August 9th, 2007
08:37 AM ET
2 years ago

Powell donates to McCain

Powell made a contribution to McCain's campaign, CNN has learned.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – CNN has learned the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain received a check Wednesday from former Secretary of State Colin Powell, providing a symbolic boost to the Arizona Republican's struggling White House bid.

McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker confirmed the contribution, telling CNN, "The Senator appreciates the support of General Powell." Powell's office did not return calls seeking comment.

According to a review of Federal Election Commission records, Powell has not donated to any other candidate this year.

While the McCain campaign would not be more specific about the contribution, a source familiar with the matter said the check totaled $2,300, the maximum an individual can give to any one candidate in the primary season, hinting at a likely endorsement in the future.

McCain advisers are privately thrilled about the contribution from the highly-respected retired Army General, which simultaneously reinforces the senator's credentials as an independent-minded Republican and a strong voice on national security issues.

It also gives the McCain camp a rare bit of positive news after weeks of media stories about staff shake-ups, disappointing fundraising numbers and heavy conservative criticism of the the senator's position on immigration reform - all of which have turned the presumed Republican front-runner into a longshot for the GOP nomination.

Advisers say McCain has been privately expressing regret that early in the campaign, he tried too hard to model his bid after the successful campaigns of President Bush and it never quite felt right. The senator is now privately pledging to do it "my way" by trying to be more of the maverick he was in his 2000 White House bid. The question now, advisers admit, is whether it's too late for the senator to recapture some of the magic of the "old McCain" from that race.

UPDATE: Powell spokeswoman Peggy Cifrino confirmed to CNN that the retired General made the contribution after learning that the senator’s campaign was low on funds, though she stressed this is not a formal endorsement of the candidate.

“John is a longtime friend of General Powell’s,” said Cifrino. “But he has not endorsed John McCain nor any other candidate.”

As for whether there will be an endorsement down the road, she said it “remains to be seen” and would not speculate.

– CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Nick, Tucson, AZ

    I guess some folks are think of themselves as bullet-proof. Anyone criticizng Collin Powell for his participation in the Bush-Rove UN speeches falls within this category as far as I'm concerned.

    He was lied to just like the rest of us... plain and simple.

    Once he realized it he walked away from the administration. Who else has demonstrated that kind of credibilty?

    Study his distinguished career and you'll realise he is one of the greatest living Americans regardless of his mistakes at the UN.

    August 9, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. OCPatriot, Orange County, CA

    McCain obviously has no moral compass. He emulates Bush and, when that doesn't work, he says he'll go back to being a maverick. He's no maverick; he mush; or, better yet, McCave.

    August 9, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. davidthejackal

    You have to respect the fact that this is the guy that general Powell is endorsing in the campaign . He's been a top official in the administration and he knows his politics and military .If he is giving money to McCain I believe it for a good reason , and I believe that you may find a lot more respectable and powerful republicans following suit .

    August 9, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. katwac Oakland Calif

    General Powell has always been and still is a respected General. Even thought Bush/Cheny sent him as the "Goat" in getting into this war – oh come on now Bush, you think us Americans are so stupid that we don't know Powell was set up royally????
    Whatever you are doing, God Bless you General Powell.

    August 9, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Cavenger

    Waste of money

    August 9, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Al in SoCal

    Colin Powell put loyalty to the President and to the GOP far above the loyalty he actually took an oath to defend (hint: USA). He willingly went to the UN knowing what his word meant and PUSHED us into war.

    He should have walked away and resigned knowing this was a terrible decision and fighting the administration instead of cowardly hanging his head and going along for the ride.

    All his accomplishments were washed away in my opinion and I will never look up to him again....

    August 9, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Penna.

    Two pathetic men!

    August 9, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    One more reason to NOT like McCain.

    August 10, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Michael, Alexandria VA

    Powell is a solder's solider. His will to do the right thing was chastised by the Bush administration and supported by Senator McCain.

    Vet's like Powell and McCain understand what will happen if we lose in Iraq and are not willing to let left wing sheep sway them.

    August 15, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
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