Colin Powell Hits GOP on Voter ID Laws

Powell also called on Republican leaders to stop the "birther nonsense."

Posted: 01/22/2013 09:52 AM EST

Colin Powell doubled down on his criticisms of the Republican Party this week, chiding failed efforts to use restrictive new voting laws to win the November elections. The former secretary of state's remarks on the Monday edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe came just days after his harsh words about a "dark vein of intolerance" for minorities in some parts of the party.

“Should we really have gone after reducing the turnout of voters in those places where we thought it would make a difference? The Republican Party should be a party that says, ‘We want everybody to vote,’ and make it easier to vote and give them a reason to vote for the party, [whereas] not to find ways to keep them from voting at all,” Powell said.

Republican leaders have been struggling with ways to hone their message in a way that resonates with different demographics. But according to Powell, messaging is just one part of the equation. The GOP, he says, must also reconcile its policies if it wants to attract voters who are increasingly becoming more centrist and more diverse.

"It's not the message," he said. "You have to appeal with policies and programs to these people who are going to be the leaders of our country in a generation."

In an appearance during ABC News' Inauguration Day coverage, Powell also called for an end to the "birther nonsense." He called on Republicans to "stop buying into things that demonize the president" and urged leaders to speak out against it.

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(Photo: MSNBC)

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