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. Sherrie F., Eugene Oregon

    Oh Sarah Palin is fascinating alright... that is IF you are fascinated by pea gravel!

    July 28, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. JR

    Jim Jones was fascinating.

    July 28, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. schmeckel

    Finally, a black leader that the youths can look up to again. Someone more like MLK instead of the modern day finger pointers. If a bigot stands in your way, walk around him and achieve your goal. Don’t concern yourself with the actions of others. If you choose to point your finger at an idiot and argue with him instead of swallowing your pride and going around him, you will be standing in the same spot in the future instead of moving forward. (no I am not referring to the police officer as a bigot; just bigots in general)

    July 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. ANGIE

    fascinating figure… you have got to hand to her.
    He repeated his assessment that the former Republican vice presidential candidate had not been ready for the Oval Office last fall, but said she was worth watching.

    TRANSLATION: WE CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR FROM HER AGAIN. WE NEED SOME MORE LAUGHS. AND I'M SURE SNL CAN USE SOME NEW MATERIAL.

    July 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. William

    Interesting. Now that Powel has shown he can think on his own right wingers (and those are the ones who MUST answer) find him difficult to understand–saying liberal at best instead of supporting him as they did for many years. Limbaugh instead of Powel–wow a leap and fortunately history will not make that leap.Limbaugh will be a historical figure, but not a favorable one more a cultural abomination.

    July 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. larry

    There is no doubt that Powell is a republican if he says that about Palin...also Powell doesn't say one bad thing about the cop so he takes what he said as gospel..How does he know that the cop was being truthful? That is typical for republicans....blame the black guy. Powell should know better than to believe everything the white guy says.

    July 28, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. John

    If Palin becomes the US President, Guess What?

    Wolves in Alaska will be hunted by F-16s and not by Helicopters......

    July 28, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. cool rock

    Palin is fascinating allright like Powell said. I have to agree with him on that. She really knows how to make America laugh with her rambling and corny sayings. She must have really missed the boat on alot of issues especially being one minded. I didn't like her polarizing, but I kinda feel sorry for her. She needs to see a psychiatrist because she doesn't know what she is saying most of the time without a teleprompter. Also, It is too early to make judgement on my man Obama because he is trying to get us out of this mess that Bush and the Republicans put us in. Support your American president Obama, not those socialist republicans

    July 28, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Butch Dillon

    Palin is definitely fascinating, but in much the same way as the dog who deposits a pile half its own size.

    July 28, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Dave

    Rush is a traitor

    July 28, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Lucas

    I gave Palin the benefit of the doubt until she gave that horrible speech condemning fruit-fly research as "wasteful." My mom's on a clinical trial for a cancer drug derived directly from fruit fly research.

    July 28, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Brad

    What Colin Powell described as happening to him when he was the National Security Advisor also happened to Condi Rice during the first Bush Presidency. I suppose that that is just a coincedence though (sarcasm intended).

    Somebody should do a poll about how many Black and Brown White House staffers have been handed hats and coats by White visitors arriving at the White House. You'd be surprised...or maybe not.

    July 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. joe

    we need Palin back, I like to laugh , she is the best thing happend for commedian.

    July 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Bill Johnson

    I prefer pretzels to potato chips. I think the government should pay us to live in this country! I don;t want to work anymore! Free food from the white house????

    I hope soon, Please, Please, Please!!!!! !-D

    July 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Gene Hubbard

    Hummmmmmmm!!!! wasn't aware there was a state bigger than Alaska, pb

    July 28, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. Jeff

    she's fascinating in the way the short yellow schoolbus is of note as it passes by us.

    July 28, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Doug

    Fascinating? Now that's a diplomat for you.

    July 28, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. BJ

    I would LOVE to see a Colin Powell/Sarah Palin ticket in 2012, and I think they would be unbeatable!

    July 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Eric

    I think Gates may have overracted and Powell's right- just because Gates acted out of sorts doesn't mean racial profiling doesn't exist. Gates is hypersensitive for many reasons notwithstanding his state of mind on that morning. In the world he grew up in he's probably had this happen dozens of times. I'm sure he's embarrassed about it now. However, this does not make him a racist. Accusing someone of treating you different because of your race doesn't make you a racist, it makes you petty. Gates acted petty.

    Crowley like most other cops used his authority rather than common sense. He arrested him because he could not because he should have.

    July 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. herold aubourg/boston/ma

    Here is the voice of reason and wisdom. Check myy emails or comments; Mr powell is absolutely right. Even though profiling exists but this was not one,

    July 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. HJA

    Wow! Too bad the GOP doesn't have more like Powell. Intelligent, thoughtful and well spoken. I don't see too many GOP comments that fit that discription here!

    July 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. willard bullock

    i am belive that sarah plain will be great than obama by 2012

    July 28, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Laurel, Canada

    To GOP=21st century dodo: You had mentioned that if everyone one in the GOP were as diplomatic as Gen. Powell, well what about everyone that has commented on this topic? So far all I have seen is name calling and it is from the liberals. I am a conservative, and was taught to respect others opinions even if you don't agree with them. Maybe the far left should be more tolerant instead of being ignorant!

    July 28, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Big John

    Sarah has demonstrated to the world she is a quitter. She finally decided she's way in over her head. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen... she got out of the kitchen. Finally she did what's right for Alaska. Good bye, good riddence, now go back to Wasilla and stay there.

    July 28, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Dave

    Does anybody know what is common to Palin and Schwarzenegger?

    1. They are both from the West.
    2. They both represent the Same Party.
    3. They both Screwed up their States.
    4. They both talk through their Hats.
    5. They both have their Brains in their Butts rather than their Heads.

    July 28, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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