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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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.

Also on the CNN Political Ticker

– McCain says Mourdock endorsement up in the air

– Obama: The 'other guy' is a 'bulls**ter'

– Romney beats back on 'horses and bayonets'

– Obama's Facebook warning


Filed under: 2012 • Colin Powell • President Obama
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Marty, FL

    Thank you to Colin Powell for the credible endorsement. Pres. Obama is the right choice to continue leading our country in a positive direction.

    God bless the USA

    October 25, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. 1twinsfan

    Thank you, General Powell! Those are all the reasons to vote for the President.

    October 25, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. Jimmy

    Powell is the man. Truly the last of dying breed of responsible, intelligent Republicans. How that party fell from Eisenhower, hell, even Nixon, to this, is the greatest shame in American politics.

    October 25, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Btea5503

    The man knows what he's talking about.

    October 25, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. scmom

    It's called "common sense" thats all it is, nothing more, nothing less.

    October 25, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. Anthony in California

    Yet another nail in the R&R coffin. But go ahead Republicans.. tell us how this means nothing. Tell us how Powell's endorsement is because Obama is black. Tell us how Powell's reputation has diminished because he was lied to, fooled, and cohered to go along with the Bush war for oil.
    As far as Im concerned, Colin would've been your dream ticket. Colin would've been the first black president if you guys knew how to play your cards right. But hey.. he's kinda black, so that makes him the wrong kinda Republican.

    But this Obama endorsement is is going to change a whole lot of "undecided" voters. Might even sway some of the Republicans who were voting holding their nose.

    Obama 2012

    October 25, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Ancient Texan

    Powell claims to have been a Republican and while I admire his lifetime accomplishments, I have doubts he was ever a Republican. But his choice is his choice, and he will possibly be on the losing side this time.

    October 25, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. enuff

    OHHHHH.... Karl Rove is gonna be ssoooo mad! Colin Powell is not falling into line... like with the Bush admin. Rove is probably using every fout letter word he can think of...

    October 25, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. michael

    Now, here is a credible repuglican that I trust, and believe! Even though the repuglican establishment will kick him under the bus, I respect this man highly! General Powell understands foreign policy and has an outstanding resume as Secretary of State! I would follow him and his advice before going with a known flip-flopper and liar! Romney could not hold this man's jockstrap or compare to him in any respectful or meaningful way! Obama/Biden 2012

    October 25, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Paul

    People listen what former security of state is saying. Do not be fooled by Mitt

    October 25, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. Phil

    Cheers to CBS This Morning for another worthless interview. Here we've got George W. Bush's former Secretary of State and a self-described "Republican," who says he's again voting for Obama, in part, because he's uncomfortable with some of Romney's plans. But CBS does nothing to determine what exactly Powell is concerned with. News flash CBS, journalists' jobs first and foremost is to get information. When you're interviewing a man of these credentials who will continue to vote for a liberal Democrat for President again, despite all of the changes and issues we've experienced, it's your damn job to find out why. Another "F" for CBS News.

    October 25, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Mark of Tennessee

    Now that's a smart man!! OBAMA 2012

    October 25, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  13. Carlos A Sanchez

    Absolutely right Mr Powell, not only we get out of WARS, but we didn't get involved in a new one. I think the Republicans are thinking only in their party but not in our country.

    October 25, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. ConsiderThis, FL

    Even a publicly proclaimed Republican knows and admits that Romeny would be a dangerous choice for POTUS. Enough said.

    October 25, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. dartanyon

    Finally some one with good sense!

    October 25, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Phil

    And I liked you too. Just lost respect for you

    October 25, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. NOTADEMOCRAT

    Understandable last time, a BIG disappointment this time..

    October 25, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. GailS

    Very smart man.

    October 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. Larry Grant

    A reasonable, accomplished and steady American hero endorses a reasonable, competent, and steady President Barack Obama. Reasonability is still a byproduct of good character, sacrifice and focus in a truely dedicated American soldier and in those that have Our Great Nation, the United States of America, at heart.

    Unfortunately, it is very true that moderate Republicans and moderate vision are all but gone from the Republican platform and party. This independet is saddened by that fact...

    October 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Republican supporter of President Obama

    Very happy to see someone else from the GOP making sense. Way to go! The Repulbicans supporting our president are a silent minority but could become a signifiant demographic during the election and the next 4 years.

    October 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. NYC REPUB

    Geez....dial 911, the smoking gun next to the Tea-publican corpse, is a warning to the entire party. Moderate some of your views, or get left behind. Obama '12, & yes we are far better off than 4 yrs. ago.

    October 25, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Ron Anderson

    Great man!

    October 25, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. Ramana7

    Always had the utmost respect for Powell. Would be a great president himself. A GOP many democrats would vote for.

    October 25, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. John

    I don't think Mitt Romney is worried – he has Sarah Palin and Clint Eastwood in his camp.

    October 25, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. NameDon Gibbs

    Thanks General Powell.Wondeful Commentary.

    October 25, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6