January 9th, 2009
08:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Powell not looking for administration job

,
 Powell says he doesn't want a post in the Obama administration.
Powell says he doesn't want a post in the Obama administration.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters Friday that he enjoys his private life, and that he does not want a job with the incoming administration.

Powell, who crossed party lines weeks before the general election to endorse Obama, has said before that he is not interested in working for the soon-to-be president. Powell is currently an honorary co-chair of Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee.

“I am very happy in private life, thank you very much, and I'm trying to be as helpful as I can to the president-elect and the vice president-elect,” Powell told reporters Friday. “I look forward to assisting in anyway that I can, but I have not been offered a job, and I've kind of made it clear that I am not looking for a position.”

Powell also praised incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and called her “the most distinguished public servant.”

“I am a very close friend of hers, and I congratulate her selection and appointment as Secretary of State,” Powell said. “I think she'll do a very, very - a very, very fine job.”

Powell spoke at a Washington event Friday unveiling an Obama community service program and the web site USAservice.org, an online tool to publicize available service projects and connect volunteers with non-profit organizations.

December 11th, 2008
07:01 PM ET
6 years ago

Powell: GOP 'polarization' backfired in election

Powell says the GOP tried to use 'polarization for political advantage.'
Powell says the GOP tried to use 'polarization for political advantage.'

(CNN) - The Republican party must stop "shouting at the world" and start listening to minority groups if it is to win elections in the 21st century, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday.

In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria for Sunday's "GPS" program, President Bush's former secretary of state said his party's attempt "to use polarization for political advantage" backfired last month.

"I think the party has to take a hard look at itself," Powell said in the interview, which was taped Wednesday. "There is nothing wrong with being conservative. There is nothing wrong with having socially conservative views - I don't object to that. But if the party wants to have a future in this country, it has to face some realities. In another 20 years, the majority in this country will be the minority."

Powell, who crossed party lines and endorsed President-elect Barack Obama just weeks before the election, said the GOP must see what is in the "hearts and minds" of African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters "and not just try to influence them by... the principles and dogma."

"I think the party has to stop shouting at the world and at the country,"Powell said. "I think that the party has to take a hard look at itself, and I've talked to a number of leaders in recent weeks and they understand that." Powell, who says he still considers himself a Republican, said his party should also stop listening to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

"Can we continue to listen to Rush Limbaugh?" Powell asked. "Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?"

Zakaria's full interview with Powell will air Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on CNN.


Filed under: Colin Powell
October 20th, 2008
02:55 PM ET
6 years ago

Limbaugh defends comment about Powell

Limbaugh defended his comments about Powell Monday.
Limbaugh defended his comments about Powell Monday.

(CNN) - Conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh Monday strongly defended his recent remark that Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama largely because of race, and lashed out at members of the media and Democrats for appearing to take issue with his comment.

"So what if it's race?" Limbaugh said on his radio show. "Why is it so hard to admit that it's race...What's so problematic about admitting it?"

Limbaugh's original comments came in an email to Politico reporter Jonathan Martin Sunday, when the talk-radio host took issue with Powell's contention that his endorsement of the Illinois senator did not have anything to do with the color of his skin.

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," Limbaugh wrote in the e-mail. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."

The comments immediately caused a stir on several Democratic blogs and an Obama campaign spokeswoman called them "disgusting." They were also heavily reported on several news programs Sunday night and Monday morning. But Limbaugh made clear Monday he is not backing down from them.

"I thought it should be about race," he said. "I thought you liberals thought this was a historic candidacy because finally we are going to elect a black guy...why hide behind this, why act like it's not about race?"

"This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare," Limbaugh added. The talk radio host also criticized members of the media for not addressing his claim that Powell likely hasn't endorsed white candidates who, according to Limbaugh, have similar political leanings and experience as Obama.

FULL POST

October 17th, 2008
12:44 PM ET
6 years ago

Powell ready to endorse?

 Colin Powell might finally announce which candidate he supports on NBC's Meet the Press this weekend.
Colin Powell might finally announce which candidate he supports on NBC's Meet the Press this weekend.

(CNN) – Is Colin Powell set to make a long-anticipated endorsement?

The former Secretary of State under President Bush, who has been coy about who he will support this November, will appear on NBC's Meet the Press this weekend, the network has announced.

Rumors have long swirled that Powell, the first African-American Secretary of State, is leaning toward backing Obama.

NBC is staying mum on what Powell will say: "[He] will break his recent silence and share his views on a variety of important issues," the network said.

A source close to Powell wouldn't say if an endorsement would come Sunday.

"Stay tuned," the source said.

Powell suggested last month he had yet to make up his mind.

The election of an African-American president “would be electrifying,” Powell told a George Washington University audience, “but at the same time [I have to] make a judgment here on which would be best for America.

Watch: Powell: I'm undecided

“I have been watching both individuals, I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I am going to vote for. And I'm interested to see what the debates are going to be like because we have to get off of this ‘lipstick on a pig’ stuff and get into issues,” he said.


Filed under: Colin Powell
September 16th, 2008
03:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Asked about McCain's Georgia position, Powell urges caution

Five former Secretaries of State weighed in Monday.
Five former Secretaries of State weighed in Monday.

(CNN) - Five former Secretaries of State from both parties told CNN Monday the Bush administration’s hard-line approach on Iran needs to be abandoned by the next president – with one GOP foreign policy heavyweight calling the current White House position “ridiculous.”

"I would advise the president to fully engage with Syria," former George H.W. Bush Secretary of State James Baker said at a George Washington University forum co-sponsored by CNN. “I think it's ridiculous for us to say we're not going to talk to Syria, and yet the Israelis have been negotiating peace with them for the last six or eight months.”

