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. haas

    This will take the focus off of Joe Plumber. Media commentaries will be talking about the significance of this for the next 3 days, I garantee. Endorsements don't win elections but this one is more than just an endorsement. It shows that Obama has what it takes to be comaner in chief and will bring respectabiilty abck to this country.

    October 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. S. Boatman

    Mccain Will Try To Down Play The Endorsement When He Would Have Walked Over His Own Mother To Get It!

    October 19, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |

    I know many Republican's that are saying they are going to vote for John McCain but in the voting booth will vote for Barack Obama. They can't vote for McCain because of Palin on the ticket and they believe Barack is more qualified to run the country as Colin Powell does.

    October 19, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. sbkilb Ct

    Thank you General. I can only hope that other members of the republican party listened very carefully to what you said in your endorsement of Obama. They were very thought out and central opinions. I'm proud of your statements and the stance you have taken. As the wife of an Afghanistan Veteran your endorsement means a great deal.

    October 19, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Antoinette

    I have looked up to Ceneral Powell. I was not surprised with his endorsement. Both men put the country first despite their party.

    October 19, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. m c

    Why am I not surprised??? I did respect Powell, but not anymore!!!! Vote McCain/Palin!!!!!

    October 19, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Joe

    I couldn't agree with Secretary Powell more. Senator Obama does offer the chance at transformational leadership. I have felt that from the very first day he announced. And now more than ever, our country needs that.

    I also agree with the Secretary Powell that it is sad that the GOP campaign has turned so negative, and, in fact, I also agree that it turn a huge turn in that direction with the selection of Governor Palin to run as Vice President. Since the convention, the GOP has offered no constructive solutions to the issues facing Americans today. Their only message is to "fear" the Democrats. Funny, in 2004 I didn't hear them suggesting that folks vote for John Kerry because we needed someone to balance the GOP-controlled Congress. There is no credibility whatsoever to their messages - and frankly, I expected Senator McCain to run a better campaign.

    October 19, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Sue in MI

    I respect Powell. He left his position after learning of the lies and manipulation of facts that led to the speech he gave selling the war for Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. I can only pray that this helps the people who have not made their decisions yet. I shudder at a war happy President, a VP who doesn't know that every state is "pro-American" and her sidekick who would have access to high level security, because he's her "best friend" and that's how they do things in Alaska before they secede.

    October 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. Adrienne

    Yeah... that monkey doll and the sea of hate talk at Mccain's rally... and then Mccain saying... "Let me just say categorically I'm proud of the people that come to our rallies...I'm not going to stand for people saying that the people that come to my rallies are anything but the most dedicated, patriotic men and women that are in this nation and they're great citizens."
    Bad, bad move, McLoser.
    McCain cracks under pressure. McCain shows his ugly side... and ugly it is. *shudder*

    October 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. lou

    Thats all folks.....This election is over I .thank you Mr Powell for being a real american.

    October 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. John

    The Genral has spoken. Now do you believe? This puts a lot of pressure on Obama. If elected he must give more than lip service to the opposition. (Don't pull a "W"). I am confident that I can move from the undecided roll and vote the Obama/Biden ticket.

    October 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. jeff @ MA

    This smart move allows me to forgive Powell for being apart of the Bush regime and supporting the lies to legitimize a war with a sovereign nation. Rumsfeld on the other hand has a long way to go for redemption.

    October 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Greg FL.

    After listening to McCain in Ohio this Morning. He has no honor. He continues to lie and his lies are getting worse. He has wrapped himself around "Joe The Plumber." The guy is a liar and doesn't pay taxes. This is what we can expect from McCain I guess.
    Way to go Powell. and thank you for standing up to your party.

    October 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Ryan - MI

    This is all political for Powell. Endorse a Democrat, seperate yourself from Bush, then run for President in four years. This is the same guy that basically pushed for the Iraq war, backed Bush's policies and now is turning his back on everything he endorsed. In four years he'll do the same to Obama.

    October 19, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. susie for Obama

    My mother and father as of this morning are now voting Obama. My father is a survivor of Pearl Harbor attack and was supporting McCain – this endorsement made him make the decision – and he is 88 years old!!!

    October 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. lol

    the colin powell endorsement, is like george bush endorsing obama. powell was the one that helped lead us into the iraq war. is this the "change" obama was speaking of. looks like more of the same old, same old over at the obama camp.

