(CNN) – Colin Powell’s office denied a FOX report by commentator Bill Kristol Wednesday that the retired general had decided to publicly back Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
Several sources told CNN the former Bush Secretary of State has not yet made a decision about a possible endorsement. “As always, he is holding his cards close and waiting for more information," one adviser close to Powell told CNN’s John King.
Powell himself brushed off queries on any potential presidential nod, but told ABC News Wednesday afternoon that he would not be going to Denver. "I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol's musings,” he said. “I am not going to the convention. I have made this clear."
In February, Powell told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was weighing an endorsement of a Democrat or Independent candidate. “I am keeping my options open at the moment,” said Powell.
“I have voted for members of both parties in the course of my adult life. 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,” he added.
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.”
On Wednesday, Powell’s adviser said that "he likes and admires John McCain, and that would be a factor in anything he does if he decides to get more involved."
Another source close to Powell said that he has known McCain for more than three decades “and likes him, and is looking for a reason to vote for him. He hasn't found it yet."
The former general, who has largely steered clear of politics since leaving the Bush 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.”
On Wednesday, Powell’s adviser said that the vice presidential picks for both candidates would be a major factor in his decision, both for the quality of each man’s running mate and what sort of “signal that choice sends about the character and judgment of the candidate."
He also said that a Powell decision to back Obama would not be a surprise – but a decision to attend the Democratic convention would be.