Powell endorses Obama again
October 25th, 2012
08:43 AM ET
2 years ago

Powell endorses Obama again

(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday he's endorsing President Barack Obama for a second time, saying he was "uncomfortable" with Mitt Romney's views on foreign policy.

"I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012," Powell said on CBS' "This Morning." "And I'll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month."

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Powell made headlines when the former George W. Bush administration official, who also worked for President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, crossed party lines and supported Obama last cycle.

The Republican said he believes the economy is "starting to pick up" and attributed the recovery to the president's polices, citing specifically the auto industry bailout and Obama's economic proposals. "Generally we've come out of the dive and we're starting to gain altitude," he said.

Powell added he was "uncomfortable" with Mitt Romney's tax plans and views on foreign policy. Pointing to Monday night's final presidential debate, Powell argued the GOP nominee had changed his positions on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The former secretary of state said he was concerned with the advice Romney was getting from campaign staff members.

"I think there are some very, very strong neo-conservative views that are presented by the governor that I have some trouble with," Powell said, though he did not elaborate on which views.

"I also saw the president get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars," he said.

Powell added he was pleased with the Obama administration's views on climate change, health care, immigration and education. As for the rising federal debt, he faulted Congress for failing to reach a "grand bargain" on a deficit-reduction plan.

"This is work the Congress is supposed to be doing," he said. "Why can't they up on the Hill start talking to one another, reach across the aisle? But it will take great presidential leadership."

Asked if he was still a Republican, Powell said he still claimed the GOP as his political home. "Yes I think I'm a Republican of a more moderate mold, and that's something of a dying breed, I'm sorry to say."

Update: Speaking to reporters on a press charter Thursday, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said the president did not have a "heads up" about Powell's endorsement.

"(The president) called Colin Powell this morning before the event to thank him," Pfeiffer said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Colin Powell • President Obama
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    Well what do you know....a Republican who can think for himself. Cue the "RINO" insults from the mindless drones....

    October 25, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  2. UBS, WILLARD & THE 4000+ AMERICAN AMNESTY DEAL

    It says alot about what the republican party has morphed into when you have life-long republicans voting for the President. I know there are those that are going to say he's only supporting him because he's black, but I beg to differ. Any sane person knows not to vote for Flippity Mitt. After watching that foreign policy debate, I'm sure Gen. Powell thought to himself that Mitt doesn't pass the Commander-In-Chief test. As joe Biden often says: "This ain't your daddy's republican party."

    October 25, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. Kevin

    Good, Romney is going DOWN!!! Momentum Shift Baby!!!

    October 25, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Kevin

    Romney Own's Adelphia and benefitted 15 million from Obama stimulus to energy Resarch.

    October 25, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Debra for Obama

    Now, this is one great man that knows what he is talking about.

    October 25, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Seems pretty obvious to a Republican with a brain (who doesn't seemed to be blinded by party label) who the best person for the job is- Obama.

    October 25, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. A man of principles

    Powell is a Republican with a backbone, Powell is a man I could vote for.

    October 25, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. 4moreyears

    Hahaha I know the Repubs are cringing in their seats. Serves them right for being so hateful and down right crazy. Anybody in their right mind wouldn't support those crazies. LMAO

    October 25, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. Dee

    Americans need to follow the opinion of this fine gentleman this is right and common sense who knows better that Powell. The GOP party has changed and is not recognized by older politicians they are too extreme and needs to embrace other ethnicities. The audience does not look like americans and the appeal is to one population.

    October 25, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. onlyfacts

    One of the last true Republicans. The new Republicans hate this man because he speaks the truth and has courage.

    October 25, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. Tabeth

    Friends an dear Americans,
    Obama has done an excellent Job! things are improving but Mit wants to take over and claim he is the one who did it.
    Let us look the reality of things. Could Romney turn things around at 100% within 4 years? There would be no Auto Industry in Ohio...jobs gone to Chine and what more.....!

    October 25, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  12. chilly g

    i have always been a fan of general powell and i hope in the president next term he appoint the general secretary
    of defense.

    October 25, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  13. J

    Colin Powell is no more a Republican than Dick Morris is a Democrat. To label him as such is journalistically dishonest. It's well known that he holds a grudge towards Republicans ever since W booted him out as Secretary of State.

    October 25, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  14. wkndthg

    Mitt is done! Good news is OBAMA CARE will help him with his pre-condition of ROMNESIA! LOL! LOL! LOL! Refreshing to hear a republican with common sense.

    October 25, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. Beejay

    This is great news for Obama!!! plus President Clinton to campaign with Obama in Florida, Ohio, Colorado & Virginia – talk about closing a campaign with shock & awe!!

    October 25, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. Naresh

    Secretary Powell gives a very considered opinion. This time he has taken his time to 'endorse'. This endorsement speaks volumes for what Pres Obama has done and achieved in the 4 years. Secretary Powell very rightly points out that the Congress has not lived up to its responsibilities. It has been the GOP nay sayers who have repeatedly blocked the bills that would have seen America make even greater progress-more jobs would have been created. Thank you Secretary Powell.

    October 25, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. mikey

    Powell ought to ask why Obama left our mabassador and sevicemen to die in Benghazi.

    October 25, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. Tremaine G.

    Its about moving the country FORWARD and i agree we do need a strong president to lead us down the correct path! This was a good endorsement for the President!

    October 25, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  19. ST

    Good move Colonel Powell myself I am behind you. You have your own reasons of endorsing Pres. Obama and I have mine. There is no way Romney can win this election unless otherwise. Without the coalition "W" had in 2004, no one can reach there. He had a bit of Latinos, a bit of blacks and a bit or more of whites. This took a lot of thinking which is contrary to what the Romney Camp has this time. I can bet all my life savings, Romney is not going to make it.

    October 25, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. n

    Blinders off, Romney is not the one . . . Period!

    October 25, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  21. Phil Thomas

    Exactly how I feel as a former Indepedent who voted Republican and has been forced to be a Democrat this election cycle because of the direction the RNC has taken. Look read the tax policy centers assesment of Romney's tax plan, the way the guy lies, TMZ just posted he may of lied in court to help his friend out. I can't trust this guy and I hope he does not lie his way into the white house. This would be a bad message to send for elections to come for decades

    October 25, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  22. Norma Vessels

    Good for you, Mr. Powell. You are a good man .. don't let politics get in the way of straight thinking. Thank you.

    October 25, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  23. Laverne

    Everybody who saw the last debate should be concerned about Romney's lack of foreign knowledge. It was as if that part of being President really does not matter to him. Mitt Romney wants to choose what kind of president he will be which is soley on domestic economy. George Bush said the same thing in 2000, he was much more interested in domestic issues and felt that was the kind of president he would be, but Sept. 11, 2001 happened and it changed him prsidency forever. If this was a contest on running for CEO/boss in chief then perhaps Romney has the edge, but one of the biggest and most critical part of being Prez is being commander in chief and Romney failed that to meet that threshold!

    October 25, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  24. charles

    Now the General has spoken.The chicken republican hawks are are about to start their stupid fox news noise here by insulting the decent man because he disagree with the flip flopper Robmey the lier.

    October 25, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  25. Larry Motsinger

    I'm not really surprised at this endorsement. I don't think that it really makes any difference. I believe that his endorsements of Obama may result from bitterness resulting from his service in the Bush administration.

    October 25, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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