October 19th, 2008
09:24 AM ET
5 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. Eric

    It is not as much the fact that he endorsed him, it is the rational he gave for doing so. For the negative campaign, for McCain unwillingness to stop it (or lack of leadership), Palin, lack of issues, divisiveness, lack of understang of the economics, and so on.

    I really do hope that McCain, starting today, will finish his campaign on a positive note and will make sure, by doing so, to give Obama a clear mandate to tackle the issues, instead of just increasing the divisiveness. That's what the country needs. Anything else and McCain whole career will be tainted by the smears his campaign represent.

    October 19, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Beth

    I like and respect Colin Powell very much, and he got screwed over by the Bush administration. I knew he'd endorse Obama...and I would bet there is a place for Powell in Obama's administration.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 19, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. osas toronto

    Congratulations senator Obama, the true spirit of America people has accepted you as the next president. It's so obvious that you are the preferred person for next president. I say congratulations again. what will be will always be, despite the negative strategy used against you by senator MCcain

    October 19, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. BROOKLYN

    Surprise!!!!

    Please... And his opinion matters because? Last time I checked, nobody liked him, now they will.

    McCain has the endorsement of four former Secretaries of State and two hundred former Generals.

    Hummmm.

    October 19, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Charles

    I thought it should have came earlier, but nevertheless it's a good endorsement at this time. I don't know the effectivenes but, if Obama gets a 2-4 point spread with this endorsement, it would be even greater. Colin Powell was screwed by the Bush Administration he also stated he's still a republican but I think he see's the light at the end of the tunnel.

    October 19, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. joan

    I am just so glad.
    What a win for Obama

    Hurray
    Obama/Biden!!! forward and onward

    October 19, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. Eric

    McCain, someone forgot to tell you the race is over.

    October 19, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Pat in IL

    Hooray! I had been disappointed when Colin Powell refused to run himself, because I respect him so much. His endorsement is very important, because it is not "politics", but is an intelligent choice for intelligent, well thought out reasons. He has the knowledge and experience to back it up, too.

    October 19, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Molly

    And well he should.

    October 19, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. worldview

    Obama – you are THE man!!!!i am inLOVE with u!

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. KLEE

    A breath of fresh air – a voice of reason! thank you Colin Powell!

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Joan

    This has locked in the victory that was already locked. It will be hard for conservatives to continue to downplay Obama's strength. Other conservatives have endorsed him recently, but this endorsement is powerful. A confidant of both Bushes, a 4 star General who served in the one war in Iraq the whole country and world supported. For him to support the Democratic nominee took some serious soul searching, and all the GOP can do is smear him.

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. Filipina

    OMG I was in tears thank you General Colin Powell,,,,this is great news...Next weekend I will be volunteering in Obama's camp.
    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden.

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Dennis

    Mr. Colin Powell says it as it is. Obama and Biden are ready to lead.

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. Emmanuel

    This is good for American Democracy that a former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. This has come at the right time. Especially his message -"Obama displayed a steadiness. Showed intellectual vigor. He has a definitive way of doing business that will do us well," Thanks Powell.

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. nina

    As a Canadian watching your election, I think Colin Powell's endorsement is HUGE!!!
    He is highly respected around the world.
    He eloquently spoke of his reasons of choosing Obama, that clearly shows that he really thought about his choice. He gave clear, consice reasons for his decisiion.

    I had to look at the calendar, cuz it sure feels like Christmas.

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. taz

    What else would he do. He turn on Bush with iraq. I guess he wants to work in the cabinet again

    October 19, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Jeff Brown

    Thank you General Powell; you finally made us proud!

    October 19, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  19. glo from vas

    Way to go Colin!!!!!!!!!!

    October 19, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Powell Knows

    A real American Hero........ Powell understands that MCCain & Palin would be bad for the country and the world. Thank you Mr. Secretary.

    October 19, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Corey Miller

    The most influencial african american politician of our time just picked up the most influential endorsement of his campaign. Retired General Colin Powell would be anyone's choice, Republican or Democrat, if he were running today. Thank you Gen Powell for seeing in Barack Obama what many of us see in him, a president.

    October 19, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. Independent

    This is a man of incredible stature & respect worldwide. A man w/ the type of respect that crosses party lines, so this is a big deal for the Obama campaign and a big blow to the McCain campaign.

    October 19, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. spiculari

    Thank you Mr.Powell...

    October 19, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Black Republican turn Obama supporter- New York, New York

    Colin Powell is regarded highly all across America, even among whites, so when he comes out in support of Obama – not because they are both black – makes me stop and reconsider my support for John McCain. I already had doubts about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin and the campaign's turn south on a negative drive to win when the campaign should have been dishing up ideas!

    If a President Obama becomes incapicitated while in office, I trust Biden to take over and do a good job!

    If a President McCain becomes incapicitated while in office, I cannot trust Palin to take over and do a good job!

    Even if Powell came out in support of Obama, McCain still would have had my support and vote had he chosen Mitt Romney as his VP!

    October 19, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  25. glo from VA

    this election is over!!!!!!!!
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 19, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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