(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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General Powell is a man of true integrity and he puts country before party every time. Thank You General Powell.
An American hero endorses Obama: Gen. Powell. An American clown endorses Romney: Donald Trump.
The Gen. is right: Mitt represents the same old Republican polices that caused 9 million Americans to lose their jobs...and nearly took Am. into another depression.
Obama, with little help from the GOP House, help create 5.2 million American jobs, saved the US Auto industry and brought the US economy back from negative growth to positive growth. Gen. Powell knows real leadership when sees it.
God Bless America!
American voters will want to read this endorsement
Obama has restored the USA Economy to the pre-Great Recession Level ! These
numbers have been meticulously compiled for BIG BUSINESS. The USA economy was
plummeting down as of 2007 in Bush's Presidency. The Republicans left the USA
in a dangerous free-fall towards another Great Depression. President Obama has
restored the USA GDP (Gross Domestic Product) to the pre-Great Recession
levels. NOTICE the HUGE PLUNGE – and the HUGE UPSWING. [Source:
tradingeconomics]The United Kingdom's Economy was also affected by the banking crisis.
British Prime Minister David Cameron gets a pat on the back and a loud
"Job Well Done" !Yet, Republicans insult President Obama ?. . . Pick an explanation: is it "malarkey" ? Or RACSIM ? !
This should be headline news... I am tired of CNN being a mouthpiece for Rmoney! What is with all the negativity and hiding of Obama accomplishments? Even the pictures CNN uses to portray Obama a disrespectful... often they are pictures of his eyes shut!! Endorse RMONEY already CNN!