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. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    I knew it was coming. Obama's ACE IN THE HOLE.

    The Powell endorsement.

    It should shut up a lot of GOPers!

    October 19, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. NY Dem

    I URGE EVERYONE TO WATCH POWELL'S ENTIRE STATEMENT ON YOUTUBE. It really puts this entire campaign into perspective. Well done sir.

    Yes We Can!

    October 19, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Mark S.

    Excellent choice on General Powell's part. I watched him endorse Obama on Meet the Press. He made a very cogent argument for choosing Obama over McCain.

    October 19, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. paying attention... CT Voter

    He is a fine man.. with more clout than President Bush....

    I was moved by Colin Powell's approach to the endorsment.. Very clear.


    October 19, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Vee

    If you like the last: In his autobiography he had promised his wife he would not run. This election has shown me how lazy people are about reading up on the players in the political game. It's like interviewing someone for a job and never reading the resume or checking references. You cant complain if you dont do YOUR homework.

    October 19, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. CountryFirst

    Colin Powell covered all the bases with his decision to endorse Obama. The McCain camp continues to be negative even with the response to Fmr Sec Powell's choice.

    October 19, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Greg in Mpls

    To francisco siqueiros:

    Isn't that what McCain says he does? He stands up to his party's leadership, does not vote with the party all the time and that makes him someone we can trust right?

    So by endorsing Obama...isn't this just showing that Colin Powell is really a maverick? That he is putting country first?

    October 19, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Janet

    The October surprise... and the final nail.

    October 19, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Richard Miami Florida

    I think Powell may be correct, the Republican Party seems to want to divide America. We are as Americans at our best when we work together not against each other. I am 50 white and the son of a steel worker that fought in WWII. Now, my father would never vote for Obama but I am not my father.

    October 19, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Cindy Nelson

    I'm glad that Powell himself would rather see an America that is United and not Divided. I never thought that I would agree with a Republican, but what he said about why he is voting Obama, I just completely agree with.

    I also want to say, Why is it ok for the taxpayer to take on the debt of our country, but it's not ok for a fair tax plan and to redistribute the wealth in our country?

    October 19, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. conny

    I salute you sir, thanks!

    October 19, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Sam

    Endorsements to Obama from several prominent Republican figures in recent days, and concerns raised by seveal conservative columnists about McCain campain, reinforces, that common sense in the Republican party is not totally dead after all! Good showing folks.

    October 19, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Joan , Ontario

    The reasons General Powell gave for endorsing Senator Obama spoke volumes. He obviously had thought long and hard about this and it was a difficult decision because he likes Senator McCain and has been a Republican for a long time. He obviously put "Country First". He said at the forum of former Secretaries of State that he was waiting until after the debates to make his final decision. Well he must have liked what he saw and heard from Obama. He spoke about several reasons why he made this decision including Obama's steadiness and ability to be Presidential, his ability to improve America's standing in the world, his foreign and economic policies and his substance and intelligence. There are other reasons too but these stood out to me. His reasons for not voting for McCain included his handling of the financial crisis, his VP pick who is not ready to be president, his similar economic and foreign policies to Bush and his disappointment with the kind of negative campaign McCain has been running. It will be interesting to see if the Republicans dare to attack Powell as they have others because he is such a respected and monumental political figure.

    October 19, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. jumping on the bandwagon

    Just another sad case of ill-informed decision making. To base your vote on a recent campaign strategy, and then not even explain the strategy accurately just shows me how "out of touch" Powell is with his own base. Ayers is one of MANY examples of shady characters in Obama's past. It's not a true terrorist label being put on Obama, it's that time and again, he has surrounded himself and exposed himself to very "radical" individuals. It a question of character, trust, and judgement. Not to mention Obama is a Chicago Democrat, and that should scare the crap out of the entire world, if he only knew what he is really voting for.

    October 19, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. Unwilling fellow prisoner

    Don't you feel better now Mr. Powell? You should, America needs you and Obama/Biden

    October 19, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Ukraine

    We love Powell!! Kudos to you..Its Obama for United States!!

    October 19, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Denise

    Colin Powell's thoughtful endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President is so important not only because it comes from someone who is highly respected across the board but because it demonstrates the high caliber of people Obama has surrounding him. It could not have been said better – Obama is the leadership America needs now!

    October 19, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. theogracias

    Spin this McCain...Let me guess: THIS IS GREAT NEWS FOR JOHN MCCAIN!!!

    October 19, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Kevin Evans

    This proves how shallow are Powell's values. How can he serve on Bush's cabinet then endorse the candidate who has made his entire campaign on being anti-Bush. This rings very self-serving to me.

    October 19, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Roy

    My respect for General Powell grew not just with his endorsement but the way in which he went about coming to his decision. He has solidified my decision to support Senator Obama as well.

    October 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. now

    Kudos General Powel!

    October 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Wally© Belgium

    Say what ?

    He's not endorsing Palin ?!

    October 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |


    October 19, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. woman from south

    Just because you are Black does not mean you have to support another Black to be very( BLUNT) Black people have been supporting
    white presidents for the last 43 years it is time for a change people.

    October 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Sandra

    Linda said – "Obama surrounds himself with the best & the brightest." I think that is so true it's worth restating. McCain has not. I am ready for an intelligent forward looking President and Vice President. I'm tired of the "good old boy" concept for our leader. It didn't work nationally or internationally in our best interests. Time for real change. Let's try an intelligent leader for a change.

    October 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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