"I’m also troubled by…what members of the party say, and is permitted to be said, such things as, ‘Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’ Well, the correct answer is, 'He is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian, he’s always been a Christian.'But the really right answer is, 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?'The answer’s 'No, that’s not America.' Is there something wrong with some 7-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he’s a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America."On the Obama/Ayers connection, Powell dismissed it and noted its unimportance to American voters,
"And I’ve also been disappointed frankly by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently, or his campaign has, on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers situation that’s been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign, but Mr. McCain says he’s a washed out terrorist—well, why do we keep talking about him? ... What they’re trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings, and I think that’s inappropriate... But I think this goes too far. And I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrower. It’s not what the American people are looking for."Lastly, Powell spoke out on McCain's very poor VP choice in Sarah Palin (though he did so eloquently and as respectfully as possible, unlike what my approach would've been given a national platform), saying,
"And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She’s a very distinguished woman, and she’s to be admired, but at the same time, now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be President of the United States, which is the job of the Vice President. And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made."Now that's what I call reaching across party lines!