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Colin Powell Eviscerates McCain's Negative Smear Campaign

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Uploaded on Oct 19, 2008

Press availability following his endorsement on "Meet the Press." Destroys every McCain and Republican talking points from Ayers to "terrorist" to Rep. Bachmann's rant to "socialism." From MSNBC, 10-19-08.

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.

I was troubled a couple of weeks ago when in the middle of the crisis the campaign said we're going to go negative and they announced it. We're going to go negative and attack his character through Bill Ayers. And now I guess the message this week is we're going to call him a socialist. Mr. Obama is now a socialist because he dares to suggest that maybe we ought to look at the tax structure that we have. Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who pay it in roads and airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more, who should be paying less. And for us to say that makes you a socialist I think is an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate. And I don't want my taxes raised. I don't want anybody else's taxes raised. But I also want to see our infrastructure fixed. I don't want to have a $12 trillion national debt and I don't want to see an annual deficit that's over $500 billion heading toward a trillion. So how do we deal with all of this?

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