    October 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Victor Santos

    The Baraka Hussein Obama endorsemente by Collin Powell, is not a surprise. Surprise would be if he does´nt did that. Because they are brothers. Americans open your eyes. The November 4, is near. Pay attention on the african continent. Is it that we americans want to our country?... Think about the suffering that you will be imposing to americans generations to come. All socialist and comunists partys around the world are very happy for Barak Hussein Obama to be elected the U.S.A. president. Specially europeans; because this will be the way that they will feel good, when America goes down the tubes. Europeans know that, because they will look good, on the America´s misery, and forget their ones.

    October 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  18. Mighty Joe Young

    Powell made a huge mistake when he joined the Bush administration. His reputation will forever be tarnished by his WMD speech before the UN, which convinced me to support the invasion of Iraq. However, everyone makes mistakes, and he made a big one.

    I am puzzled by those who can still support the Bush Administration and by those who are going to vote for McCain. Even though a minority of Americans support the crazy policies that got us into this mess, there are still some who support it. Who ARE these people and what, if anything, are they thinking?

    October 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  19. Mikey

    Rob October 19th, 2008 12:37 pm ET
    "this so called endorsement probably comes with a position in the new cabinet."
    francisco siqueiros October 19th, 2008 12:38 pm ET
    if you are a republican, you have to go for the republican candidate even if you do not like the candidate.
    If you like the last 2 years.... vote Obama October 19th, 2008 12:37 pm ET
    "you can't tell me this is not another prominent black endorsing a fellow black ...... I am not racist" [yeah, right!]
    D. October 19th, 2008 12:26 pm ET
    "Powell sold the Iraq war to the entire world, which enabled Obama's nomination. In a sarcastic turn of event now he endorses the guy! I believe there are more reasons to the endorsement!"
    So now all the ridiculous excuses, rationalizations, and accusations start. I'll go for the explanation that an American hero, perhaps the most respected military man of his generation, broke with his party to endorse the best candidate for President of the United States. Sorry, Obama haters – this is what Country First really looks like.

    Country first is not the vile, divisive campaign that John McCain and Sarah Palin are running. I fully expect that McCain will regret his actions upon reflection. At this point he should consider running a campaign that he would want his grandchildren to see for the last two weeks of this campaign and then pledge to support President Elect Obama on the night of November 4.

    October 19, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Candia

    To the people who claim Powell endorsed Obama because they're both African-Americans: how narrow-minded can you be? Does that mean that all white politicians endorse each other because they are white? Give me a break!

    I was skeptical of Powell's endorsement, because he has lost a lot of respect in my eyes for either knowingly lying to the American people and the world or being so gullibe as to be letting himself used as a tool. But I must say that since then, he has done his best to regain with well-thought statements.

    I also like the obvious wide-reaching context in which he places his endorsement, which goes beyond just simply an election, but also sees America as part of this diverse world, in which openness, nuance and diplomacy are so sorely needed.

    October 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Marie

    I think this is great and before the endorsement I knew it would be Obama because Colin Powell is a man with great integrity.People criticized Biden now because he said Obama was not ready to be president before he dropped out the race for president and look he is Obama's v/p pick.As time went on over the last 20 or so months and now in this election Biden hisself would admit now he made a mistake by saying what he did. Seeing what Obama has showed not only him but the american people that Obama is presidential and can lead this country.Also the negative ads that McCain campaign continues to run Mr Powell siad saying Obama was a terriost,the Bill Ayers issues and stating of course these things aren't true.Lastly Sara Palin not ready to be president as a man that was secretray of state and a military general he would now if a person is qualified or not to make that decision at any given moment to make a decision that would not put this country in grave danger and she is not the person to be president should something happens to McCain that she could answer that call at 3am

    October 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  22. Looking for Real Leadership

    francisco siqueiros,

    Your point makes no sense to me. For one thing, Senator Lieberman supports Senator McCain and Governor Palin and other prominent democrats have done the same because they didn't like Senator Obama. For another thing, people should support the candidates they trust regardless of party. If your party's candidate does not offer a choice you can support, vote for the other party's candidate. They call this exercise democracy.

    October 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Uncle Sam

    Colin Powell backs Barack Obama...Gee...who would have guessed?

    October 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. Gnomepark

    Thank you Mr. Powell. Glad to have you onboard.

    Obama/Biden 08
    Dick Lugar (R) for Secretary of State

    October 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Rob

    Anyone notice that Powell wasn't wearing an American flag pin on Meet The Press? Someone check his papers, he might be Muslim...

    October 19, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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