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. Jason, VA

    General Powell truley has placed "Country First" Thank you sir. His endorsment was one of the most intellegent and considered endorsment I have ever heard. Espically the remarks about muslim Americans.

    What really offends me are the statements being made by republicans who are saying that "they are not surprised" What does that mean? Please explain.

    October 19, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. Rachel House

    For those of you that think Powell endorsed Obama solely on race, perhaps you should listen more closely to the interview. He contributed to McCain's campaign initially. He changed his mind based on the way McCain has handled the economic crisis, his campaign, and his VP pick.

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






    October 19, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Toby

    I am so tired of people saying that the only reason that Powell is supporting Obama is because he is black. That is a racist statement in itself. Does that make all of the white people and Sen. Liberman racist because that choose to support a candidate that is white?

    October 19, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. AmericanFeminist

    francisco siqueiros...
    You must be kidding. 1,000's of Republicans have seen the light and are supporting Obama. Haven't you been listening or reading the news? Colin Powell has been so shamed by his Republican brethren (with good reason), he had no choice.

    Welcome to the force for good, General Powell!

    October 19, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Hispanic for Obama

    An excellent endorsement. A retired military general thinks Obama is fit to lead this nation, as well as other key Republican congressmen. Gen. Colin Powell showed his intellect in this video in his explanation of his endorsement as well as explaining the current status of this country.

    I think this is huge and could be key in grabbing the important independent voters.

    October 19, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. craigs

    Colin Powell's rational for endorsing Obama was the absolutely the most thoughtful, measured I've yet heard. I agree with his evaluation 100% but also appreciate hiskind words about Senator McCain. My evaluation is that McCain did not even run his own campaign, so why should he be elected to run the country?

    October 19, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Alcinia

    I think that all this nonsense about Obama not being able to lead this country has now been put to rest with the endorsement of Obama by General Colin Powell. I like his reasons and the way he thinks. This is not the time to try to divide America, but we expect nothing less from the Republican party after all where does the Klan come from?

    October 19, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. John

    Powell is trying to clean up his name by thinking he will fall on the right side of history with this endorsement...Just like Obama, Powell judgement over the last few years has been questionable..He refused to stand up to Bush and now his word means very little to anyone.

    October 19, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Get Real

    John F Kenedy said
    "Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."

    Although McCain is a testament to efforts and courage in American History.... Obama also brings purpose and direction.

    McCain has no purpose for his campaign and he offers no real direction.

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


    October 19, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. dw

    Powell said something VERY important when discussing how the racist McCain-Palin campaign is being watched all over the world and damaging us further. More reason to vote for Obama-Biden and reject the politics of fear and division.

    October 19, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Melissa

    If you like the last 2 years.... vote Obama: If you're not racist, then why don't you think of them as two people instead of two black people?

    October 19, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. tennisguypitt

    Cue the racist card from right wingers...

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 19, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. sandee in Portland

    I disagree that if you're a Republican, you have to go for the Republican even if you do not like the candidate. Same is true for Democrats. No one should be voting a straight ticket. People should look at the issues, do their research and vote for the person they think can get the job done, whether it's Republican, Democrate or Independent, and whether they're voting for President, Congressman, Senator or even a local State representative. I give Powell a large pat on the back for voting for who he thinks can do the job best, and I've been a registered Republican my whole life. Do I always vote Republican, no! I vote for the best candidate for the job.

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

    Country First – Colin Powell gives it credibility

    October 19, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. NC Mom

    A clearly thoughtful endorsement, with all his reasons laid out. Powell is a respected leader and helps us to see a positive vision for this country. It's time for us not to fall in line behind a party, if it's direction is not correct for the times.

    October 19, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Proud to be a Democrat

    Now the most respected of the Republican Party are turning their backs on the McCain/Palin ticket....actions speak louder than words! Sadly but surely, first thing tomorrow, Sara Palin will embark on her latest smear campaign attempting to convince un-commited voters that Colin Powell is not "Pro American"

    October 19, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. tk from Toronto

    Powell redeems himself by this endorsement
    This is right track the USA is taking. And smart people like the general don't want to be seen like blocking the way.
    Thanks a lot Mr. Powell for the good judgment this time around.

    October 19, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Andre

    I know many will just be simple minded and say "its just a black guy supporting another black guy". But the truth is, it wouldn't matter if Obama were green with three eyes, I'd have a hard time believing someone as honarable as General Powell could endores the grimey Senator Scrooge McDuck and the lie machine Palin.

    October 19, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Canadian

    francisco siqueiros: i am truly amazed and disppointed by your thought process

    October 19, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Pat Pa.

    Francisco Siqueiros-
    The great thing about America is that you can be registered one party but you only have to vote for that party in the primaries. ( at least in Pa ) You are free to vote for anyone you want to in the general election. If you do not like the candidate running for your party, and you think the candidate running in another party is better, there is nothing wrong in voting for him.
    In fact, in this case, Obama is so much better most people should be able to see that no matter how they are registered. I have always crossed party lines, however, not this time. I am going straight Democrat this time.

    October 19, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. cmgmaggie

    A final verdict on the Republican party. They're out of ideas, they don't know what to do, and they're out of luck. Attacks, distortions, lies, and confusion is all they know. Powell only brings the exclamation point.

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

    Colin Powell endorsed Obama because of the negative way the McCain campaign has been run it's very divisive the way that they have been depicting Obama no matter that they say otherwise,for McCain to been in the military he does not act like it.With the Rove team that smeared him so horribly in 2004 he is surrounded by a team that is stuck on stupid.

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

    Thank you General Powell, we are all Americans and we all love this country. I am so tired of the divisiveness that McCain/Palin are invoking in this country at a time when we all need to come together and work together to build a greater American again.

    October 19, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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