(CNN) - Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that he has not yet decided which candidate to back in this year’s presidential race.
The election of an African-American president “would be electrifying,” Powell told a George Washington University audience, “but at the same time [I have to] make a judgment here on which would be best for America.
“I have been watching both individuals, I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I am going to vote for. And I'm interested to see what the debates are going to be like because we have to get off of this ‘lipstick on a pig’ stuff and get into issues,” he said.
Powell's full comments will air on “The Next President: A World of Challenges” this Saturday night at 9pm ET and again Sunday at 2pm ET.
Last month, as the retired general’s office denied a report that he had decided to publicly back Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, several sources told CNN’s John King that Powell was still undecided. “As always, he is holding his cards close and waiting for more information," one adviser close to Powell told CNN’s John King.
Earlier this year, 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 Obama, 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.”
Last month, a Powell adviser told CNN 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."
Yeah, because he's black! We all know which they're voting. Pretty sad.
Is it with him Race or Program?
Poor Colin Powell, he has been brow beaten enough that now he is afraid to take a stand. When he choose to align himself with the Bush/Cheney regime, he sold his soul.
Come on, Mr. Powell, redeem yourself by standing up for CHANGE!
DITTO! OBAMA ALL THE WAY!
NO WAY, NO HOW, NO MCCAIN, NO PALIN!
And McCain would be terrifying!
He's voting for OBAMA.
If McCain had his vote he would come out and say it.
yoooooooooooooo we miss you Colin
The best sec of State ever
He knows whats the best choice
I always liked Powell as I feel his is a reasoned, intelligent man – his only bad moment was letting Bush talk him into telling lies to the UN.
Hopefully, he makes a reasoned choice and backs Obama.
Come on General Powell, you know Obama is the right choice.
He's exactly right, let's get to the issues!!!
Obama's fired up, & puts the HEAT in DEAD HEAT.
Guess what McCain puts?
Oh, Mr. Powell, I believe you and Ms. Rice are on Obama's side because you are smart people. What a waste of talent you both are!
Oh please Powell! You know you're voting for Obama!! You know it and I know it! What other choice is there?
More politics! Powell already has the "information" he needs to endorse a candidate. Powell is merely waiting for McCain to fall flat on his face so it won't appear as though he (Powell) is going against the Republican party. Politics!
It's okay Colin, we all know you are going to vote for the honesty and truth you see in Obama so you don't have to hide how ya feel. :-) We're voting for him too!
Exactly, not enough reason to vote for the war monger. He doesn't want to contradict and vote for McSame only to continue a war that he disagreed off.
Come on Powell. You have always been a man of Honor. Forget your ties to Bush and admit the obvious truth. You are for Obama as is every American with an IQ over 100.
Endorse obama already. Speak your conscience.
Obama's win will return our GREAT Country to a place of GREAT respect around the world. We will have MORE friends who work with us around the world.
Powell on an Obama ticket would be electrifying as I have always liked Mr. Powell especially with all the B.S. he had to deal with in this administration.
I trust his judgment more than anyone else's.
Powell knows that Obama is the only candidate that can save our country which is going down the drain quickly!! THANKS, BUT NO THANKS ON MCCAIN/PALIN!!!
please powell make the endorsement.
i know it will happen.
Yo Colin, Barack is black and you're black. It's ok to say you'll back him. America expects it. Same with Oprah. That's what's wrong with this country. Ya see, America knows blacks are just as racist as whites. So Colin come out and endorse Barack, you'll feel better.
I have great respect for Colin Powell and was disgusted to see him thrown under the bus by the Bush administration. I'd love to see this intelligent and talented man stand up for Barack Obama.
McCain: "We will stop multimillion-dollar payouts to CEOs who have broken the public trust." How much severance payment did Carly Fiorina (McCains adviser) take home after destroying Hewlett-Packard? – $21 million in cash, which was 2.5 times her base annual salary. And the Oscar for economic flip flopper goes to...Mccain