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Colin Powell: GOP Holds 'Dark Vein Of Intolerance' (VIDEO)

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks at the International Rescue Committee's Annual Freedom Award benefit at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IRC)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks at the International Rescue Committee's Annual Freedom Award benefit at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IRC)

Former Secretary Of State Colin Powell delivered some harsh words for the GOP as a whole on Sunday.

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet The Press," Powell noted that there is a "dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party."

"What do I mean by that?," he explained. "What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities."

Powell specifically pointed to October 2012 comments by former Alaska Gov. and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin on the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

"When I see a former governor say that the president is 'shuckin' and jivin' -- that's a racial-era slave term," Powell said, referring to Palin's words on Obama's response.

Powell added that Republicans had become too preoccupied with the candidate-selection process, losing sight of the group's overall message.

"You've got to think first about what's the party actually going to represent," Powell said. "If it's just going to represent the far right wing of the political spectrum, I think the party is in difficulty. I'm a moderate, but I'm still a Republican."

Powell was the first African American to fill the role of Secretary Of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001-05. Despite maintaining his allegiance to the Republican Party, Powell has been an ardent supporter for President Barack Obama, giving him a 2008 vote and a 2012 endorsement.

"I think we ought to keep on the track we are on," said Powell in October 2012, commending Obama on the economy and Iraq War.

Top Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu turned heads after the announcement, suggesting that Powell's Obama endorsement was motivated by race. That statement prompted former Powell Chief Of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson to make Republican-Party comments similar in nature to Powell's Sunday remarks.

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. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and 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.

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