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. Donkey Party

    Palin is fascinating in that she can't string together complete sentences. Her farewell speach was so disjointed, it's no wonder the stupid segment of society supports her, she speaks their language.

    July 28, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Andrew

    I haven't seen the interview, but I suspect "fascinating" was about the nicest thing he could say about Palin while implying he doesn't have much respect for her. If so, I think THAT'S being too kind!

    He has pegged Gates correctly – Gates flew off the handle for no good reason in THIS instance. I'm still waiting for Gates' apology...

    July 28, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. NoOneHome

    Its comments like these on the Gates affair that make Colin Powell a class act. He has confidence and assurance in his credentials and accomplishments, not arrogance and pretention. And considering what he has accomplished, he could easily justify a bit of the latter, but doesn't. That kind of dignity is rare and refreshing.

    July 28, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. What has happened to Americans?

    Americans are self centered. They only think of me myself and I.

    July 28, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Paul from Phoenix

    I wish he would run. He is 10x better then anything we have seen in the last 20 years.

    July 28, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Chris

    He has never been a Republican and never will be. The demacrat party can have him.

    July 28, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA

    "Fascinating" is an interesting choice of word for Colin Powell to use to describe Palin. I too find it fascinating how many she "inspires" with her rhetoric. Much respect for Colin Powell but no respect for his party.

    Sarah and company are a hypocritical, opportunistic freak show.

    July 28, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Nsikan Jacob

    Yeah, facinating – yes!!! BTW how much of the stimulus money is spent? About 30B? Oh, I thought all 780B has been spent already. Do some of you think the same way? Also, I heard that some of the bail out money has been returned with interest. Do you guys hear the same news? Oh, the DOW crossed 9K to the positive end, do you guys see what I am seeing? I remember when we all were begging for a respite and a leader to get us out of our pit. From the discourse on this blog, some of us have forgotten the bad times and now time to discredit the PRESIDENT – remember, he put smiles on your faces.

    July 28, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Bob Stephens

    Michael Jackson was 'fascinating too". Wouldn't have wanted him for VP either.

    July 28, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Takeshi

    Great man! i must say. the winning strategy the Replicans need is right infront of them. but ther bigot ways blind them

    July 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. elizabeth

    MY , how I wish that man would run for the White House.

    July 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Johnny

    If you want to get an idea of who the Democrats are interested in as possible opponents for office, just watch who they criticize. It is interesting to watch the media, celebrities, morning shows and nighttime shows all gang up on Sarah Palin. All I want to know is what has she done to have folks so upset? What?????!!!!???

    July 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Chicago Mike

    General Powell would have been a good choice to run for President when the Republicans were a viable party.

    Instead they focus on the Snow Bimbo.

    Let me see....Colin Powell...Sarah Palin...........gosh what would the right wing do ????
    Pick the best candidate ?? Or vote for the one Rush Slimeball tells them to vote for ???

    July 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    yeah, fascinating like planaria...but I wouldn't put one of those in office either...

    July 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Rob

    She's fascinating alright. So was Michael Jackson, and Zsa Zsa Gabor and...

    July 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Mickie

    Another day, another Palin headline. Except only a small portion of the article concerned Palin. Why is this? Can't we PLEASE stop posting articles about her? There are so many, many more interesting people and things to discuss.

    July 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Terry Topham

    Powell almost always makes rational, considered comments that contribute to the debate and are not inflamatory. Nor does he duck tough issues. I suppose we will have to wait for history to tell us why he has not run for President.

    July 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Big Al

    Who cares what this closet Democrat has to say

    July 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. William

    The only thing I want to hand Sarah Palin is a ticket out of town.

    July 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. I am The Great and Powerful Wizard of Rush

    Uh-oh, he took on El-rushbo again. Mr. 'Ego on loan from Narcissus"
    won't be able to let this pass.

    July 28, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    So is a corpse in a train wreck......

    July 28, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. jobo2612

    Gates was impolite. The officer (he was actually a sargeant) abused his authority. Let's not put the two on the same level.

    July 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Gary

    General Powell is a great man, wish he would run for President in 2012.

    July 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Canadian Guy

    Indeed Gates should have checked his temper Mr. Powell. No argument there. So was the cop justified in handcuffing the gentleman and trucking him to the station for mug shots? Why no comment on this Mr. Powell?

    July 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. LuAnn & Wayne Houle

    I think Powell called her fascinating because he forgot the term " stupid bimbo."

    July 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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