John Sununu has, as we reported earlier, spoken out about prominent Republican Colin Powell’s endorsement of President Barack Obama for a second term, suggesting that despite Powell’s vast experience and foreign policy expertise, the decision to endorse Obama is solely down to Powell’s race.
John Sununu has been critical of Obama publicly in recent weeks, and made remarks following the first debate that were deemed racial in nature by some Democratic strategists. What Sununu said following the first debate called to mind some very basic racial stereotypes, but in the “dog whistle” way seen in much of the GOP’s criticism of the President ahead of the election.
Speaking to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Sununu said:
“What people saw last night, I think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is, how he has absolutely no idea how serious the economic problems of the country are, and how he has failed to even begin to address them … I think even the liberal press reacted with shock at this revelation, and I find it fascinating now this morning, after they’ve slept, to watch them all scrambling around to clean up the mess the president left on the floor last night.”
Blog The Hill notes that an unnamed Democratic strategist agreed the remarks “seem[ed]” racially-tinged, and added:
“Some days they call Barack Obama arrogant, today Sununu called him lazy. Those kinds of characterizations of are just a fact of life for this president. John Sununu would never call Ronald Reagan lazy and he took naps in the middle of the day.”
But when it comes to the Colin Powell endorsement, Sununu quit it with the innuendo and went full race card, with a bit of back-handed complimentary spin that seems indicative of how Sununu truly feels about race and politics today:
“Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.”
John Sununu’s comments on Colin Powell’s endorsement also follow remarks he made as recently as July, when he flat-out said the President was not American and didn’t understand America:
“The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses, from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”
Do you think statements like John Sununu’s Colin Powell remarks will work against the GOP in the coming election, or fire up the base?