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. ...

    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

    I'm sorry that he didn't endorse you candidate. Go cry about it on the Fox News site.

    October 19, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Obama 08: white, female, 60 yr old supporter

    Colin Powell, who indeed put country first knowing the racist and derogatory comments that will be said about him, just added to the depth and scope of the bipartisan support for Barack Obama. It isn't just the endorsement but the itemizing of all of his reasons for his decision to vote for Obama.

    This whole nonsense of Obama being a socialist is ridiculous when Warren Buffet one of the world's most successful capitalists is a supporter and economic advisor for Obama.

    October 19, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. tucker

    francisco, a political party is just that and not more important than a nation.

    if a person belongs to a party but feels compelled to endorse a candidate of an opposing party for the well being of his country.then so be it.

    that shows that they are a man/woman of character who makes up their own mind and stand up for what they feel is right, instead of conforming to rules set by other people with other priorities.

    partisanship will destroy any good democracy.

    October 19, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  4. lea

    It should come as no surprise that General Powell would endorse Barack Obama over John McCain. Barack Obama has maintained his coolness while John McCain has showed how hot and agitated he can be. In these times we need a steady, intelligent leader, who truly puts the people first. After all this is the United States of America, a country with a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We all love this Country and everything that it stands for. No political party holds a monopoly on patriotism. We all appreciate the sacrifices that are made by those who serve in the Military, and by all those who came before us, who built this Nation with their own sweat and blood.
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 19, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. T FROM AZ

    This is a very historic time our lives. The Democrats will take back what the Republicans have TAKEN over the last 8 years. In the words of Aretha Franklin R – E – S – P- E – C – T. I do not trust the early voting, so will cast my vote in person. And that Candidate will be Barack H. Obama. The next president of the Great United States of America. Mr. McCain. You screwed yourself when you put Sarah on the ballot. People, will just not go for that!!! What you NEED to do, is get RID of all advisors. Because, they put your campain in the TOILET!!!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!!!!!

    Heck Yea!!

    October 19, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. mary

    let fox news report on this, you notices they ran this story for about fifteen minutes and than put on an hour program on Bill Aires.

    October 19, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Fabian

    To Lilly,
    That's just a bunch of misleading comments. Colin Powell resigned after finding out that he's been misled by the neo-cons who wanted to invade a country that has never even contemplated on attacking the US. For once, I blamed him for presenting misleading facts to the world, but now I know the catalysts behind the invasion were Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. So stop confusing the readers, the Obama did not release such a statement.

    October 19, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Chris

    Being a democrat, I do remember that McCain has got 4 endorsements from former Secretary of States, and one is very powerful if not more so and that is Henry Kissinger, plus over 200 generals . That is powerful. I guess if you are older you would know that Kissingers would mean more. This doesn't surprise me. Powell is also bi-racial so I believe this is part also. I remember Obama saying very recently it wouldn't mean much if he got Powels' endorsement. .Powell is 72 and some people might think about his age also. But reaction from the local media is will this endorsement hurt Barack Obama because Powell was big behind the war.

    October 19, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Perusing-Through


    Somebody with foreign policy chops need to clearly state that Sarah Palin is in no way ready to be within a heartbeat of Commander-in-Chief; and in no way should she be anywhere near the nuclear triggers.

    GOD Bless the United States of America!
    GOD Bless the Obama-Biden Leadership Team!

    October 19, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. independentnorepub

    People who say he shouldnt say out loud that he is going for obama are stupid. You guys are worst than the gangbangers because hrs a repub support repubs that dunm. He is god child,a man,a american,and then a repub.You people are brainwashed.As far as obama downing powell on his stance in Iraq so what ! he was wrong he left and im sure he repented on dealing with bush.

    way to go powell we can undo some of this mess

    October 19, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Walt

    For you skeptics that will tie this to race... He served as a White House Fellow under President Nixon. He served as National Security Advisor under President Reagan. He also commanded an Army Corp during that period. He served as Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff under President Bush I, and as Secretary of State under President Bush II.

    Now all of a sudden you wish to claim he is voting because Obama is black. The man has served republican white leaders all of his life. Now he votes his conscious and you say it's race.

    Had McCain selected Sen Hutchinson or Sen Snow, Powell might have supported him. There is not a single intelligent republican that wants to see Palin in the white house. They are following the party line.

    Obama 08!!

