Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff and a registered Republican, told MSNBC’s The Ed Show in an interview “My party is full of racists.”
After Republican former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that he was once again endorsing President Barack Obama for president, John Sununu, co-Chairman of Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign, told CNN that Powell only made that decision because Obama was black:
“… frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues, or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for endorsing president Obama … I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.”
Sununu has since retracted his comment, issuing the statement, “Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies. Piers Morgan’s question was whether Colin Powell should leave the party, and I don’t think he should.”
Col. Wilkerson called the initial comment an “unfortunate slip of tongue,” but he is not surprised. He told Schultz he had respect for Sununu but he doesn’t “have any respect for the integrity of the position that he seemed to codify. Look at me, Ed, I’m white. I’m not black. Colin Powell picked me because of the content of my character and my competence.”
“My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their positions on race,” Wilkerson said. “Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists.”
Wilkerson went further to explain that he thought members of his party were pushing so hard to remove President Obama from office, not because of what they considered to be failures on the part of his administration, but because they did not want a black person in the White House.
“The real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that’s despicable,” said Wilkerson.
“To say that Colin Powell would endorsed President Obama because of his skin color would be to say that Mother Theresa worked for profit.”