to be balanced and tries to follow the law. And so I hope we do have a spirited set of hearings.”
“And, she ought to be asked about everything from both the left and the right,” Powell said of the woman who would become the first Latina on the nation’s highest court if confirmed by the Senate.
Pointing to his own life, Powell also weighed in on the issue of affirmative action more generally – an issue likely to be a focus of Sotomayor’s upcoming confirmation hearings.
“You don’t have an obligation to bring in anybody who’s not able to do the work. You should always have qualifications. But once you have those qualifications, is there something wrong with a taxpayer-funded institution not making sure that it is representing the entire public, the entire population? And I think that’s a good rule for private institutions as well.
Call it affirmative action. Call it diversity. It goes under lots of different names.
“I have a hunch that maybe 55 years ago, somebody took a look at my rather mediocre high school grades, but at the same time thought ‘maybe this kid can make it.’ And they let me in the City College of New York.”
“A dictator is gone. A despicable regime is gone,” the former Secretary of State under George W. Bush said Sunday in an interview that aired on CNN’s State of the Union. “And the Iraqi people have been given a chance to have a representative form of government, living in peace with its neighbors. We’ll have to see what history's judgment of that will be.”
The retired general also gave his take on recent celebrations in Iraq as a deadline passed for U.S. troops withdrew from the country’s major cities.
“I think we should just pocket this,” Powell told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King about celebrations in the streets that heralded the U.S. pull-back.
“They are happy. They have made it clear from the very beginning that they wanted to be free and independent. And they didn’t want to be an occupied nation, which they were when we were there, and now that is starting to change.
“But this is not yet over. . . . it’s now up to the Iraqis to solidify their representative government system and make sure they have the security forces that can handle all of this.”
“They’re now responsible for their own destiny,” Powell added.
"I'm a little concerned," former Secretary of State Colin Powell says. "I'm concerned at the number of programs that are being presented, the bills associated with these programs and the additional government that will be needed to execute them."
Powell also seems to sound a note of warning to the young president.
"I think one of the cautions that has to be given to the president - and I've talked to some of his people about this - is that you can't have so many things on the table that you can't absorb it all. And we can't pay for it all."
"He was a great entertainer and he crossed so many lines with his skill and the skill of his brothers," Powell says, "I always remember him most vividly as a young boy with his brothers - the Jackson 5. These fresh, exciting kids with the 'fro's in the early '70s and singing those wonderful songs."
"But that is what I remember about Michael. During the heyday when he was doing 'Thriller' and the other things I was either in Vietnam or Korea or somewhere. So he's not quite of my generation, but his art spanned three generations and is worthy of all the tribute that he is receiving for his art.
"Yes, there were some challenges in his life. Yes, there was a great deal of controversy about him. But he's now passed on. Let's celebrate his art."
"July 4th still represents a remarkable date for us to stall or stop and reflect on what our founding fathers achieved on July 4 of 1776," says the former general, "And the noble sentiment they gave to the rest of the world that all men are created equal and that governments serve the people. And the people serve the nation."
"So, on July 4th, let's as we were told by our founding fathers, shoot rockets and celebrate and let the bombs go off and celebrate and praise our flag," he says. "But let's not forget that the freedom we enjoy, the freedom that we declared that we would have in 1776, still has to be won every single day and it's won by all of us, but especially by these young men and women in uniform."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – As Colin Powell fires back against Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh in the latest skirmish in the battle over the future of the Republican Party, a new national poll indicates that Americans have a much more favorable opinion of Powell than Cheney or Limbaugh.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Monday, suggests that 70 percent have a favorable opinion of Powell, who was Secretary of State during President George W. Bush's first term, and who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War.
Only 30 percent of those polled have a favorable view of Limbaugh, the popular conservative radio talk show host, with 53 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion.
In poll numbers released Thursday, 37 percent say they have a favorable opinion of Dick Cheney, with 55 percent indicating they hold an unfavorable view of the former vice president.
Among Republicans, it's a different story. The poll suggests that 66 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Cheney, 64 percent give Powell a thumbs up, and 62 view Limbaugh in a favorable way.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell struck back Sunday at critics of his decision to support Barack Obama's presidential candidacy last year.
Calling for his divided party to widen its ranks, Powell declared, "I am still a Republican."
In an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Powell responded to attacks from former Vice President Dick Cheney and talk show host Rush Limbaugh, saying they are "not members of the membership committee of the Republican Party."
"Rush will not get his wish, and Mr. Cheney was misinformed. I am still a Republican", he said. "I would like to point out that in the course of my 50 years of voting for presidents, I have voted for the person I thought was best qualified at that time to lead the nation. Last year, I thought it was President Barack Obama. For the previous 20 years, I voted solidly for Republican candidates."
Earlier this month on the same program, Cheney was asked about a dispute between Limbaugh and Powell over the role each plays in the GOP. "My take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican," Cheney responded.
(CNN) - Colin Powell and Rush Limbaugh escalated their war of words on Wednesday, with the talk radio host calling the former Secretary of State part of the "stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything."
The comments came hours after Powell fired back at Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney over recent remarks questioning his GOP credentials.
"Rush Limbaugh says, 'get out of the Republican Party.' Dick Cheney says, 'he's already out,'" Powell said at a Tuesday night event in Boston, according to the Boston Globe. "I may be out of their version of the Republican Party, but there's another version of the Republican Party waiting to emerge once again."
Powell drew ire from many in the GOP for his decision to endorse President Obama's candidacy, and said earlier this month that the party would be better off without Limbaugh.
On his show Wednesday, Limbaugh mocked Powell's comments. "And now there's an agenda, an emerging agenda, that he's waiting for for the Republican Party?" said the radio host. "The only thing emerging here is Colin Powell's ego. Colin Powell represents the stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything."
Limbaugh, who has been called the de facto leader of the Republican Party by leading Democrats, also said that he is resigning from the position.
"I am resigning as the titular head of the Republican Party," Limbaugh said. "Clearly I am not the titular head of the Republican Party, it's not an office I sought, it was an office position that rather was ladled onto me, and one I was appointed without by acquiescence."