October 19th, 2008
09:24 AM ET
6 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. Vicki

    Listen closely to what Colin Powell said on why he is not voting for John McCain - Sarah Palin, divisiveness, robo-call, questioning another candidate patriotism, etc. The story about the young Muslim soldier buried at Arlington made me proud! As a 23 year veteran I was glad someone said that. I know the differences in the military, yet we are able to FIGHT together for the U.S. This is America. Today Secretary Powell redeemed his reputation for me and I hope he doesn't let anyone belittle his endorsement and strong chatisement of the Republican Party.

    I got up early yesterday in Albuquerque, NM and voted for the BARACK/BIDEN Ticket. May God Bless America and in his eyes we all are his children...and I am glad the Democratic Party looks like what God intended the world to look like ( people of all races, gender, and age). That's the America I fought for and that is the America I want my daughter to grow up in. The differences of American citizens is what makes American great....not scary!!! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but he Republican Party sure has....Enough!

    October 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. rehema

    Powell knows what"s good for his country,and we are tired of the sarcastic words of Sarah Palin. GOOOOOOO
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. leigh

    Powell was the only intelligent person in the Bush administration and he continues to shine today with this endorsement of Obama. Powell has my respect and gratitude for his service to this great country of ours and my sincere thanks for his endorsement of Obama.

    October 19, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. kevin gets

    I have lost all respect for Powell. NO bama

    October 19, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Obama/Biden '08 – we are a United Country, not divided as McPain would have us believe

    October 19, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. djak

    Following judgement and instincts about your voting decision is exactly why I am registered non-partisan voter. I vote based on whom I believe can do the best job, not what party they are attached to. I'm glad to see Colin Powell feels the same way.

    October 19, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. CB

    This endorsement couldn't be more important or more powerful.

    October 19, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Ditto

    Not reported in this article is that Powell said a major factor in his decision to support Obama was McCain’s selection of Palin as VP. He sees her as completely unqualified to be president, which he describes as the true job of the VP. Powell clearly stated that her selection by McCain showed a fundamental lack of judgment.

    October 19, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Chris K

    The endorsements are coming fast and furious for Obama. As of today, four times as many newspapers have endorsed Obama over McCain. It is nice to see people and organizations with integrity endorsing the best candidate for president, Barack Obama! Thank you General Powell for your well spoken, well considered endorsement of Barack Obama!

    October 19, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Critical Thinking

    If you like the last 2 years.... vote Obama:
    I was waiting for this to happen. I have had whites supporting McCain feel compelled to tell me that they would support Condoleeza and Powell if they had ran for President – giving me the "I have a Black friend" vibe. Now the same man many have said they respected cannot make a decision beyond skin? So depite the criticisms he clearly laid out, his skin keeps him from making a rational decision outside of the race box?

    As you have shown, no matter what, no matter the background of a person – some people will continue to believe that Blacks cannot think crtitically and are unable to find reason to support a fellow Black person.

    Thank you for continuing to perpetuate the belief in stereotypes – suppoprting the fact that the USA still has a long way to go re: race relations.

    Just sad........

    October 19, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. DX in TX

    I know we all have various opinions, but some of you just are not thinking your comments through. The comments of Lilly, Rob and Fransico leave me speechless. God love ya!

    You would think that during the time Barack/Hillary were fighting it out in the primaries that John McCain would have come up with a strategy to defeat either candidate, but no! He spent more time attempting to distance himself from Bush and now his support for Bush policies have come back to haunt him. John McCain has not run a good campaign while Barack has been steadfast!

    I love John McCain, but Barak Obama is the future and in order to compete with other countries who are cathching up to our science, technology, economics, etc. The vote is clear! Thank you General Powell you are an honorable man.
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 19, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Joe

    Country First and real American Hero ! Lot of people will follow you .

    October 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. Observer

    Welcome aboard, General Powell! It certainlty is refreshing to see someone of such stature put the country ahead of party.

    October 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. Chapman

    That was by far the most thoughtful, intelligent, articulate endorsement yet by any Republican for Obama. I believe Powell was duped in to supporting the war. This is a heartfelt attempt to right that wrong & put US back on solid footing. Thankyou!!!

    October 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. hD

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

    You seriously need your head examined. And you can't preface that "I'm not a racist" , by following with such a thin statement. Given Powell's 'clear lack of judgement' in his decision to endorse Obama, disqualifies your support of the same man as a Presidential Candidate.

    October 19, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. kevin gets

    Again, ... McCain is not Bush... so implying that going to the other side makes no sense. Powell is simply supporting the black ticket.

    October 19, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Chris

    I hope all you democrats don't whine too much when your savior loses

    October 19, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Independent

    Wonderful endorsement. Thank you, Gen. Powell.

    October 19, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Critical Thinking

    francisco siqueiros: Your niavete is showing.

    October 19, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. What did he say?

    Mc Cain says of his choice of Palin for VP ."She's the best thing that could have happened to my campaign and to America," .

    Could you sleep knowing that she could be heart beat away from Commander in Chief? You Betcha I sure would not be able to.

    October 19, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Ork

    That was VERY VERY powerful, truly putting country first! Bravo to Mr. Powell.

    October 19, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. Xavier

    If McCain want to know what a true maverick looks like he only has to look at Powell.

    October 19, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Sam

    CNN and its viewers, be prepared for these catch-phrases from the Conservative strategists and analysts on various shows:
    a. Colin Powell is irrelavant; he left the Bushy long time ago;
    b. Obama picked up only one endorsement whereas McCain picked up 4 from his own party.
    c. Well...it was all expected, and whatelse would you expect...he is black and he endorsed another one...
    d. He is probably looking for a cabinet position... etc. etc...

    Your "strategists" and "analysts", as usual will speak all non-sense without regard to Powell's stature, his well defined, well worded reasons behind his endorsement.

    I for one have held Powell in high regard always, and if anything, my respect for him increased ten fold, because he showed good judgement and analysis.

    GOBAMA

    October 19, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. MJ

    I am a Democrat who has ALWAYS LIKED General Colin Powell.

    I was VERY DISAPPOINTED when he went to the United Nation in support of this war in Iraq.

    I have to say today he has restored my ADMIRATION & RESPECT for him because today HE TRULY PUT COUNTRY FIRST.

    General Colin Powell SEES THE BIGGER PICTURE!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden

    October 19, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. joy

    Powell called Obama a "Transformational Leader." Transformational leaders see the best in others, and they are leaders who take an active role in working with everyone invoved to help by pulling them to higher levels of acheivement. I know that Mr. Obama will work hard for all of us.

    October 19, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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