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. Name. louise people

    The country needs ObAMA leadership.

    October 25, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Namevinetta mullins roark

    Now this is something to consider

    October 25, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Natalie

    Thank you, Former Secretary of State! And yes, my own father says the same thing, a moderate Republican is a dying breed. This is great news for Obama!

    October 25, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Marty, FL

    Romney showed he is not ready for foreign policy, sweating in the debate to cover-up his neocon positions that cause so many problems.

    Republican for Obama 2012

    October 25, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Kemboi philemon

    Thats sober judgement from a man of Powels stature.
    Simply a correct tick in the correct place.
    I can see President being re-elected.

    October 25, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Al

    One half breed backing another. Don't take this the wrong way, Powell was a great General, as a matter of fact Powell and Storming Norman were great in the first Gulf war. But then after Powell retired he turned his back and went on to pour his voice to a person that has been proven to have ties to the same type of people that as a General he was fighting. I guess that it was just half the story when he was a General that he did.

    October 25, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. CarolinaGirl

    Powell is a moderate and sees how his party has changed back to the McCarthyism (sic) era. How sad a party must cow down to a base that is full of selfish hypocrites. I bet Linclon is rolling in his grave. It is sad, sad sad for the Republican Party.
    You are supporting the right man Mr. Powell!

    October 25, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. NameDovey

    I do agree 100% with Colin Powell in what President Obama stands for and what he has done this far with this country. It would be even better if more people in this country had simular views as President Obama, it will proberly lead us to a better tomorrow..

    October 25, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. T

    Someone that can see beyond Romney schemes. Cant believe americans are being punked by Romney, a man with no plans, tons of lies and gaffles has made it so far in the race and can even be president. Wait until 2016, we will be flooded with other clowns candidates

    October 25, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. To the undecided..

    We need more Reagan Republicans. The extremists/neo-conservatives are far too extreme. Just like Mourdock and Akin. Republicans used to be about conservation. In fact, I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who started the National Parks system to conserve nature.

    October 25, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. michelle mcnair

    This man is amazing! I'm a democrat and I would vote for Colin Powell!!! He gets it! I wish other republican would get the big picture! Where are the Ron Reagans?? =( Republicans with common sense are extinct. So sad!

    October 25, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  12. michaelw777

    I would love to see him as Sec of State again, replacing Hillary who's stepping down. Like him, I'm a moderate Republican, and the choices he mentioned as to why he likes Obama are the same for me. He has the courage of his convictions, unlike the current GOP choice for President. Too bad the GOP couldn't field someone with more of a backbone.

    October 25, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. T'sah From Virginia

    ►"I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012," ◄
    So am I Mr. Powell and the thought that Romney would win needs to go BACK ON THE SHELVES!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward and Powell and the majority of Americans got it right in 2008 and they will get it right again in 2012!!! Yes We Can!

    October 25, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Name;Pamela Pounders

    I really don't think Obama is doing what is right! Because he is taking our jobs an sending them overseas. Our family is hugery for food. This chip shoul not happen, that moral wrong. He does not habe my vote period.

    October 25, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. thedude

    it's pretty easy to see why this is happening again. a black man voting for a black man. it's quite obvious, and there is always some other reason given, but powell has been a staunch conservative his whole life until 2008. Also coming in to play, he felt he was made a scape goat out of by the republican party, bush and cheney to be exact, during the WMD scenario and perhaps caught some grief about being the token black guy in the bush administration as well from family and friends. honestly, i can't say I blame him for voting for obama, but saying it's due to foreign policy stance is ridiculous.

    October 25, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. michaelw777

    I would love to see him as Sec of State again. A man with the courage of his convictions. We desperately need more moderates like him.

    October 25, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  17. suedatajo

    Look at this How united these people are!!. We have to learn to be like them, no matter what party you are blood is thicker than water. Water quenches the thirst .Blood stick to the attachments. Why don’t some people get it?

    October 25, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. william c. Belk

    Powell recognizes how 'Hawkish' the GOP is on foreign policy....

    October 25, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. iab

    Mr. Powell has been on the INSIDE, served in the Bush circle. I respect his opinion, back him up b/c he is truly interested in rebuilding America, better education, roads, bridges, schools etc.. We need to invent, create, invest in research and development.. This has 2b done in order to compete on the world stage. American can no longer rule the world like these old men over 50 in the house and senate want to do. Too many of our young men and women have been killed trying to help other nations have the right to pick their leaders. I feel we are the laughing stock of the world b/c the GOP is trying to suppress ours.

    I bet Mr. Powell is aware of this and is ashamed of his party.

    October 25, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    iI've been waiting for this. Thank you Gen. Powell.

    October 25, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  21. v_mag

    Powell is an old-time Republican. The kind that used to be around before Gingrich and the neo-cons came in and messed up the federal government. He knows that we can't stay divided and move forward. Meanwhile, Rob-money has done nothing but pander to the teabagger fringe, until lately, when he's flipped back toward the middle.

    October 25, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  22. Cherry Stevens

    Glad to know there are some sensible Republicans left in the our great country!!

    OBAMA2012!!!! To the finish!!! #VOTE

    October 25, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Four and The Door

    "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."
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Exactly. But the only leadership Obama has brought has been strict partisan politics, the root of many of our current problems in Washington. We need a President for all of the people who can look beyond a political agenda. We need an Administration to do the work of a nation instead of the work of politics. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    October 25, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. WB

    I wish this guy would have run for president. He's really wise, and a good leader of men.

    October 25, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. Justice

    If Obama was white Romney would be winning in a landslide. The public would be revolting against Obama ..

    October 25, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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