During an interview with Powell on his Fox News show, Hannity said that he finds Obama to be "one of the most divisive figures in -- that I've witnessed in politics today."
Powell responded: "[T]hat's a term that's being used rather freely. I don't think he's that divisive an issue." Powell then asked, "What could have been more divisive than, when President Obama was inaugurated, for a number of Republicans, friends of mine, and a number of commentators to say, 'We're going to destroy him. We're going to destroy him'?"
Hannity replied: "I was one of his harshest critics. I wasn't out to destroy him." Hannity also asserted: "Well, I was critical about Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright." Powell responded: "I don't know Bill Ayers from the man in the moon. Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright are just passing things through [Obama's] life." Hannity then said that Obama spent "20 years" in Wright's church, to which Powell responded: "Well, so?"
Hannity then pressed Powell on Ayers once more, asking, "An unrepentant terrorist giving speeches, starting your political career in his house. That didn't impress you at all?"
Powell again pointed out that Ayers is and has been a non-issue, saying: "At the time, [Obama] was a guy who was living in Chicago and happened to have a friend by the name of Bill Ayers. But I don't see Bill Ayers as having that kind of longstanding terrorist influence on the president. I mean, it's ancient history now. Why are we fooling with this?"
Powell later said that despite people trying "to make" Wright "the defining issue of the 2008 campaign" and "all the attacks" on Obama over Wright, "the American people took it in stride and they elected [Obama] president."