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. Mike Kaplan

    Another voice of sanity.
    Thanks, Colin Powell.

    I don't ever remember an election where so many Republicans and Republican commentators came out in favor of the Democratic ticket, and expressed serious doubts about the Republican ticket. It's certainly unusual, isn't it? It's not just the usual rats-leaving-a-sinking-ship thing, because we didn't see anything like this with Bob Dole, who was even further down in the polls. I explain it because of the clear-as-day difference in quality of the candidates (with a special nod to the breathtakingly inadequate Sarah Palin).

    McCain supporters, what's your explanation for why so many notable voices on your side of the aisle are crossing over to our side this year?

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

    This is the military leader for the people that showed the people of the US pictures and said they were weapons in Iraq

    October 19, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Hopeful

    What took him so long? I knew he would be behind Obama. His endorsement is very significant!

    October 19, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Joe Truth

    There you have it.
    Another voice that has pondered the unthinkable...that of waking up the morning after the election only to find out that McCain & Palin have won. I mean just ponder on that for a moment. What a gloomy day that would be. Imagine if McCain has a health issue. Palin would be in charge along with who 'Phil Graham, God forbid!' And the first spouse would be called the 'first dude'? Give me a break!

    If I am sent to war, I hope it is not by the first Dude??!!!!

    Look at the lies the GOP ticket have been saying about another fellow senator. Bringing in race, ties to a man (when Obama was 8 years old) Come'on! Do we want people in the white house that can't even talk about the issue and would stoop this low to degrade someone. That tells us that their platform has evil intent already. NO WAY!

    The GOP have had enough time to ruin things. Now get out of the way and let someone else try! Let Rick Davis go get another 15K a month from Fannie Mae. See ya!

    October 19, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Ken, Republican Voting for Obama

    Obama the 600 million Dollar Man, thank you Powell.

    October 19, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Pat Pa.

    Did you really mean the Obama Campaign OR the McCain campaign ?

    October 19, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. TH

    I'm very happy with how honest Powell was on Meet the Press and he could have not explained his endorsement better. I am a bit concerned since the McCain campaign is all about the spin and sound bites. Here they have one of the biggest original supports of George W. Bush and now he's a supporter of Obama. Can you start to see the spin?

    One thing you can be sure of with republicans, they have no problem dragging their own through the mud for their personal gain.

    October 19, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. Harvey in Va

    Exactly the one to endorse Obama, The man that lied to the United Nations knowing well there was no WMD...Powell is just like those other super delegates that voted for Obama for all the wrong reasons..

    October 19, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    Thank you sir.

    Please consider serving in the cabinet if Obama wins.

    PS One Colin Powell is worth 500 Joe Liebermans (or should that be Leibermen)

    October 19, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. rich

    Ooops there is is!

    October 19, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. ohio

    mccain stay as an underdog you will lose stupid. tell palin to quit too

    October 19, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. GF


    Ok, now comes the part when Gen Powell is discredited for supporting Sen Obama only because of his skin color. That train is never late!

    NO way, NO how, NO McCain/Palin!!!

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    October 19, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Maryann

    I saw this clip and I have to say mr. Powell gave a clear reason and a non partisan at that, for why he supports Obama. Absolutely brilliant reasoning. Fingers crossed that come morning Nov 5th we'll find out that the Obama/Biden ticket has won the election!

    October 19, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. No McCain/No Palin

    Thank you Mr. Powell for speaking the truth. I do not like the way McCain/Palin is running the campaign.

    CNN: Bias towards McCain.
    Fox News: Bias towards McCain..

    MSNBC. Speaks the truth....Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddows.

    October 19, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Go Obama!

    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 19, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Tony_N_ATL

    It says a lot that the military hero is not supporting the military hero!!!!!

    October 19, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Central FL for Obama/Biden

    Gen. Powell could have been the first Black President or Vice-President if Pres. Bush and Cheney had not misled him and made him tell lies to the whole world in front of the U.N. to justify their unjust war in Iraq. His honor and integrity were compromised because he served his Commander in Chief. His statements about Sen. Obama and his reasons for endorsing him are truthful and sensible, and a really fine way to stick a needle in the eye of the corrupt Republican regime. Thank you, Colin Powell!!!

    October 19, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. howie

    Lilly October 19th, 2008 12:23 pm ET

    Reacting to Powell's endorsement, the Obama campaign immediately criticizes Powell's poor judgement and record of misleading Americans and the world at the Unitied Nations in the days leading to the Iraq war.

    Lilly, I see you've learned the art of the boldfaced lie from Karl Rove. it won't work – NOT THIS YEAR, NOT THIS TIME!

    October 19, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. lucho I.

    Mr. Powell, with all my respect I want to say: Good Job! The Country is first, not the Republicans.

    October 19, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Texas for Obama

    I applaud Colin Powell for his courage to tell the truth knowing that many of his friends in the Republican party will discredit and humiliate him over the next few days.

    I think Powell would have kept quiet if McCain didn't try so hard to demonize Obama and divide the country.

    Since I live in a big city like Houston, according to Palin I could never be called "pro-American." I have a few muslim friends too, so I guess I am a terrorist sympathizer. Sucks for me.

    Enough of this nonsense...VOTE Obama/Biden 08!

    October 19, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Gen Powell is an honest man.

    Gen Powell is a experienced and loyal military man. guess he had to step out of the GOP ranks and say that Palin was not ready to be Commander in Chief, kudos to him.

    October 19, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    What worries me most is the statement that if you are a Republican, or Democrat you must vote that way. The reason we are in the mess we are in today is that too many people voted party and not with their brain. I don't need Rush etc to tell me how to vote.
    As for Colin Powell, if he had of resigned when he was "bushwacked ' in the UN I would have respected him more. He didn't show much leadership sticking with Bush. Mrs Whitman showed leadership by reigning after being " bushwacked" a couple of times. She showed real leadeship, the rest were sheep, not leaders. But see what happened to her, most people have no idea who she is today. Her I respect.

    October 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. ny


    October 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. Go Obama!

    Hey francisco siqueiros,

    WHATEVER!!! If your party is WRONG why would you vote the candidate of your party JUST because you're repub or dem? THat's ignorant!

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

    General, you are right! Country first! People will criticize you anyway. But this is a great decision. Bush made you look bad although you were so loyal to him. Now you showed your courage to speak your mind for the country's sake all most sure facing racist and betrayal accusations.

    You are a great man.

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