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. Wanderer

    Obama asked Powell for advice, Obama is Dem, and Powell is Rep. McCain’s last word at the end of the last debate was ‘Humble’, but I have not heard either McCain or Palin asked anyone from the Dem party for advice.

    Is McCain ‘Humble”?

    Despites of numerous comments from people of America around the country and even from his own party about his negative campaigns McCain continues to go with negative campaigns and lately with the ‘Automated’ calls attempting to brand Obama a terrorist.

    What kind of character is McCain?

    McCain picked Sarah Palin for VP.

    Does he really have good judgment as he claimed he is?

    McCain is experienced. It is true based on the number of years he has been in politics, but has he ever been a president? How may presidents in the past had experiences as presidents before they were elected presidents? Do McCain’s experiences guarantee he will be a good president?

    Why did McCain/Palin have to use Joe the Plumber to show the America people their own interpretation about Obama’s tax plans?

    I have still not had the clear answers for these questions.

    To all independent voters, please think about these questions before deciding for whom you will vote.

    October 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. nancy

    It does not make sense that Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endosed Senator Barack Obama. Powell is not only a Republican as he stated, but in his endorsement this morning he said he thought perhaps the surge in Iraq should have been initiated sooner. How does this at all go along at all with what Senator Obama has stated on the war. Sounds a bit irratic.

    October 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Tom - CA

    "Nobody will say it, but you can't tell me this is not another prominent black endorsing a fellow black candidate."

    Actually, I CAN tell you. You are 100% wrong. And, yes, what you said embodies the definition of a racist. To say the Gen. Powell endorsed Obama only because the color of his skin shows how little respect you have for a General Powell and exemplifies how unbecoming ignorance truly is.

    October 19, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Predictable endorsement

    All along the McCain campaign has talked about judgement and experience....then he goes out and chooses a dreadfully unqualified governor with no experience, who has consistantly showed bad judgement and is ethically challenged. Everyone knew Powell was going to likely endorse Obama, yet from the tepid reaction this morning it is obvious they have no plan or cohesive response. It is an iconic example of this ineffective campaign run by a candidate showing an inability to lead. Powell just articulated what a vast majority in this country feel....adios McCain...you will soon be a mere footnote in history, and Palin will return to Alaska to face criminal charges.

    October 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Peter (CA)

    If you like....I'm pretty sure what you are saying has some racism in it. Powell clearly outlined why he endorsed Obama, what he has been observing, what he has listened to, etc.

    He is concerned with McCain's JUDGMENT, particularly his choice of a completely inappropriate running mate.

    I know you right wingers can't stand the thought of losing the Presidency, but get used to it.

    October 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Amy



    October 19, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. GOP, you picked the wrong guy

    I'm an Independent non-partisan voter, at first I was torn as to how to feel about Gen. Powell's pending endorsement. I did see 'Meet The Press' in it's entirety this morning, and I must say that he put things into perspective from a position of regret. For me he came across as someone who personally feels response for the shambles that our country is in to some degree.

    I will say that I woke up this morning an Obama supporter and now I hope his statements will cause others who are undecided to take a hard look find out for themselves that Sen. Obama is the only option given the two that we have.

    October 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. blaising

    Interesting comment on the direction of the two campaigns...

    Obama top story: Powell endorsement
    McCain top story: Palin on SNL

    'Nuff said...

    October 19, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. sine

    I urge everyone – democrat, republican and independent to listen to what Powell said from beginning to end! He made some striking points and we all should give it heavy consideration.

    I especially like the point he made "what if he was a muslim". It's ok for muslims to die for your freedom but you belittle them everyday.

    Americans need to make the right choice – and i'm firmly convinced that Barack Obama is the leader we should have for the next 8 years. Put all your bias and bigotry aside and vote for your childrens future. The world and this country is not as our parents saw it – it's different and we need someone who understands that.

    Point, blank period- undecideds need to get decided.

    October 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Dr. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA



    October 19, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Proud Obama/Biden Supporter

    Once again, its about putting country first before yourself. Powell is one of the few Republicans that I support and this goes to show you that intelligent people know how to make wise choices. Obama is what our country needs if we are ever going to be able to create world peace and fix our economy. Way to go Colin Powell!

    October 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. McHoover Will Destroy What is Left of America

    In reading the Republican's responses to this endorsement I would like to ask

    Would you like some cheese with your latest whine?

