Powell endorses Obama again
October 25th, 2012
08:43 AM ET
1 year 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. GetSmartUSA

    Well, finally, someone in GOP shows some sense of reason!

    October 25, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  2. Rich

    Finally! Someone with some political weight (that hasn't said one word in this contest) that is right on!

    Tell you what: we have a GOP campaign that is even scarier than the one in 2008 they have learned how to NOT share ideas AND run a tight race. The Republicans continue to eat their feet when they ARE telling what they are thinking (most recent example is the comment regarding rape being God's will). They (the Republican Party) are attempting to sneak a good man into the White House that would have absolutely NO idea what he was doing on day one.

    On the other hand, yes, the economy has slowly (too slow for some) begun to right itself, and, for the past four years President Obama has attempted way more but has been slowed by congress. When given another four years I believe that he will in fact do more good for the country than anyone representing the GOP.

    Get to the polls everyone....vote for who you think will do the best job.....BUT think about it, would you prefer four more years of (slow) recovery, or would you prefer someone new that could possibly put America on an unclear path?

    You know what we get with President Obama. How well do you think you know Govenor Romney?

    Rich in Amsterdam

    October 25, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. GetEd

    Thank you for your integrity, Mr. Powell!

    October 25, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. logi_101

    to endorse a man who inheritedAm endorsement from a patriot of a patriot. Powell went across party lines to endorse a man who inherited a terrible situation and who has displayed greater courage and grace than his draft dodging oppronent. THer are thos ewho will play the race card here, they will be supporters of McConnell whose bigotry crosses the border into treason, the will be supporters on Romney a man whose foreign policy now agrees with the President. Romney who demonstrated a lack of nowledge about Iran's where abouts, particularly in light of running for the Presidency starting the day he was elected governor, was an astonishing display of ignorance. His Cliff notes analogy of 1916 ship counts as relevant the size of the world's most powerful Navy strains credulity. I noticed a glazed, almost drugged, subdued demeanor indicative at best of the discussion being far above his head . It is no surprise that in the altered state that is his reality, he appears to be delusional. He has been consistent almost schizophrenic in contradicting his positions, even the 47% comment that was made with his kind in the room. Maybe Ann is correct, the strain is too much for his mind.

    October 25, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. simp

    What an awesome man, he tells it like it is and he does not mix words. Great endorsement for the President!

    October 25, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. WomenOnGuard

    Powell has always been level headed... I like him.

    October 25, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Padraig

    I could care less where Colin Powell endorses or thinks.

    October 25, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. WA MOm

    Thank you former Secretary of State. Finally a republican with a brain who is not afraid to tell the truth.

    October 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. affirm

    Colin Powell yet again shows Republicans a better way.

    October 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Mary Greene

    I am glad we still have some GOP with common sense.I agree with Mr. Powell. It's takes more than President Obama to help our country and that is what Congress is for–not to say we want to make the President a one term president and work on that for years when the country is ailing. Thanks Mr. Powell for showing true leadership. One great sane American.

    October 25, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. BELLA

    sure he does!!!

    October 25, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. James

    Yes Colin, moderate repubs ARE a dying breed.

    October 25, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  13. leo lantz

    Well said, General Powell.

    October 25, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. Critical Thinking

    What a BIG SURPRISE, not.

    October 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  15. Bipartisanship...

    Bipartisanship. The best way for US to move forward, continually improve our nation and maintain our standing in the world.

    October 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  16. Enrique

    I second Powell's views.

    October 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. Swatguy

    ...no surprise here....

    October 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. Yonni

    Thank you General Powell. We only can have a viable opposition party in the US if the people like you in the Republican Party make it the idea and the principle of the republican party acceptable in the 21st century

    October 25, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Lisa

    This is exactly why we need to move forward! Mitt Romney will say and do anything just to be elected President. A used car saleman at its best!

    October 25, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. Someonewhocares

    Finally someone with a calm head speaking the facts.... Thank you Mr. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell!

    October 25, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. manezer

    Words from a wise person .

    October 25, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. YesGuy

    Smart Move Mr Powell!

    October 25, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  23. TimM

    I think I would definitely vote for Gen. Powell, even though I disagree with his current voting choice. He is absolutely correct stating that CONGRESS is to blame for the National Debt, but he even states , 'But it will take great presidential leadership', and I don't think we have seen that from President Obama. I'm not saying that Romney will do better, just that I haven't seen that great presidential leadership so far. Maybe the GOP could convince Gen. Powell to run in 2016???

    October 25, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  24. proudcanadian

    Powel you are right.Most canadians love Obama to continue his cool and thoughtful foreign policy.Why is Piers Morgan rooting openly for Romney? He is soo biased in his opinions.How I miss the maturity of Larry King.Morgan seems to think American politics is celebrity apprentice and looks upto Trump for inspiration.Cannot watch this clown anymore!
    Bring back Larry King from retirement

    October 25, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  25. Donkey Party

    Powell is the last of the sane Republicans. Proof that the GOP has gone so extreme to the right, Powell pretty much becomes a Democrat by default.

    October 25, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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