(CNN) - John McCain said on “FOX News Sunday” that he was not surprised by General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama.
“Well, I've always admired and respected General Powell. We're longtime friends. This doesn't come as a surprise," he said.
"But I'm also very pleased to have the endorsement of four former secretaries of state, Secretaries Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger and Haig. And I'm proud to have the endorsement of well over 200 retired Army generals and admirals. But I respect and continue to respect and admire Secretary Powell," he said.
The Arizona Senator did not answer a follow up question about Powell contradicting McCain’s argument that Obama wasn’t ready to lead.
But after his opponent touted Powell’s endorsement at a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the McCain campaign issued a statement saying Obama needed someone like Powell to supplement his own lack of experience.
"Only an unproven and inexperienced politician like Barack Obama would have to rely so heavily on an another man's resume in making the case for his own candidacy - and it shows that he's just not ready,” said spokesman Tucker Bounds.