    You Repubs are so partisan.

    Had he endorse McCain you would have put him on the highest pedestal you could find.

    He gave very sound, well thought out reasoning for his decision. He spoke the truth, which seems to be in very short supply with the GOP.

    October 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. Uncle Tom

    The dems used to call him an uncle Tom and he was even considered a black man by dems when he was in the Bush administration. Now he's brilliant. Ha, the tremendous hypocrisy. Maybe they can play basketball together on the court Obama is going to install.

    October 19, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Raphmadu

    I can now trust Barack Obama for a good commander in chief. Sarah Palin isn't ready, i have always known that.
    So let's go vote for Obama/Biden 08.

    October 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Paul

    It is not surprising that Colin Powell endorsed Senator Barack Obama. Had he not, he would have been part of the less than 5% of Blacks that are not expected to not vote for this candidate.

    This fact indicates to me that race does matter and that Powell's endorsement will have littlle to no effect on the election. Powell is a lukewarm conservative at best and it would not be surprising to see him emerge as part of an Obama administration. To expect moderates to be impacted by Powell's gesture to ensure his political currency is hopeful, but naive. In fact, this may be yet another action that legitimizes Mccain, as four other Secretarys of State have endorsed him.

    Perhaps Powell views this election for what it is, a seminal moment in both Black and American history. However, the racial bias that is warmly received on one side of this political ledger is not embraced by many unpolled yet clearly decided voters. These are the voters that the media refuses to discuss and indeed seem to fear. However, they are waiting in the wings for their voice to be heard on election day.

    October 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. GeorgiaPeachforObama

    Colin Powell–putting COUNTRY FIRST!

    Womderful endorsement and I hope everyone really takes the time to listen to what he's saying.

    October 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Bonnie

    This is one endorsement that will actually have an impact. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

    October 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Dem for McCain

    Glad to see Powell waited to see who was going to win, so he could secure his new cabinet position. Interesting to see also that race really does trump all other considerations, whether consciously or sub-consciously. But if you're black and support your own, that's pride. If you're white and support your own, that's racism.

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



    October 19, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. Tabitha

    The first comment says it all, but it's wrong. John McCain shouldn't get endorsements from well respected Republicans like Colin Powell because he's the Republican candidate. He's been WRONG every since he announced he hired dirty low down people to run his campaign and then he picked someone who isn't qualified to run a state, even though she has been, as his running mate. He hasn't put "Country First", Colin Powell did. He has made a thoughful examination of what has happened since the candidates were picked and he called it right. John

    John McCain has spiraled down into a win at any cost and I understand why. He's 72 years old and this is probably his last chance. He did serve his country honorably, but some of the things he did after he came home–the most dishonorble being divorcing his wife who waited for him and took care of home for a woman half his age– and now the kind of politics he is using to win this election are reprehensible.

    He's not a maverick, he's a man holding on to the past and holding it up as an example of why we owe him. If that's the case, then Al Gore should have been president based on his service and his family's service to this country. Bill Maher said it Friday night- doesn't the statute of limitations run out at some point.

    Thank you for you service, Senator McCain. But, I believe the you're not going to be remembered for your great service, but for this nasty, divisive campaign. And, that's truly shameful

    October 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. mitch

    his interview with reporters spelled it out nicely. barack will bring unity. stop the hate!

    October 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Gunar

    Colin Powell is a brilliant man, the party he belongs to is stooping to new lows, he knows that and doesnt support their actions. He also stated previously that someone who had been a prisoner of war for 5 years and tortured by his captors should not be trusted to make the decisions in crisis with his finger on the trigger. Powell is right, he knows the military and he knows John McCain, OBVIOUSLY there is big problems with what is going on in his campaign.

    October 19, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Powell for "That one" 08

    It will be interesting to watch all of the right wing conservative news and radio channels try and discredit General Powell for his endorsement. I want to thank you General Powell for your service and your support. A true war hero and true patriot is supporting the "unAmerican" canidate, what will the oposition say now?

    October 19, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. Obama landslide


    October 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Hot Mess in US

    Thank You, Gen. Colin Powell. Good to see you didn't get swiftboated like the rest of the Repubs. I have always admired you and other than obama, you were the only other person qualified to get us out of this mess. We will be looking forward to you advising the Obama/Biden Administration in getting us out of Iraq with Honor and Respect. Thanks for putting Country First and support CHANGE...

    October 19, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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