July 1st, 2008
05:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Powell meets with McCain and Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/01/art.powell.gi.jpg caption="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.

soundoff (212 Responses)
  1. Di

    Powell would have made a great president. There's something about his presence. He's a great American.

    July 1, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Coastal Paradise

    If you were on the ballot Mr. Powell you would have my vote for sure! I have read all your books, all the books about the beginning of the Iraq war and what happened to you was wrong!!!

    I pray that either candidate has you in their sight and hope they use some smarts and request your presence and your intellect. Please help us get out of Iraq safely and quickly!

    July 1, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Natalie

    Come on Powell! Campaign for Obama...you know you want to!

    Obama/Clinton '08

    July 1, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. bo

    hopefully powell asked obama why, as chairman of a senate committee that overseas afghanistan, has obama not held one single meeting? because he's all talk and no action and only took the job becaue he thought it'd look good on his resume.

    July 1, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. Independent man

    I think that it's great that Colin Powell met with both senators. Even though Colin is a republican, I feel that once he's had time reflect on both meetings, he will ultimately back Obama. Colin has the dignity to place the good of the nation above party concerns. That being said, Obama is the logical course for the nation. How great it would be for the country to have a Dem/Rep ticket in Obama/Powell! This would set a standard for bi-partisian politics that work.

    July 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. al




    July 1, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Why would they return the request. I am sure Mr. Powell said something mccain, did not like. So his campaign, will hope your request will go away. Clark and Web have already been interpreted wrong by the media and that is ok with mccain. But they will step into unchartered waters if they lie on Mr. Powell.

    July 1, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. Tam Tam

    It's great to see someone put the country above the political party. I think Powell is doing what many Americans need to do. LISTEN to and OBSERVE these candidates and then decide.

    July 1, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. aware

    Race or integrity?

    July 1, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Saad from NJ

    Why can't Powell be the VP for both of these candidates. That way, regardless of who wins, Powell will be the VP.

    There is no better candidate than him for the damage control for both, national and international state of affairs. National is very important because of the prosperity of the people and future generations. International is equally important because today we operate in a more global economy today than we ever have before. No one better than Powell for our well being.

    July 1, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. Grant in Canada

    Maybe Gen. Powell can be Sec. State again for President Obama and help remove the stain GWB put on both the General and your great nation.

    The world WANTS to be friends with the USA..........restore your dignity. You people have been so badly served recently.

    July 1, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Tony NC

    I would have like to see Gen Powell run for president. Or be chosen as a running mate. I believe he is a republican but would do much better with Obama.

    July 1, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Saad from NJ

    I know it's silly but why can't Powell be the VP for both candidates? He will be the Vice President regardless of who wins. He will make history. After all, he made history before by serving in an administration where Vice President and Secretary of Defense were devising evil strategy and Powell remained naïve to what the heck was going on. No other Secretary of State in our history has been that naïve and been taken for such a ride.

    Obama/Powell 08

    McCain/Powell 08


    July 1, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Brett

    Finally, a man to bring some sense to both of these morons.

    July 1, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. kijana carter

    Let's see, what horrible things will Refuglicans (not to mention spoiled brat sour grapes clintonites) make up about colin if he actually endorses obama.

    SECRET MUSLIM!!! SECRET MUSLIM!!! Black panther american hating MUSLIM!!!!!! Colin Bin Ladin Powell!!!

    Something like that, I'd guess.

    July 1, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  16. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    You know I think I could vote for a McCain/Powell ticket.

    Both are good men. Both have played leadership roles successfully.

    The other candidate is as green as the green Mountain. He needs some seasoning and I say, quickly.

    I would relish an obama/clark ticket. yeah, two girlies.

    July 1, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. Chut Pata

    As a conservative, I voted Bush in 2000 and that was the last time I voted a republican. I was totally outraged by the way Colin Powell was treated. He was a man of dignity and his honor was flushed down the toilet by the Bush administration by tricking him into lying in front of the entire world.

    Hiring that Con-dolisa did not make up for the treatment this honorable man got. He was a source of hope for black youth and offered to be a role model alternate to the stereo type role models in show business.

    Republicans were a fool to waste Powell. He would have been a symbol far stronger than Obama. I hope he is not considering any offer to run for VP. His dishonor is complete and there is no room for anymore.

    July 1, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. Teddy

    Powell's support is not that important. If Obama wins his support, great, but almost every Africa American supports him, it is not big deal. If he supports McCain, Democrats will say it is more evident McCain will be Bush the third term.

    Powell is too close to Bush and to the Iraq war. When he gave the great presentation to convince the world about Iraq's threat, he tied himself to the Iraq war. I think he really wants Iraq war to succeed from his heart even though he was not very energetic in supporting the invasion. I think he will not endorse either of them. He is a little bit disappointed in Bush and other neocons, but he might admire McCain personally. So he will remain neutral, at least in public. I also think Mike Bloomberg will remain neutral too.

    July 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. Phil, FL

    Mr. Powell

    I certainly hope you remember what Bush and Cheney put you through with their deceit.

    I hope you know, also, that McCain is a carbon copy of Bush.

    Don't fall for any more of the devious republican crap.


    July 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Obama / Powell – 2008; now THAT's a Dream Team

    July 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. Peter Pham

    Too bad that Mr. Powell is not a presidential candidate, he has both respected character and good judgments. Not the big mouths who claim to have. God bless you, Mr. Powell.

    July 1, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. Kalu Walter

    Its understandable why Powell may remain undecided for a little longer.This election proves a tough one between his idealism and root.He may solve this, by subtly endorsing McCain,since even if he endorses Obama,it may not make so much impact to his campaign.I believe,a Man should hold on strongly to his morals and ideals,no matter the cost.

    July 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Stephy

    It will be interesting to see which line in the sand he comes out on.

    July 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. Karl Clark

    I predict Powell will endorse Obama.

    July 1, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Bulldog

    When Powell backs Obama that will be a big SMACK in the face of the GOP and John McCon. I am looking forward to it. Powell knows personally how corrupt the Republican party and Bush administration have become. Maybe Obama will hire Powell to help with the war and spy crimes against the Bush administration and lock those dirtbags up.

    July 1, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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