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. dozerspike

    This is probably the most level headed guy in the public eye. Shame he is still not in goverment – he could continue to be such an asset. Much respect!

    July 28, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Roger

    Yes she is fascinating! I think Jon & Kate are also fascinating! I hope to get to vote for all three of them for public office sometime in the near future!

    July 28, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. C.K.

    Palin is an idiot, she's not fascinating, she's an annoying lunatic, and a joke. She has no credibility, no knowledge of world issues, and continues to sink herself and the republican party. Powell is going to sink with that ship too, what a shame.

    July 28, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. joe m

    Powell continues to maintain his high level of credebility b/c he continues to speak his mind, even when others don't agree with him. i'll bet that some who continue to want to view prof. gates as a vicitm will not agree with him with respect to his analysis of the situation. those who support palin will not agree with him on his assesment of her readiness.

    July 28, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Peter E

    Nobody cares!!! Palin is a nobody and a loser!

    July 28, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Louie

    Palin is fascinating? How can anyone even think that? Her speeches are incoherent ramblings in, fingernails on chalkboard, shrill awfulness. She is a horrendous speech-giver and anyone who pays to have her speak, or pays to hear her speak, is just wasting their money. She is arrogant, narcissistic, and not very intelligent. Alaska must not've had a very good pool of bright people when they elected her as governor. If she ever gets anywhere politically, this country will become a huge disappointment and the dumbing down of America will definitely be in full swing. I don't want anyone like me, or dumber than me, running this country. God forbid!

    July 28, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Joe Publicini

    I like and respect Powell. He is truly a man with integrity. I may not always agree with him but at least he tells it like it is.

    July 28, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Peggy McCann

    Most on here misunderstand, I think, what Powell was saying about Palin. Saying she is a fascinating figure does not mean he thinks of her in a positive light. It simply means he finds her interesting for whatever reason. I suspect he finds her interesting in the same way I do, for the reaction she provokes from the media and the American public. This is not a good thing or a bad thing. It's simply an observation.

    July 28, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. hm,florida

    i have high regards for Powell and i trust his wisdom. he's right about the G O P and republicans or what there is of it. it is such a shame that rush goes to the extremes that he does and the bulls–t that comes out of his mouth. he is a Hitler and his little followers are just as bad. to think the G O P and any republicans will not stand up to him is SO PATHETIC.
    as far as Palin is concerned she will continue to "entertain" us as she has gotten "stardom", "greed" and"the limelight" in her eyes. just look at them. do you really think she has the brains to write a book???? yea, didn't think so.

    July 28, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Joe Publicini

    Who pays all there Palin hater trolls?

    July 28, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. bill

    Although I am a Democrat, I have the utmost respect for Colin Powell and think that he is correct in his assessment of the the Harvard professor and the policeman. As far as his description of Sarah Palin is concerned he could have use a lot different adjective that myself and the American people have to add in describing her, and fascinating is not one of the descriptions that we would use.

    July 28, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    fascinating sort of like a lava lamp: pretty, pointless and most people have no idea what purpose it might serve

    July 28, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Jay from Jersey

    Powell/Daniels in 2012!

    A great ticket and a very good Presidential race.

    July 28, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Larry

    Fascinating, O Yeah, Yes they are.....

    Buttocks padded pants and padded bras.....

    July 28, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Ted McGovern

    If I could find a poll somewhere to vote in favor of Palin, I would. Every form of news media which cites that Palin is doing poorly in the polls does not place any link for people to chime in. I think she calls 'em as she sees them. With a tiny bit more compassion, she would make an excellent leader. I think she'll figure it out. Still, it is shocking when David Letterman keeps his job and Sarah Palin exits hers.

    July 28, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. Laura

    CNN can no longer be relied upon for accurate information. It's a shame they've fallen so hard, fast and far. First, they tag the headline using Palin's name so everyone will take a look see. I'm guilty of looking myself, I keep hoping the next story I read about her is that she's decided to move to Australia and live in the bush. Secondly, the 'real' information is wrong, not fact checked, seemingly written by a 6th grader for some journalism class with no editor/teacher checking for errors prior to printing/grading. Here's a fact: HIS NAME IS PROFESSOR HENRY LOUIS GATES
    Jeeze Louise~ I quit CNN! Y'all enjoy tearing each other apart in here, hatred is bad for people and other living things.

    July 28, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Joe the Plumber

    Sarah who? Vote for me!

    July 28, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Mike in NJ

    Mr. Powell, you have my undying respect and thanks, for your service and for the example you set. You are one of the true examples of the American Success Story. I would really love to see a person like you rise and lead in the political realm.

    July 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Matt

    Powell is my favorite Republican. I hope he continues to provide a reasoned tone to the otherwise near-psychotic Republican party. They should pay attention, he's pretty much all they've got now...at least the only one that's still getting any press. The media loves their extremists.

    July 28, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. Tania

    "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."

    Niles, please don't insult the hillbillies!!!!

    July 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Joe

    We have affirmative action policies, so that we have today's Colin Powell and Obama. One facinating thing for comparison with Palin is that Palin did not need Affirmative Action to get into Columbia and Harvard, Secretary of State, and Presidency. Palin was elected purely on her merits. Period!

    July 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Operation Crush Rush

    Sarah and TCM could have their own show called the "Biggest Political Losers".hahaha

    July 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. gunbow1

    I can't imagine how Colin Powell can remain credible today.......he was once a brilliant man with a brilliant future until he sold out to the Bush administration and furthered the Iraq lie of WMD's in order to justify an inept administration and an inept war plan. Then, after the once intelligent general he was continued to sell out for the Bush administration, he found himself on the outside being used as a scape-goat. I no longer have any respect for a man who I once admired and will give his blather no more respect than i would give to say....................a sarah palin

    July 28, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. George

    Yes, she is facinating. So is the process of making peanut butter. Well that is if you are dullard or something.

    Move on, nothing to see hear. CNN just can't let it go.

    July 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. Mitzie - GA

    I am fascinated that so many people think so highly of her. These people seem to care about the image not the actual person as a competent political force. I personally am prone to vote for competent people not attractive ones.

    July 28, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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