(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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Thank you General! Now try to sway some of the moderates in your party to reclaim the party! It will be a true service to your country. And if you decide in the future to run for office, your common sense and intelligence will make you a viable candidate!
One smart man is offset by the multitude of less knowledgable people who buy the latest sound bites paid for by the well-oiled machine of the 1% who defend their greed at any and all costs. C'est la vie!
I am glad you support Obama. Maybe citizens seeing someone they respect will vote for out president instead of a liar who insults our alies and doesn't have a clue in foreign affairs
Thanks General Powell. He always presents his position in a clear, concise way. Obviously he has trust issues with Gov. Romney as do millions of Americans. Romney is a "Boss" by trade. Someone who can lead a corporation. He is not prepared to be the Leader of the Free World nor is he ready to be Commander in Chief.
It is clear to all that is being truthful and paying attention that Gov. Romney has no real plan and will just be a GOP puppet.
How rich! He doesn't give specifics on the foreign policy criticisms. And faults congress on deficit,not the Pres and then says it will take pres leadership. Huh?
Thank you Mr. Powell
Interesting doesn't give specifics. And blames congress, not the Pres and then says it will take Pres leadership. Huh??!!
Bravo, General Powell.
I agree everything he's saying. In fact,this is what I believe in from the very beginning.
If the voters starts educating themselves, it's a no brainer who is the best person to lead us in the next 4yrs.
When Goldwater and Johnson were running the big lie was if Goldwater got elected he would start World War 3. So what happened? Johnson was elected and he started the shooting war in Veitnam. I rest my case.The problem is jobs. Obama has one plan. Soak the so-called rich. If you want the counry to really move forward Elect Romney.
Smart man !
He knows Romney is the same as GW Bush , only worse.
I have great respect for Gen. Powell. I first saw the calm and professional way he managed the first war on Iraq, as Chariman of the Joint Chiefs, and subsequently as Secretary of State, representing American diplomacy to the world.
This man has served the nation for 5 decades.
I'll take his word over Donald Trump, anyday.
Time for Powell to stop being a token minority in the GOP/Tea Party and become a Democrat. Moderates in the GOP/Tea Party are an extinct species. They have all been purged by extremist purists.
I agree with Colonel Colin Powell said....there are a lot of moderates in BOTH parties that are being pushed out of the way for the extremists in both. If only we had a viable third party. I am proud to say that I am endorsing President Obama for a second term. He has accomplished a lot even with the opposition of the Republicans in Congress.
Let the screaming from the Righties begin......they loved him until he demonstrated he has a mind of his own, which they can't stand.
Very well said, Mr. Powell.
Great!! I've been very anxious to hear from him. He is the only Republican I have an ounce of respect for. He is the epitome of integrity and character-certainly not like any far right dumbos. Sorry I missed seeing him this a.m.
Your are right Gen Powell, I do not trust the people around Romney, if God forbid Romney get elected he will attack Iran , wake up America listen to Republican who are in the middle not like Romney who are far left with tea party people.
I whole heartedly agree with former Secretary of State Collin Powell. We have come too far, made too many headways to just give it up. Too many innocent Americans will suffered if do. THANKS MR. POWELL.
Mr. Powell represents the sort of steady, sensible Republican the GOP must run if it ever wants to win elections (honestly that is, on ideas and philosophies, not voter supression, lies and tricks).
I have had a high opinion of Colin Powell, read his book, and admired his journey to greatness. His choice to back Obama in the last election was understandable. What I cannot fathom is his backing Obama in this election. Obama and his administration consistently lie to the American people. He has a less than stellar record to run on, and yet Colin Powell is still backing him. I am assuming that Powell reads at least as much news as I read on a daily basis. I check left and right sources and it is astounding how deceitful and derisive this administration behaves. Maybe Colin knows something the rest of us don't know, but he has certainly fallen from the respectful position I held him in–not that he'll miss that.
Obviously a very intelligent man with years of experience in politics, one who sees both side of the political side and credit the administration for what It's done successfully instead of .
Colin Powell is a true statesman and someone who is worthy of great respect from Americans. His opinion carries weight with me!
Thank you Mr Secretary. I am proud to have you support our president who has done a very good job to get us out of the nose dive this country was in. I am appalled by Congress behavior. Never in our history have they not tried to work on any issue with our President!!. Paul and I send our love to you and Alma.