February 9th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
6 years ago

Colin Powell may support Democrat or Independent in ‘08

CNN

Watch Colin Powell discuss the presidential race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican who served under President Bush, said Friday he may not back the GOP presidential nominee in November, telling CNN that “I am keeping my options open at the moment.”

“I have voted for members of both parties in the course of my adult life,” Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And as I said earlier, I will vote for the candidate I think can do the best job for America, whether that candidate is a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent.”

Powell also offered praise for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, calling him an “exciting person on the political stage.

“He has energized a lot of people in America,” said Powell, who briefly weighed his own run for the White House in the mid-1990s. “He has energized a lot of people around the world. And so I think he is worth listening to and seeing what he stands for.”

Powell, who has largely steered clear of politics since leaving the administration in 2004, noted that the next president will need to work to restore America’s standing in the world.

“I will ultimately vote for the person I believe brings to the American people the kind of vision the American people want to see for the next four years,” he said. “A vision that reaches out to the rest of the world, that starts to restore confidence in America, that starts to restore favorable ratings to America. Frankly, we've lost a lot in recent years.”

Programming note: Tune in for the full interview with Colin Powell on “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer,” airing this Sunday, 11-1 PM, ET.

soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. MJF

    So the war criminal now says he's open to supporting a Democrat who would end the Iraq occupation. Maybe if he didn't so enthusiastically embrace the administrations intelligence findings (read: lies) and present them to the U.N. we wouldn't be spending billions on a useless, tragic war that has killed so many innocent people. He could have resigned instead of lying to the United Nations. He chose not to and that is his legacy. His current fans may defend him, but they will not be the ones who write the history books that will reflect his central role in starting a criminal war of aggression.

    February 9, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. JOEY

    WOMEN... I'M SORRY I LOVE EVERYONE BUT PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP BEING NAIVE AND STUBBORN FOR HILLARY. HILLARY IS NOT GOING TO WIN AGAINST MCCAIN! OBAMA HAS BEEN AN ELECTED OFFICIAL LONGER THAN HILLARY CLINTON. THERE WILL BE A WOMAN PRESIDENT AND ILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO VOTE FOR HER WHEN THE RIGHT WOMAN COMES. SO ASK ALL WOMEN TO RECONSIDER FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY. DEMOCRATS NEED THIS.

    February 9, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. Toby James

    Just want to ask the racists here a question... What percentage of white people voted for white candidates back when Jesse Jackson was running? Was the fact that they overwhelmingly voted for a white candidate reflective of inherent racism, or the fact they liked what that candidate stood for more than they liked what Jackson stood for?

    Of course, in some cases it was one, and in others the other. It's the same here. Some black people vote for Obama because they want to see a black person win, and some because they like what he stands for. If you want to get an idea as to the percentages of one group versus the other, think about it like this... Obama's oratory reminds one in many ways of Martin Luther King Jr., who as you know, black people overwhelmingly hold in high regard because of what he stood for, not because he was black. Case closed, bigotry exposed.

    February 10, 2008 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  4. Joyce Brumley

    Thanks Wolf for the great job that you and your team did to make the debates so interesting and informative. I've watched them all and I appreciate them. The results have shown great team reporting.I know how to vote on the issues that are important to me. You always ask the questions that I want answered. So thanks.
    I will vote for Obama. I am a 75 yr old white female who is tired of the present white house staff. Hope I can help to change the congress as well.
    I read your blog every day.
    I don't trust McCain on immigration. He only says he will close the borders first. But has he changed anything else that he wanted on the amnesty bill. He refuses to answer when pushed about his citizenship promises.
    Thanks Joyce
    Texas

    February 11, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  5. Joyce Brumley

    Thanks for Collin Powell's interview. Great !!!

    February 11, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  6. TF08

    Why is it that all the old timers in Washington want to jump the Obama train? Oh yeah, because "YES WE CAN" means he is their YES MAN. I get it. How stupid everyone is for believing that garbage! He motivates and then delivers what? Obama is an ostridge.

    February 11, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Bill Cochran

    Colin sounds like you are leaning toward Obama. Good Luck Colin, the neo cons let you hang shifting in the wind on WMD after you were force feed the "CIA facts" aka Tenant's "slam dunk" statements. Like the bottom feeding scum they are, they will probably "Swift Boat" you personally but not professionally.

    February 11, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. TerryD

    Why are you people so stupid about John McCain. He is in his 70s the Republicians know they are not going to win no matter who runs against John McCain.

    So stop the B.S. about Barack Hussein Obama being the only one who can beat John McCain.

    Hillary R Clinton will not only beat him she will expose the Republicians for the fraud, corruption and Enron connections to the Bush and Chaney's family.

    John McCain has been given the honor of going down with the ship (The Republician Ship). That is his reward for being a war-prisioner for the United States of America.

    Now the Republicians can blame John McCain for losing the White House and not their own corruption and war mongering beliefs

    People use your intuition, listen with your intellect and stop being swayed by ex-movie stars,(are you talking to me) corrupt Kennedy ideals (hah) and the Oprama connection.

    February 12, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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