Via Think Progress and Ameicablog is this highlight from Gen. Colin Powell's weekend endorsement of Barack Obama for president. After appearing on NBC News' Meet the Press, the former secretary of state and retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the increasingly harsh rhetoric of the McCain campaign worried him. Especially troubling was last week's McCarthyite outburst by far right wingnut Rep. Michelle Bachmann, the anti-gay and anti-same sex marriage zealot who accused Obama of harboring by anti-American views.
Transcript at Americablog:
Q: Sir, what role did McCain's negativity play in your decision?
POWELL: It troubled me. You know, we have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education problems. We have infrastructure problems. We have problems around the world with our allies. And so those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who is a Muslim and who's not a Muslim. Those kinds of images going out on al Jazeera are killing us around the world. And we have got to say to the world it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are. If you're an American you're an American.
And this business of, for example, a congressman from Minnesota who's going around saying let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro-America or not pro-America. We have got to stop this kind of nonsense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity. And so that really was driving me. And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers, these trivial issues for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorists' inclinations, I thought that was over the top. It was beyond just good political fighting back and forth. I think it went beyond. And then to sort of throw in this subtle Muslim connection. You know, he's a Muslim and a terrorist. And it was taking root. And we can't judge our people and we can't hold our elections on that kind of basis. And so yes, that kind of negativity troubles me and the constant shifting of the argument.
The Powell endorsement is a coup but is not a surprise. In June 2007, we reported Powell was advising Obama on foreign policy. Colin Powell, a Republican who puts "country first" with endorsing Obama for America.