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. World for Obama

    Obama all the way!!!

    October 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. kris

    In my area of Ohio this didn't go down good with alot of Democrats. What was said was that Obama had made the remark he didn't need Powell's endorsement. There was around 10 people said since this happen they would now vote for Nadar or write in Senator Clinton/s name. Their reason was because Powell supported the war and now he endorsed Obama and to them it didn't make sense. I thought this was interesting

    October 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Charles H.

    2 words: Country First

    October 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Delando

    If you read other web post about Powells endorsement it will shock you to read all these racist comments. Powell only endorsed Obama because he is black. Yet, they would have praised Powell as a great thoughtful man if he chose McCain. I think that Gen. Powell gave a heartful explanation of why he picked Obama. I can also respect Gen Powells decision not to go on the campaign trail out of respect for McCain which shows the character of Gen Powell.

    Can't wail to vote for Obam/Biden 08

    October 19, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. joe

    It not about race? Of course it is about race. Give me a break

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Kathie, Houston, TX

    Thank you Colin Powell, you are a true statesman.

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |

    Thank you General Powell. You like Senator Obama are putting COUNTRY FIRST. You said today what I have been thinking and sharing with others. Thank you again.

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Ken Sawyer

    It is a shame we could not have had Colin Powell running instead of the one who runs with hate spreading preachers and former terrorists. Are we in such dire straits that we need this man this close after 9-11 who we know nothing about ? He promises the world to people and will not give us a straight answer how he intends to pay for it except he is going to take it from the people who are willing to work and give it to those who have never worked or contributed a dime to the system. The Liberals created the mess in the inner cities and I sure as hell will not vote for a man that tells me he is going to take what I work for and keep up a bunch of drug heads. Our prisons are full of Liberal mistakes. Liberals turn a good system into Socialism which destroys everything it touches.

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Shannon

    The same Powell who lied before the UN to get us into an ugly war that has killed thousands of people, wow, I'm impressed!

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Daniel

    This is neither surprise nor news – when it came down to it, the "first" black general HAD to support the "first" black presidential candidate. How could he not look at his grandchildren and tell them, "No, I didn't support the guy who looked like you."

    No doubt about it – this race is about race. McCain is not another Bush any more than Obama is another Jesse Jackson.

    Obama just presonifies change better than McCain because he's a "first," and a "first" of ANYTHING is a powerful symbol of change.

    Let's just see how much he actually WILL change, let's see how much he can REALLY change Washington, and I guarantee you, if he is elected, he won't win a second term because he won't be able to bring all this so-called "change." When will people wake up and realize Obama's "Change" is his race, and as we all know, skin color is only skin deep.

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Agness

    now this is great news, and yet one more great vote to make this country great all over again..... McCain wants to be the underdog.... good for him,

    I and many other citizens want this country to recover from many lies and financial disaster.... I agree Obama inspires people, and this is how I feel, inspired to vote for him, and do the best myself in my life..... and when I hear McCain, I just feel like switching the tv off...

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Sam from New Jersey

    McCain is a bad choice for United State's Health! Powell is admitting and respecting Barack Obama calm and cool nature and firmness in leading and displaying leadership something that this country needs the most.

    Obama/Biden all the way, there is no second guessing about the most Important Election of our lives.

    McCain's number two pick scares the crap out of me and the rest of the Republican supports. Slowly the Facts and the Real Agenda behind McCain's camp are coming out.

    Watch the real drama unfold behing McCain. He'll emotionally break down.

    October 19, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Gambi

    Colin Powell a man of great integrty, honesty and intelligence and a Republican who puts his country above his party. There are good Republicans who will feel confident to follow your lead and vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Thank you for your service to this country.

    October 19, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Tara

    Yes! Thank you General Powell.

    October 19, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. I'm not racist but....

    To "If you like the last 2 years...."

    Why is that when a black politician endorses Obama the only reason you can find is because he's black. What do you call a white politician endorsing McCain?

    To say you would vote for Powell if he were running and in the next breath say his decision making skills are bad is confusing. Powell explained thoroughly why he was choosing Obama. He also explained why he did not endorse McCain. To discredit his decision based on skin color is ignorant and a double standard. Using your reasoning only white politicians can endorse Obama and only black politicians should endorse McCain. Using your reasoning Obama is still on top.

    What you and others who think like you do seem to get is this race is not about skin color. It's about issues and how you feel the candidates will handle them.

    October 19, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. mike

    its a good endorsement at this very critical time. obama is far more intelligent and bright than mccain. let him govern us and lead us in a better tommr. Gods blessing upon him.

    October 19, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. Joseph B

    Just think...Colin Powell would NEVER endorse a candidate that has connections to terrorists...so that line of attack from McCain/Palin is now fully discredited!

    October 19, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Kristy from Iowa

    I hope everyone takes the time to watch his interview. He was so insightful and intelligent in his reasoning. I'm impressed.

    October 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. jaimito

    a true patriot who puts country above party loyalty.

    listen to his reasons, it's well presented and compelling

    October 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. Obama/Biden 08

    This is definitely an important endorsement for Obama, as Powell has foreign policy credentials exceeding most. Obama needs to play up this endorsement as much as possible.

    October 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Barack supporter

    Thank you General Powell for supporting my candidate!
    And to those that say he is supporting Obama because of his race let me ask you a question.... Are you supporting John McCain because of his?

    October 19, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. This one is for That One

    Powell is a fine man and explained his thoughtful decision beautifully this morning...among many reasons....electing Barack Obama will be the first step toward repairing America's reputation with the rest of the world. VOTE EARLY>>>>VOTE OBAMA&BIDEN 2008/12

    October 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Karon

    Texas early voting starts tomorrow and I have decided to take the whole day off to vote no matter how long it takes!!!

    Obama is our next Presdient and deserves it! Houston Chronicle came out today and endorsed Obama – it supported repluicans for over 20 years!

    October 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  24. Joe the Skeptic

    That is great!! Of course, CNN is leading with McCain's rhetoric. Just like yesterday when Obama spoke before 100,000 people, but the lead story was (again) McCain's rhetoric. What's going on at CNN that political rhetoric is deemed more important that actual events?

    October 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. sue

    Watching General Powell this morning, was a perfect example of a leader putting his/her country first-I hope Mccain & Palin were taking notes.
    Gen. Powell was the cherry on top...His stamp of approval was the last thing the american people needed to feel comortable voting for Sen. Obama.
    The 3am call came in, and funny enough the only person who picked up the phone was Obama. The rest were trying to get their sell lines in...POW, Maverick, Country First, Thanks but no Thanks, Joe the Plumber....ENOUGH!

    October 19, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
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