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Posted by on Oct 25, 2012 in Featured, Politics, Race | 28 comments

The Political Obscenity Named John Sununu (UPDATED)

He should be fired from the Romney campaign:

Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a Romney surrogate, said on Thursday night that the reason former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed President Obama today was due to the color of his skin.

“Frankly when you take a look at Colin Powell whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama,” Sununu told CNN.

“What reason would that be?” asked host Piers Morgan.

“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,” responded Sununu.

This is not even a dog whistle. This is BLATANT racism and I’m sure it will NOT play well with many voters.

The word “racist” is sometimes overused.

But not this time.

UPDATED: As could have been predicted, Sununu later issued a statement — after the racist comment was literally broadcast and the smear on Powell was complete, suggesting this highly prominent consistent Republican moderate had problems with Romney’s many changes in posititions — seemingly walking it back. That is a technique that is becoming evident: say something, get it out there in front of a huge audience, then issue a walk back or denial that is exposed to a much smaller readership. The damage — and political filthiwork — is done. The Politico reports this classic example:

A few hours after the CNN interview, Sununu issued a statement appearing to back away from the comment.

“Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies. Piers Morgan’s question was whether Colin Powell should leave the party, and I don’t think he should,” Sununu said.

How does that fit in with what he said on the air? It doesn’t.

The Romney campaign needs to hire a limo and send Sununu back to New Hampshire. He is damaged goods.

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Copyright 2012 The Moderate Voice
  • Jim Satterfield

    It’s what a certain core GOP constituency has been influenced by since President Obama was elected.

  • cjjack

    And so it goes…

    We have a long, sad history in this country of treating the first (fill in the blank minority) poorly when they finally rise to the station in life nobody expected them to achieve.

    We patronize them, put them in a box, and raise the level of expectations beyond any reasonable level.

    Then once these first responders to discrimination have made their mark, we generally lower the expectations for those that follow.

    Obama’s burden is that he’s the first black President. This will never change. He will be held to a higher standard no matter what.

    The next black President will have a much easier time of it, by sheer virtue of the twisted way our society works.

    Does anybody else remember the second black major league baseball player?

    I rest my case.

  • sometimes

    Larry Doby I believe is the answer, but I’m something of a baseball fan.

    This is a sad commentary of the Romney campaign. Rather than attacking the actual reasons that Powell gave…it’s pretty disgusting…

  • chas_holman

    Sununu is a creepy gross bigot.. I am not surprised he is allied so closely to the Romney campaign.

  • StockBoyLA

    So…. Sununu is proud to have someone the color of his skin running as president and supports him?

  • I agree 110% with cjjack. President Obama had to write a speech about race after the Jeremiah Wright Affair. He was supposed to transcend race (whatever the heck that means). So on and so forth. But did President Obama say that was his goals. Heck no. Yet some his opponents (a sizable amount) have turned disagreements with him into the “he’s dividing the country by race” and other insanity.

    Think about it. A fringe almost non-existent group called the New Black Panther Party have been called Obama’s Footsoldiers many times by some. Many black folks don’t know about a New Black Panther Party. But yet some have made them seem like a 5 million strong army terrorizing the voting booths. What?!?!?!? I’m a third party guy and will continue to be so. But I will always strongly criticize those that use the “Black Attack” against him.

  • zephyr

    Seems like another republican politician is saying something crazy or offensive on an almost daily basis now. And not just sort of crazy or offensive, more in the nature of truly detached from reality crazy and offensive. What’s up for tomorrow or the weekend? Stay tuned because the embarrassment and shame threshold is on the move… not in a good way.

  • CStanley

    Stupid and very unhelpful comment.

  • Dabb

    Stockboy, I thought the same thing when I read this.

    Sununu is so shallow.

  • CStanley

    Is he actually a campaign staffer though? leftwing blogs are calling him a Co Chair while the MSM reports all seem to call him just a surrogate. It’s a minor point, but a campaign has a lot more control (and thus bears more responsibility) for what their paid staff says, than it does for people who just go out and speak on their own terms.

  • Rcoutme

    Well, if he is not paid staff, he certainly is an authorized spokesperson. He was the one who was interviewed after the debate (along with an Obama campaign staffer).

    Meanwhile, how is Obama of Colin Powell’s race? I mean…is Powell 1/2 and 1/2? How is it that anyone who has ANY AA blood is AA, thus implying that the only ones who are Caucasian are…purebloods? I mean…race is really kind of stupid to begin with, since, DNA-wise, it is almost nonexistent. I have O+ blood. If Colin Powell has O+ blood then he and I have more in common than either of us would have with someone who has A- blood.

    I really have a hard time understanding this race thing. Probably because I was brought up thinking that people were people. My parents had friends who were AA and a mixed-race (?) couple (Italian and AA). For the record, I am so white that I burn in the sun in five minutes (w/o sunscreen). My last name is Portuguese but I suspect that most of my pigment genealogy comes from the Irish and English heritage.

  • The_Ohioan


    The difference is not blood, it’s brain (logic, that is). 🙂

  • slamfu

    There is a core of this kind of thinking in America. There are wide swathes of this nation that while not KKK level of racism, still deep down don’t accept minorities and have to filter everything about them through a lens that was made in the 50’s. Its white people who think that this is a nation of white christians, and they will basically tolerate minorities, but any actual move towards societal equality is seen as an attack on “their” country. They get really defensive. Conservatives constantly talk about changing demographics and how that is going to hurt the GOP, without even realizing the racism that that assumption carries with it. Why should it hurt the GOP? Do they not have a plan for ALL Americans? Is it because minorities are all poor welfare cases that mooch off the system and conservatives want to cut that? Its there, and this is just another example of it coming from the right. I don’t think it matters if Sununu is a part of Romney’s campaign or not, he represents the thinking of a LOT of those who call themselves republican. You know this because people like Sununu still get high paying gigs and airtime despite saying things like this.

  • clarkma5

    Saying it and then retracting it feels very calculated to me. Race is a big issue in this country (still, sadly) and is a big unspoken reason behind a lot of what the Republican party is doing to hold onto its base. By saying it in a roundabout way and then retracting it, Sununu gets the double benefit of putting it into the minds of the republican base that does vote on race, playing into an internal narrative that “the blacks are working together to make themselves superior to the white man and they’ll even cross party lines to do it” while also having the ability to make the show of dusting his hands of it and not taking any blame whatsoever.

  • roro80

    It’s so much easier for the GOP to think that a black person would only vote for Obama because they share race than to actually take a look at the reasons Powell gave for his endorsement. Reasons, by the way, that Romney has not even bothered to address — surrounding himself with Bush neocons (heaven knows why Powell might be a bit touchy about that, eh?), garbage economic proposals, etc.

  • SteveK

    Though she was talking about rape not race Tina Fey seems to have pegged the John Sununu’s of the world when she said, “And if I have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a two-dollar haircut explain to me what rape is, I’m gonna lose my mind.”

  • cjjack wrote:

    And so it goes…
    We have a long, sad history in this country of treating the first (fill in the blank minority) poorly when they finally rise to the station in life nobody expected them to achieve.
    We patronize them, put them in a box, and raise the level of expectations beyond any reasonable level.

    Well he did beat a white guy for the job. That must mean he’s magic! Why shouldn’t I expect the world from someone when they beat out a white man for the job? After all, we white men are THE MOST CAPABLE at this job. We’ve done it for MANY years. Lincoln was white. That’s all I’m saying.


  • In addition; this is the classic Fox News “just putting it out there and then retracting my earlier comment” approach that always gets used. It covers the meat-eating right-wing crazies and then circles back around for the omnivorous moderates.

  • ordinarysparrow

    Shame to John Sununu
    Shameful for any that would support this continuing degradation of decency…
    The degree of self and party defeating ignorance and hatred in politics these days is astounding and frightening…

  • The_Ohioan

    Gov. Sununu is (or was) the chairman of the Romney campaign’s National Steering Committee; his co-chairman is Nikki Haley.

  • sheknows

    I wish the voters DID care…but they don’t, obviously. There doesn’t seem to be anything stupid enough, insensitive enough or racists enough to put a dent in those Republican heads that are closing the gap on this election. Sununu IS speaking for his party, and so is Mitch Mcconnell, and Sara Palin, and every southern Republican, and our tea party majority congress. I am not the least bit surprised but you watch…Romney will continue to rise in the polls.

  • StockBoyLA

    So… are we seeing any Democratic elected leaders making similar, crazy, out of touch statements that we see elected Republican leaders making? And if not, then why do so many people support a party that is so out of touch and so filled with hate? A Republican party that doesn’t even believe in science, common sense or even decency of human beings.

  • ShannonLeee

    Sbla, that’s easy….money.

    Economic conservatives are trying to get paid.
    Social conservatives are too stupid to realize that they have gotten nothing from the Rep party but lip service over the past 3 decades.
    And of course you have the ignorant masses that believe this insanity.

  • zephyr

    StockBoy, a lot of people would give their eye teeth to have an answer to your questions.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Charles Blow, in a NYT piece reviewing Sununu’s shady political past and the shoddy statements he has made, points out:

    …that nearly 80 percent of nonwhites support Obama, while 91 percent of Romney’s supporters are white.

    I worry that Sununu’s statements intentionally go beyond recognizing racial disparities and seek to exploit them.

    What does that say about Romney, and what does it say about his campaign’s tactics?

    Remember: A man is known by the company he keeps.

    How true.

    Read more here

  • jdledell

    I wish a reporter would ask Sununu if he was supporting Romney because he’s white?It would be fascinating to see Sununu’s reaction. Maybe it would finally sink into his thick skull how racist his comment about Powell really was.

  • The_Ohioan


    Hope springs eternal!

  • George Hord

    Had Colin Powell ran for President, he would have gotten my vote. That is till he shown ‘true’ colors. He is at the Well again, this time He’ll cost the President votes!

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