Watch Colin Powell on the presidential race

(Powell's full comments will air on “The Next President: A World of Challenges” this Saturday night at 9pm ET and again Sunday at 2pm ET.)

Baker, who has endorsed John McCain’s presidential bid, appeared with former Clinton Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Warren Christopher, Henry Kissinger, who served under Nixon and Ford, and former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell. Albright has been an active supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

FULL POST

September 16th, 2008
06:07 AM ET
6 years ago

Powell still undecided, says Obama win would be 'electrifying'

Powell, a Republican, has said he may not back the GOP pick this cycle.
Powell, a Republican, has said he may not back the GOP pick this cycle.

(CNN) - Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that he has not yet decided which candidate to back in this year’s presidential race.

The election of an African-American president “would be electrifying,” Powell told a George Washington University audience, “but at the same time [I have to] make a judgment here on which would be best for America.

“I have been watching both individuals, I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I am going to vote for. And I'm interested to see what the debates are going to be like because we have to get off of this ‘lipstick on a pig’ stuff and get into issues,” he said.

Powell's full comments will air on “The Next President: A World of Challenges” this Saturday night at 9pm ET and again Sunday at 2pm ET.

Last month, as the retired general’s office denied a report that he had decided to publicly back Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, several sources told CNN’s John King that Powell was still undecided. “As always, he is holding his cards close and waiting for more information," one adviser close to Powell told CNN’s John King.

Earlier this year, Powell told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was weighing an endorsement of a Democrat or independent candidate. “I am keeping my options open at the moment,” said Powell.

FULL POST

September 15th, 2008
08:11 PM ET
6 years ago

Powell still undecided, says Obama win would be 'electrifying'

Powell, a Republican, has said he may not back the GOP pick this cycle.
Powell, a Republican, has said he may not back the GOP pick this cycle.

(CNN) - Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that he has not yet decided which candidate to back in this year’s presidential race.

The election of an African-American president “would be electrifying,” Powell told a George Washington University audience, “but at the same time [I have to] make a judgment here on which would be best for America.

“I have been watching both individuals, I know them both extremely well, and I have not decided who I am going to vote for. And I'm interested to see what the debates are going to be like because we have to get off of this ‘lipstick on a pig’ stuff and get into issues,” he said.

Powell's full comments will air on “The Next President: A World of Challenges” this Saturday night at 9pm ET and again Sunday at 2pm ET.

Last month, as the retired general’s office denied a report that he had decided to publicly back Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention, several sources told CNN’s John King that Powell was still undecided. “As always, he is holding his cards close and waiting for more information," one adviser close to Powell told CNN’s John King.

Earlier this year, Powell told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was weighing an endorsement of a Democrat or independent candidate. “I am keeping my options open at the moment,” said Powell.

FULL POST


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Colin Powell • Extra • John McCain
August 13th, 2008
06:26 PM ET
6 years ago

Colin Powell adviser: He has not yet made his pick

Powell, a Republican, has said he may not back the GOP pick this cycle.
Powell, a Republican, has said he may not back the GOP pick this cycle.

(CNN) – Colin Powell’s office denied a FOX report by commentator Bill Kristol Wednesday that the retired general had decided to publicly back Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.

Several sources told CNN the former Bush Secretary of State has not yet made a decision about a possible endorsement. “As always, he is holding his cards close and waiting for more information," one adviser close to Powell told CNN’s John King.

Powell himself brushed off queries on any potential presidential nod, but told ABC News Wednesday afternoon that he would not be going to Denver. "I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol's musings,” he said. “I am not going to the convention. I have made this clear."

In February, Powell told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he was weighing an endorsement of a Democrat or Independent candidate. “I am keeping my options open at the moment,” said Powell.

FULL POST


Filed under: Colin Powell
July 1st, 2008
05:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Powell meets with McCain and Obama

Powell recently sat down with both presidential candidates.
Powell recently sat down with both presidential candidates.

(CNN) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who remains a popular figure among Democrats and Republicans, recently sat down with both presidential candidates, CNN has confirmed.

The Hotline first reported the meeting earlier Tuesday.

According to an associate of Powell, the former Bush administration member and onetime chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had "pleasant, private conversations" recently with both Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain. An Obama campaign source confirms the Illinois senator recently met with Powell. McCain's campaign has not returned a request for comment.

Watch: Powell says he's undecided

Powell has long praised Obama's candidacy and he told reporters recently in Vancouver he "would listen carefully to what both [candidates] have to say" before deciding whom to support.

February 9th, 2008
09:45 AM ET
6 years ago

Colin Powell may support Democrat or Independent in ‘08

CNN

Watch Colin Powell discuss the presidential race.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican who served under President Bush, said Friday he may not back the GOP presidential nominee in November, telling CNN that “I am keeping my options open at the moment.”

“I have voted for members of both parties in the course of my adult life,” Powell, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “And as I said earlier, I will vote for the candidate I think can do the best job for America, whether that candidate is a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent.”

Powell also offered praise for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, calling him an “exciting person on the political stage.

“He has energized a lot of people in America,” said Powell, who briefly weighed his own run for the White House in the mid-1990s. “He has energized a lot of people around the world. And so I think he is worth listening to and seeing what he stands for.”

Powell, who has largely steered clear of politics since leaving the administration in 2004, noted that the next president will need to work to restore America’s standing in the world.

“I will ultimately vote for the person I believe brings to the American people the kind of vision the American people want to see for the next four years,” he said. “A vision that reaches out to the rest of the world, that starts to restore confidence in America, that starts to restore favorable ratings to America. Frankly, we've lost a lot in recent years.”

Programming note: Tune in for the full interview with Colin Powell on “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer,” airing this Sunday, 11-1 PM, ET.

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