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. Tim P

    He should have called her her rightful name: LOSER

    July 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Turncoat Powell

    Colin, join the Democrats and make us all happy. You've given up your right to call yourself a Republican.

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

    I like Powell, but how can we trust the republican party when it wont stand up to the nutcases in its ranks. By nutcases I am talking about Limbaugh, the Birthers and the rest of the nuts that spout hateful rhetoric. I would trust Powell if he were the leader of the republican party, but he wont do it namely because he has to much class to allow himself to be used as a puppet ever again ala Michael Steel.

    July 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. TCM

    Powell's a product of Affirmative Action; he'd have never been a general if he weren't black...then, he claims to be a republican, but the minute a black dem is running, he supports him. He only voted for Obama because of color....hmm....shows a lot of depth there, Colin.
    Stormin' Norman was right to not trust him.

    July 28, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. Riley McNulty

    PLEASE – stop the inane comments about Palin. When there is something signifcant to report, then ok. But every day having a ticker about Palin? What is the point or value in that?

    July 28, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. bglg2005

    a stong base of ignorance, I'd love to see a rational foward thinking individual even try justifying the comments of Rush. I won't hold my breath on that because it can't happen so it won't happen.

    July 28, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  7. Independent for Obama

    Powell is right on about the Gates incident--it had nothing to do with Racial Profiling, it was just a cranky old man causing drama and accusing a white officer of racism because Gates had a bad day.....Gates did a HUGE disservice to the subjects of race relations and racial profiling by overreacting the way he did.
    Janie, Springfield MA

    July 28, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. mouser

    'Fascinating' is one way to describe her. I can think of a better descriptor that begins with 'f'...

    July 28, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Brian

    I am a Republican in my early 30's and we need new leadership in the GOP. Rush Limbaugh does have too much power and Sarah Palin is not the future of this party. What we need is for General Powell to take the reigns. He should have been president in 2000 and I think he should run in 2012.

    July 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Obama: A change U can beleive In

    She sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No Ideas at all expect cry babying, and bleaming everyone but herself and her cheessey cabinet

    July 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. Ray

    And I should care what a turncoat traitor has to say?

    July 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. John Billings Mt

    Although I'm a Democrat, Gen. Powell is, without doubt, a man who would get my vote should he ever decide to run for president. He is a man of integrity with a soldiers sense of loyalty. He displays remarkable insight, is able to look across party lines and address issues, rather than politics. Oh, to have a man of his quality and stature in the Obama administration; a fine mind to complement that of President Obama and his cabinet.

    July 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Shekar

    Wow, This guy is a geneious... When ever he need some money and attention he will come to CNN which always like to have the so called republicans bunch to lash out republicans. First of all what did achive for the party and what is his principle? Does any one have guts to ask him from CNN?

    When he supported a black for president , he is not a republican at all. Common CNN pay money to some one worth...

    July 28, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Dan

    "Palin is fascinating..."

    Translation: she freaks me out by her incoherent and incessant rambling.

    July 28, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. AJ

    Skip? And because "Skip" was in a bad mood it became a national incident? Please, stop making excuses for bad behaviour. "Skip" did what he did because he knew he could get on the phone to his friend the president, get on the phone with the press and make a spectacle out of the whole thing. Powell lost all credibility during his tenure with the Bush administration so he really needs to keep quiet. Is the racial profiliong done to him similar to the WMD in Iraq??

    July 28, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Delta Dawn

    There will always be a strong base for Rush Limbaugh..............he's not a traitor.....Powell is. Powell needs to man up and admit he's nothing more than a closeted Democrat.

    July 28, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. jona

    Powell.. good guy actually. CNN could take some hints form him. Especially Soledog Obrien. I am sick of her racebaiting, pompous, ass kissing documentaries.

    July 28, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. gl, From Pittsburgh

    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.

    Like most of us feel she is worth watching becasue she is like watching a train weck waiting to happen. SNL – All the way!

    July 28, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Scot P

    Fascinating the same way as having gum stuck on your

    July 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Mark Cross Junction VA

    A class act! Please run for President Please.

    July 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. C.K.

    Limbaugh is an idiot! Why are people scared for a fat moron with no credibility, who continues to promote hate and racism? Give me a break.

    July 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. sully

    I love this guy

    July 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Powell

    class act

    he should run for office

    July 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Terry from Texas

    Conservatives like their leaders to be dumb and confident. Palin is just such a leader. She has no idea that she has no idea what she is talking about. She imagines that the small amount of action going on inside her skull is what happens inside the skull of smart people – like most not-too-bright individuals.

    Compare her answers to questions to those of Obama or Clinton or Kennedy. Palin only offers a few Conservative cliches followed by an applause line. The same ones every time.

    I think that the Republican core will love her.

    Go, Sarah, go!

    July 28, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Common Sense

    Thank God there is a person that really knows what "might" have happened – total exhaustion and frustration caused the outbursts, nothing more. Neither was at fault, it was just a "bad timing" situation for both men. I do not believe race had anything to do with it as some in the media are accusing the officer of, and closely followed by certain troublemakers from Illinois.

    July 28, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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