Former Secretary of State Colin Powell lashed out at critics who questioned whether or not he was still a Republican.
From the Politico
In the latest round of the increasingly heated intra-GOP feud, former Secretary of State Colin Powell Sunday defended his credentials and fired back at radio host Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney, saying the party had to expand beyond its conservative base.
“Rush will not get his wish and Mr. Cheney was misinformed – I am still a Republican,” Powell said in a much-anticipated interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” two weeks after Cheney suggested on the same show that the retired general had left the party by endorsing Barack Obama last fall.
Powell outlined his party bona fides, noting his votes for and services under a string of Republican presidents, and said it was not up to Cheney and Limbaugh – the radio host has kept up a steady drumbeat of criticism since Powell’s cross-party endorsement last year – to determine who belonged in the GOP.
“Neither [Cheney] nor Rush Limbaugh are members of the membership committee of the Republican Party,” Powell said.
Powell suggested that there were a number of moderates in the party who shared his concerns but were hesitant to speak out “because if you are vocal you’re going to get your voice mail filled up and get lots of e-mails like I did.”
Powell has a perfect right to defend himself against the statements Rush and Cheney have made against him. But there is little doubt that he is far more representative of the RINO wing of the party than anything else.