Powell: GOP Has ‘Identity Problem’

By Melanie Arter | January 14, 2013 | 3:18 PM EST

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and President Barack Obama on Dec. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Republican Party has “an identity problem” and needs to change along with U.S. demographics.

“I think the Republican Party is having an identity problem, and I’m still a Republican. I’m a Republican who grew up along with George Bush 41. I grew up with Ronald Reagan, Cap Weinberger, Frank Carlucci – that Republican Party, the Republican Party of Dick Lugar and John Tower, but in recent years, there’s been a significant shift to the right, and we have seen what that shift has produced – two losing presidential campaigns,” Powell said.

NBC’s David Gregory asked Powell whether he was still a Republican – despite voting for President Barack Obama twice – and whether he felt like the Republican Party has left him “or have you left it?”

Powell insisted he was still a Republican, but said the GOP has to change with the changing demographics in the country.

“I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed. The country has changing demographically, and if the Republican Party does not change along with that demographic, they’re going to be in trouble,” he said.

“And so when we see that in one more generation, the minorities of America – African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Asian-Americans – will be the majorities of the country, you can’t go around saying, ‘We don’t want to have a solid immigration party,’ ‘We’re going to dismiss the 47 percent,’ ‘We are going to make it hard for these minorities to vote’ – as they did in the last election,” Powell said, referring to voter ID laws, which require some form of identification for voters to receive a ballot.

“What did that produce? The courts struck most of that down. Most importantly, it caused people to turn out and stand in line, because these Republicans are trying to keep us from voting,” he said.