Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is calling on fellow Republicans to and speak against "idiot presentations" by people like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the so-called birthers who insist that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

As Monday's inaugural ceremonies got underway, Powell told ABC's Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos that Republicans needed to "look in the mirror" instead of attacking him after he recently called out Palin and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu for using "slave terms" like "shucking and jiving" to describe President Barack Obama.

"The Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president," he explained. "I mean, why aren't Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things? They're silent. We should speak out."

"This is the kind of intolerance that I've been talking about, where these idiot presentations continue to be made and you don't see the senior leadership of the party saying, 'No, that's wrong,'" Powell continued. "In fact, they sometimes by not speaking out, they're encouraging it. And the base keeps buying the stuff. And it's killing the base of the party. I mean, 26 percent favorability rating for the party right now. It ought to be telling them something, you know?"

"So, instead of attacking me or whoever speaks like I do, look in the mirror and realize, how are we going to win the next election?"

Watch this video from ABC News, broadcast Jan. 21, 2013.