Powell: Tea Party presidential candidate can't win in 2012

Former Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday dismissed chances for a Tea Party candidate to win the presidential election, criticizing the hard-line stance taken by the majority of the grassroots movement and advocated by their favored political candidates.

"The Tea Party point of view of 'no compromise whatsoever' is not a point of view that will eventually produce a presidential candidate who will win," he said on ABC's "This Week With Christiane Amanpour."

Powell said taking the no-compromise position isn't helping get things done in Washington, and called on members of Congress to "come back to the center to compromise" in order to see progress.


"Compromise is how this country was founded," he said, offering as an example the issue of slavery. "Can you imagine more difficult compromises today?" he asked. "We have a Congress now that can't even pass an appropriations bill."

Powell slammed the tone on Capitol Hill, which he called "very tense."

"Republicans and Democrats are focusing more and more on their extreme left and extreme right," he said. "Unless two people in disagreement with each other don't find a way to reach out to one another and make compromises, you don't get a consensus that allows you to move forward."

Powell appeared on the show in part to promote America's Promise Alliance, the service coalition he founded, and to talk about veterans’ employment initiatives. He did not discuss the most recent example of partisan congressional gridlock, the failed deficit-reduction supercommittee.

Instead, Powell called on the media to aid the process of bringing people back to the center in order to compromise.

"The media loves this game where everybody's on the extreme," he said. "We have to take some of the heat out of our political life in terms of the coverage of it."