(CNN) - President Barack Obama on Friday rejected the suggestion of a top surrogate for Mitt Romney that race may have been behind former Secretary of State Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama, saying that scenario "doesn't make much sense."
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a top surrogate for the GOP presidential nominee, made the suggestion during a Thursday appearance on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."
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"When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to look at whether that's an endorsement based on issues or he's got a slightly different reason for endorsing President Obama," Sununu said.
When pressed to explain further, Sununu added: "I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."
In his Friday interview on the syndicated radio program "The Michael Smerconish Show," Obama said that he would let Powell's endorsement and positive assessment of Obama's economic policies "stand for themselves."
"I don't think that there are many people in America who would question General Powell's credibility, his patriotism, his willingness to tell it straight," Obama said. "So any suggestion that General Powell would make such a profound statement in such an important election based on anything [other] than what he thought was what's going to be best for America, I think, doesn't make much sense."
In his Thursday endorsement, Powell specifically cited Obama's economic policies and questioned how Romney would handle taxes and foreign policy.
Under Obama's economic leadership, he said, "Generally, we've come out of the dive and we're starting to gain altitude."
Sununu later issued a statement calling Powell "a friend."
"I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president's policies," the statement said.
– CNN's Kevin Liptak and Ashley Killough contributed to this report