Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served in that capacity for the duration of President George W. Bush’s first term in office, attacked the remaining Republican presidential candidates and the GOP at large while commenting on the death of Nancy Reagan. While the quotes, which came from an interview Powell did with NPR, didn’t name any specific names, it’s fairly clear that the former White House staffer had front-runner Donald Trump in mind. Sure, his veiled tone wasn’t as blatantly obvious as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s official statement last week was, but its criticisms are essentially the same.
Powell, who also served as Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, suggested that Reagan would be “disturbed” by the conservative candidates’ regular invocations of her husband’s memory while talking to NPR’s Michel Martin on All Things Considered.
“To stand there and do junior high school tricks on one another is belittling the country and belittling the office to which they are striving,” he said.
Powell added, “Even Jerry Springer thinks it’s gone too far, and when Jerry Springer thinks you’ve gone too far, my friends, you have gone too far.”
Wait a minute, Jerry Springer spoke out against Trump et al.? Yes, the talk show host and former Democratic mayor of Cincinnati made comments to this effect in a recent issue of the Financial Times. So, if Springer is poo-pooing on the 2016 election, and Powell is well-read enough to know about it, then we should probably give the otherwise card-carrying member of the Republican Party the floor, no?
Depends on who you ask, as anti-GOP comments like these have come from Powell’s side of the political arena before. As NPR notes, the former Secretary of State criticized his conservative fellows in 2008 and 2012 while supporting both election campaigns for the Democratic candidate Barack Obama.
To hear more about what Powell had to say, check out his interview below.