    October 19, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Johnny

    I think its very important to listen the statement by the General in its entirety. Like most moderate Americans he is put off by the choice of Sara Palin as McCain's running mate.

    Sara Palin was a move that backfired BIG TIME!

    October 19, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. NJVote08

    Sounds like McCain is trying to play ‘can you top this?’

    McCain, appearing on "Fox News Sunday." responded to the endorsement.

    "I've always admired and respected General Powell," McCain said. "We're longtime friends. This doesn't come as a surprise, but I'm also very pleased to have the endorsement of four former Secretaries of State – Secretaries Kissinger, Baker, Eagleburger and Haig. And I'm proud to have the endorsement of well over 200 retired Army generals and admirals, but I respect and continue to respect and admire Secretary Powell."

    It's amazing how he has always admired someone and how they are great friends. Tell me John, who would know you better than your ‘true’ friends?

    The tone of your response sounds like you are disappointed!

    October 19, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Shree Shrestha

    Let's see Obama never took any stand on major issues. He voted PRESENT 130 times in Illinois Senate. He friended with controversial people like Ayers, Rezko, Wright and many others. When people start asking questions about his friends he told the world that he hardly knew them. On every issues important to American people he spoke from from both end of his mouth. Now he gets endorsement from General Powell.
    General Powell believed in continuation of Clinton's policy with North Korea, Iran and Kyoto. He was against invading Iraq. Once he baecame Secretary of State he sold out to the policy of Neocons. He never took stand on what he believed in. He went to UN to sell Iraq War to global community. He could have taken stand and resign from his position of Secretary of State. Now he is supporting the candidate who does not take stand on any issues. Great Match.

    October 19, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. John

    So, I don't honestly get the importance of a 9th inning endorsement for a man that is going to loose..lets be honest, the polls are not being, the only true poll is November 4th and i would bet that they will be reflective of the true feeling people have regarding Mr. Obama, he is just not ready, look listen and you will hear, talk and you will never know whats been said...

    October 19, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. America think for you

    Get a life and face the real issues that the country and its fellow citizens are facing. What do you say when a prominent white candidate endorse another white candidate? Why race has to do anything with Collin Powell backing Obama? What do you think about Joe Lieberman backing McCain? A white man backing a fellow white man. You are sick! God does not see color in any man. He sees all of us the same.

    October 19, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  17. Janelle

    Francisco, you believe that voters should have to vote just their party regardless whether they like the candidate or not? I'm surprised that you're on a news story blog, considering that your comment is ignorant, shows no independent thinking, and explains why McCain even still has a chance in this election.

    October 19, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Essay

    To: If you like the last 2 years.... vote Obama
    October 19th, 2008 12:37 pm ET "Nobody will say it, but you can’t tell me this is not another prominent black endorsing a fellow black candidate."- Nobody is saying it because it simply isn't true. If you had watched the ENTIRE interview you would have heard Gen. Powell explicitly lay out the reasons why he is endorsing Sen. Obama. You disrespect all that Gen. Powell has accomplished and stands for by making such a ludicrous claim.

    October 19, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. BM

    If you really are sincere about putting country first, party doesn't matter. It's what's up front that counts and what you bring to the table.

    October 19, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Uche, TX

    Great Endorsement General Powell. IN this age and time America needs an intelligent dynamic President.

    October 19, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  21. Samantha Riverdale GA

    Colin Powell made the "American Choice". The right choice letting McDummy and Palinochio C that their campaign doest have a led left 2 stand on. They have put so much Hatred and division N 2 their campain, but want 2 get mad when people call them on it. I love Obama/Biden ~2009~ 🙂

    October 19, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. NL Gomes

    Gen. Powell decision is very personal choice. But if he were General once again, will he give responsibility to lead any group by an inexperience military in order to fight for any reason? The same way, America is now war on terror and also war on financial recovery? Do American people will elect an inexperienced who needs training to lead the nation during this crisis time?

    October 19, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. JennMarieB

    Thanks Powell!! Much respect to you a man of great intelligence and power to stand up for Obama along with us! I am 23 was raised republican only to find that this years McCain/Palin campaign, shows I nor my family are rep!! NC for Obama!!

    October 19, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Shut up fransico go obama 08

    October 19, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. BM

    What do you have to say about Joe Lieberman, Pat Buchannan? He switched parties! You are the worse!

    October 19, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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