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Powell: Obama needs to focus on employment

Sept. 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday President Obama's should have "a singular focus on the economy and unemployment."

"I think he has lost some of his ability to connect during the campaign. … I think he has to do more with respect to reducing the deficit and also being careful about putting more and more programs, more and more rocks into that knapsack because the American people are looking for a singular focus on the economy and unemployment," Powell said on NBC's "Meet The Press," adding Obama "needs to focus on the business community."

"The president also has to, I think, shift the way in which he has been doing things. I think the American people feel that too many programs have come down. There are so many rocks in our knapsack now that we're having trouble carrying it," Powell said.

The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also said the surging conservative Tea Party movement isn't exactly something new.

"People seem to suggest or think that this is something new and wild. But if you look at our history, we have had movements like this throughout our history. We've had this kind of political fighting throughout our history. It's the nature of our democratic system," Powell said.

"I think it is a fascinating change in our political life to see this kind of movement gain such momentum and strength and this is good. People want to see this. But at the same time, this movement doesn't become a real force until it starts to talk to the issues. … You've got to have more than slogans."

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