Powell on GOP: ‘They Sort of Look Down on Minorities’

By | January 14, 2013 | 12:41 PM EST

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told NBC’s David Gregory on “Meet the Press” Sunday that part of the Republican Party has “a dark vein of intolerance,” because “they still sort of look down on minorities.”

“There’s also a dark, a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party. What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see a former governor say the president is shuckin’ and jivin’. That’s a racial-era slave term,” Powell said, referring to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

In an October 24 Facebook posting, Palin criticized Obama’s handling of attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, saying, “President Obama’s shuck and jive with these Benghazi lies must end.”

“When I see another former governor after the president’s first debate where he didn’t do very well say that the president is lazy. He didn’t say he was slow; he was tired; he didn’t do well. He said he was lazy,” Powell said regarding former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu.

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“What people saw last night, I think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is, and how he has failed to even begin to address them,” Sununu, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s surrogate, said following the presidential debate in October.

“Now it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless, and then there’s a third word that goes along with it,” Powell said.

Powell also cited the birther movement – which questions whether the president is a natural-born U.S. citizen – as another example of racial insensitivity.

“Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?” Powell asked.