Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, blasted the Republican Party as being "full of racists" who only want President Barack Obama out of office because he's black. (Getty Images)
The former chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday called the Republican Party "full of racists" who want President Barack Obama out of office, not because of his job as commander in chief, but because of "the color of his skin."
Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a Republican, was reacting to former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu's since-retracted assertion that Powell endorsed Obama for re-election because of his race. While calling Sununu's comment an "unfortunate slip of words," Wilkerson said it speaks to a larger problem within the GOP.
"My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people -- not all of them, but most of them -- who are still basing their decisions on race," Wilkerson told MSNBC's Ed Schultz. "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."
Powell broke with the Republican Party to endorse Obama for a second time this week, prompting Sununu -- a top Romney surrogate -- to say, "he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama...I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States."
Sununu walked the comment back hours later, saying in a statement he did not believe Powell's endorsement "was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies."
"To say that Colin Powell would endorse President Obama because of his skin color is like saying Mother Teresa worked for profit," Wilkerson said on "The Ed Show."
Wilkerson seconded Powell's endorsement, saying there has been "steady improvement" under Obama and that "he needs another four years to make more improvements because there's still lots of improvements that need to be made."
Watch below, via MSNBC: