WASHINGTON — In an interview for the technology website CNET, National Cable & Telecommunications Association president and CEO Michael Powell said he has issues with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's style of campaign, though he signaled that applies to the divisive tone of politics in general, one that is discouraging good people from running for high office.
In the interview, Powell was asked about the race given that he comes from a prominent Republican family whose pater familias, Colin Powell, has himself been urged to run for president in the past.
Powell, a Republican who was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by President Clinton and served as chairman under President George W. Bush, said was not making it personal to the New York-based businessman. But he said that given how he was raised to believe in civility and fighting with ideas, he said he has “a lot of difficulty with how [Trump] has styled his candidacy.”
“I have a deep belief that your client is the American people, not yourself or a party or anything else,” Powell told CNET. “I believe in a society that will only thrive through inclusion, not division. And I think leadership is about trying to connect the better nature of people and not profit from the worst nature in people.”
Powell said he did not know why his father doesn't run, other than at the moment the system is not encouraging people like him.
“We should be worried as a country that a Colin Powell or [former defense secretary] Bob Gates or a lot of other people I admire don’t want anything to do with this. If you have a system that elects the most powerful person in the world that people are being repelled by, something is wrong.”
“I won’t just make that comment [profiting from the worst in people] about Mr. Trump,” Powell said. “The political system is letting us all down. Somebody once told me that the way most people vote for president is they want the person who exhibits the qualities that they wish they fully were. You should want them to be better.”