July 28th, 2009
07:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Powell calls Palin a 'fascinating figure'

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he has been subject to racial profiling.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he has been subject to racial profiling.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday that he has been the victim of racial profiling but believes Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. could have been more patient with the police officer who arrested him.

At the same time, Powell also faulted the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Police Department for escalating the situation beyond a reasonable level.

"I think Skip [Gates], perhaps in this instance, might have waited a while, come outside, talked to the officer and that might have been the end of it," Powell said in an interview with CNN's Larry King. "I think he should have reflected on whether or not this was the time to make that big a deal.

"I think in this case the situation was made much more difficult on the part of the Cambridge Police Department," Powell said. "Once they felt they had to bring Dr. Gates out of the house and to handcuff him, I would've thought at that point, some adult supervision would have stepped in and said 'OK look, it is his house. Let's not take this any further, take the handcuffs off, good night Dr. Gates.'"

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Filed under: Colin Powell • Larry King Live • Popular Posts • Rush Limbaugh • Sarah Palin
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. Isaac Abrams

    Isn't it Henry Louis Gates and not Robert Louis Gates? Please fix...

    July 28, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. seg

    What a great man . . . wish he were in the WH!

    July 28, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Melissa

    I have always liked Colin Powell, even though he's a Republican. He has a good head on his shoulders. Pity he won't run for President.

    July 28, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. chelle

    In other words General Powell has the personal integrity to stand up to Limbaugh and the other Republican "leaders" do not. That is just so sad....what happened to the Thomas Jefferson's, Abraham Lincoln's, Theodore Roosevelt's?? They made compromises for politics sake but not at the expense of everything they believed....

    July 28, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Active Duty Democrat

    On the money...tho Palin isnt fascinating at all...Gates blew this up imo...

    July 28, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Back to Simple Life

    Rush Limbaugh is King in the GOP eyes. Guess he doesn't need a vote - he has a radio show and they are afraid of him.

    July 28, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Gene from Georgia

    Once again, Gen Powell is the voice of reason in a sea of Yahoos.

    July 28, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Professor brutality

    Gen. Powell would not have been arrested.
    No need.

    July 28, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. GOP = 21st century dodo

    "fascinating figure… you have got to hand it to her."

    If the rest of the GOP were as diplomatic as Gen. Powell. Pity their loudest voices belong to those who would incite fear and hate to placate their dwindling base.

    July 28, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Chris

    Mr. Powell is so nice. LOL
    We all know he and a lot of other Republicans would like her to just GO AWAY!!! LOL
    The lady is an opportunist and has got a touch of the limelight and she don't want to let it go out!!! LOL
    I'm just waiting for the person who will douse her light with water so she will go OUT!!! LOL

    July 28, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. A. Goodwin

    I am a democrat who loves Powell – because he is true to himslef and his beliefs. The simple fact that he doesn't bow to Limbaugh every time the guy makes an idiotic remark – well, Powell scores high marks for sure on that.

    July 28, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. DD

    I totally agree with everything General Powell said regarding Prof Gates EXCEPT...I do not think Ms. Palin is facinating in the least nor is she worth watching and certainly not with great interest. Also, anyone that fears Rush Limbaugh is out of their mind. Who is he? Why does the public care what he has to say? Yuk! If the GOP is afraid of him when will we ever have a chance to be running the country again? He is just a man with an opinion. He doesn't and hasn't served the public in any way other then to speak his mind...nor more than what I am doing right now. For crying out loud...get a grip GOP!

    July 28, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. tim

    Palin is fascinating like a bar fight; you might want to watch, but not get involved with. unfortunately this one might pull us all into because the republican base is the fighter that is losing and gets desperate. what amazes me is there is anyone that still listens to, much less supports

    July 28, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Stephy

    I love this guy!

    July 28, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. no name calling

    Dear Republicans,

    Appealing to your base will not help you win elections. Reaching out with an open mind to independents and young people will.

    When Palin, Limbaugh and those like them, tell obvious lies that can repudiated with a quick check on the internet or by watching the acutal video, those of us NOT making up the "base" vote against you, Especially since you have put these types forward as your leaders.

    Most young people get there news from Colbert and Stewart who pick apart Republican lies with great ease using your own words.

    McCain naming Palin as his choice for Vice President appealed to the base and lost the election. The rest of us saw right through it.

    Something to think about.

    July 28, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. joe

    will be watching...

    July 28, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Nia - AZ

    I heart Colin Powell <33
    I would like t see him work more in the Obama Admin

    July 28, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Thanks, Gen. Powell, but you have hitched onto a dying party, too bad there are not more in the RNC willing to compromise and use common sense.
    And as for Rush, he is an entertainer, much like CNN we no longer have news reports everything is an editorial.

    July 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Wyman Brent

    I would love to see Larry King cover the issue of why Israel is the one constantly blamed for everything which goes wrong with the Palestinians. After all, not only is Hamas and Fatah committed to never recognizing Israel as a state, they both support terrorism at home and abroad. As if that were not enough, the massive amounts of aid dollars flowing into the Palestinian coffers disappears into a haze due to corruption at the highest levels. Palestinians have constantly rejected a two state solution and yet somehow Israel becomes the bogeyman. Is that not an issue worth covering?

    July 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Phil Smith

    Regarding the general's assessment of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin – I'm not sure what is fascinating about her. Is it accurate to describe a violent accident as fascinating? If so, then perhaps he is right. Still, "fascinating" implies she has something to positive to contribute, and on this I cannot agree.

    July 28, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh no! Say it isn't so Gen. Powell! A highly respected figure like you, and a Republican to boot openly admitting that he was racially profiled....many times! Guess what though, Colin, you're being racially profiled yet again because as far as I can see you would be the obvious choice for 2012 for your party; yet they rather stick with the quitter-illiteracy-no-newspaper-see-Russia poster child: Pailin.
    It's a darn shame! They'd stand a good chance with you in the race sir.

    July 28, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Niles

    General Powell –

    Please come back! We need you in the Republican Party, not Sarah Palin and certainly not Rush Limbaugh. The party used to be so clear-minded and intelligent; now it is run by hillbillies.

    Please, General Powell. You are our only hope.

    July 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. Bev Hayes

    Interesting article, Colin Powell has always been an intriguing individual and i look forward to hearing the whole store. Hard to believe that racial profiling continues, but alas it does.

    July 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. S M R

    "Fascinating figure", What is Mr.Powell talking about her hips or is this just a plain OXYMORON.

    July 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Erik

    A pig with lipstick would be fascinating... Palin's just an idiot.

    July 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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