October 19th, 2008
09:24 AM ET
10 years ago

Powell endorses Barack Obama

Powell endorsed Obama Sunday.

Powell endorsed Obama Sunday.

(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will be voting for Sen. Barack Obama, citing the Democrat's "ability to inspire" and the "inclusive nature of his campaign."

"I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Powell said he was concerned about what he characterized as a recent negative turn of Republican candidate Sen. John McCain's campaign, such as the campaign's attempts to tie Obama to former 1960s radical Bill Ayers.

Powell, a retired U.S. general and a Republican, was once seen as a possible presidential candidate himself.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (959 Responses)
  1. pamela

    Frankly I have been frightened about the McCain-Pallen rhetoric regarding whom Obama has been "palling around with", the odd thing it made me more frightened about the Republicans as it brought memories of Sen. MccCarthy and his communist witch hunts. No one can ever doubt the integrity and honesty of General Powell who has always puts his country first! It is obvious that, if there was one iota of truth out of the "McPalenism" regarding Obama's character, the General would never have endorsed him. The Republicans have acted despicable with personal attacks instead of attacking the issues. This Republican is also voting for Obama, someone that I feel has shown integrity, good judgement and restraint during this contentious campaign.

    October 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Sal

    Gerry, Can you please explain why Colin Powell's support of Barack Obama has anything to do with Obama now having experience and national security credentials? How stupid are you? That's like saying my sister-in-law is a doctor, so since she is in my inner circle, I have the credentials to be a doctor. You should have to have an IQ of higher than 80 to vote.

    To quote Gerry: October 19th, 2008 12:25 pm ET
    The Collin Powell endorsement solidifies Obama's experience and national security credientials as President.

    October 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |

    WOW. Think about all the people voting across party lines in this election. Staying on the Titanic isn't a good idea this time either.
    Vote Obama. Restore our dignity and let's move forward.

    October 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  4. Tim

    Are all of you people high? Powell is the same guy that was trusted most in the Bush administration but lied to the UN, and in that regard is probably the man most singly responsible for the war in Iraq, and you are glad to have him endorsing Obama? What in the world is wrong with all of you? I guess Obama winning is more important to you than Obama winning with integrity.

    Nobama '08
    McCain't gonna there either '08

    I'll vote again once we don't have two pro corporate Reaganites running for the White House.

    October 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |

    Thank You General Powell. I like what you had to say. I don't dislike McCain, I just don't think he has what it takes to lead this country at a time like we are living in. Now Palin is another story, she flat out scares me. I fear for my children's future if she is VP.

    October 19, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Dave

    Quite interesting ...... A retired and decorated military general who happens to be a registered republican sees Obama being more capable of defending our nation and able to bring forth fresh ideas to steer us in a better direction. Meanwhile Mr. McCain is toting a plumber around the country and he unleashed a disgracefully under-qualified VP who would destroy the foundations of this nation if she were to become president.

    It's clear that McCain is incapable of rendering sound decisions that would benefit this nation. I admire McCain for his dedicated service to this nation both through his honorable military and senate activities. But it's time for him to step aside and allow Obama/Biden to repair the damage caused by the current administration. McCain clearly is not up to this task.

    October 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Susan

    I respect that Powell can endorse whomever he pleases. However, one remark he made to back up his criticism of the "tone" of McCain's campaign doesn't seem fair and just to me. Powell says it is not enough for McCain to deny that Obama is a Muslim and state that he is a Christian. McCain, according to Powell, should have gone one step further and stated that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim.
    I think it is most telling that Senator Obama himself has not come out and said emphatically and frequently that "there is nothing wrong with being Muslim".

    October 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. daw

    Yes, and what about the many hundreds of other generals that support McCain and NOT Obama. Powell is not conservative and is supporting Obama because he is a fellow African American. Why is this a surprise? It should not be newsworthy but CNN makes it the lead story because they are so antiMcCain.

    October 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    In the immortal words of Gomer Pyle,"surprise, surprise, surprise". Are you kidding me?

    October 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  10. Marie

    To all those to whom I said "Powell is going to be the good republican soldier and support John McCain", Mea Culpa! You were right. This man has got a strong backbone.


    October 19, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. roryryn@yahoo.ca

    Wow couln't vote party lines. ....... Tee hee.... Proud of you MR. Powell

    October 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. gEnie

    Thank you mr. Powel, you make a good jugement by putting a Country First. Obama/Biden showing a great leadeships in our Country.

    October 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. Time to move on


    October 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Juan Ulloa

    We have political parties in this nation. However, our vote is our own. We must vote our conscience, not party. Powell has shown that the needs of the country trumps party. This man had a great shot at being president. As a democrat I could have voted for him because of the caliber and capability of the man. Strict adhearance to a party line isn't necessarily in the best interest of one's party or nation.

    Powell has chosen Obama for those same reasons. Obama is the president we need in the context of this time in our nation's history. Thank you Gen, Powell.

    October 19, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. MrRevolution

    The most interesting thing that stood out in Meet the Press interview was McCain's choice of Sarah Palin. Even Gen. Powell, the smartest National security mind of our times, acknowledges that Palin is not ready to be VP. Thanks General, you are a true American and a true Republican. McCain has dug his own grave. He has lost the respect of millions of Americans who put their country first.

    October 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Late in endorsement?

    Why isnt Powell campaigning for Barack?

    October 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. Cezar

    I have great respect for General Powell. He is not a politician but as always he speaks the truth.

    October 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. Dave in Atlanta

    This is HUGE, why you ask? How many people will go against a friend of 25 years. That is very telling and truly putting Country First, coming from a Military Man.

    October 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Brad, a real Pro American northernVirginian

    John McCain is trying his best to hide the fact that he is pissed off.

    Yes sir General.

    Obama / Biden 08.

    October 19, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. New Day

    Chicago Tribune and Colin Powell? Meh, typical liberal endorsements... ...oh wait a minute. 😉

    October 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Carolyn from Georgia

    I am happy that Colin Powell endorsed Obama. I believe that he gave compelling reasons for his support. Those reasons are well-stated and does not put down or mispresent McCain in any way. In fact, he respects McCain a lot. Bravo, Colin Powell, thank you for putting country first!

    October 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Alice

    My cousin Matt, a Vietnam vet, just switched his support to Obama after hearing Powell's explanation.

    Woo hoo!

    October 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Collin Powell thought Bill Clinton was a qualified Commander in Chief but the Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors like myself who did not have to play politics like the Generals and Admirals, felt slapped in the face in the face by having a draft dodger in the White House. Obama does not have being a draft dodger against him but being to the far left of his party in his actions makes people who have worn the uniform of the nation question wheteher he will put the troops quality of life and readiness over his social/welfare policies. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter did not put the Troops first.

    October 19, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  24. miss yawning

    my tears come down.....I am a moslem. General Powell's comment on "What if Obama is a moslem..." pleased me. I feel so annoyed with attacks to Obama citing him as a moslem...I feel devastated on how people in a super power country still look down to a religion...
    Powell's remaks brings fresh air to our life...please do not judge people from his/her race, color, religion...
    Thank you so much GENERAL POWELL...you really shows me your extremely high credibility..
    CNN..please post my comment...pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

    October 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |

    I'm a Republican voting for Barack Obama tomorrow. I believe he and Joe,"the Senator" has the judgement, experience, moral values, integrity and leadership abilities to turn this country around for the American People.

    October 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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