Ironically, given Secretary Powell's condemnation of GOP name-calling and dirty campaign tactics, Ambassador Annenberg's publication, The Philadelphia Inquirer, widely attacked McCarthyism during the 1950s.
"This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign,'' Powell observed. ''But Mr. McCain says that he's a washed-out terrorist. Well, then, why do we keep talking about him?''
Vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) has repeatedly pandered to GOP crowds falsely, incredulously, and scurrilously linking Senator Obama to "domestic terrorists." Powell said he does not believe Governor Palin is prepared to be President of the United States which is the job of the Vice-President.
Yet despite such slanderous attacks by his own political party, Secretary Powell stated: “I think that Senator Obama brings a fresh set of eyes, a fresh set of ideas to the table....I think that Senator McCain, as gifted as he is, is essentially going to execute the Republican agenda, the orthodoxy of the Republican agenda with a new face and a maverick approach to it, and he’d be quite good at it, but I think we need more than that.”
Powell appeared on NBC's Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw Sunday morning, October 19, 2008 at 10:30 AM ET.
The GOP has engaged in a campaign of distortions and negativity, including false claims by McCain regarding who his Republican trickle-up tax plans would benefit: middle class and working Americans or the top wealthiest ten percent of Americans who were the chief beneficiaries of the Bush tax cuts that McCain has vowed to continue.
McCain has famously taken up the confused cause of 'Joe the Plumber' who would actually benefit from Obama's tax plan.
Other examples of Republican dirty tricks include derogatory comments by Minnesota GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachman calling Senator Obama "anti-American" and negative robocalls in the State of Maine that have been roundly condemned by US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).
The Republican strategy of negativity is somewhat surprising given the American electorate has consistently expressed their solid dislike of such distortions and underhanded tactics in opinion poll after opinion poll.
The GOP negativity machine conforms to the McCain team's strategy of running personal attacks because they can not win on economic issues. McCain told reporters weeks ago that he didn't know much about economic policy, and he proclaimed the US economy was fundamentally strong just days before the largest financial meltdown in American history since the Great Depression.
Elaborating on his criticism of McCain's response to the financial crisis, Powell commented: ''In the case of Mr. McCain I found that he was a little unsure as to how to deal with the economic problems that we were having. Almost everyday there was a different approach to the problem and that concerned me, sensing that he doesn't have a complete grasp of the economic problems that we had.''
Senator Obama ''displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this,'' Powell said. ''I think that he has a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well.''
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