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. Jan Illinois

    Mr. Powell could care less who you support. I'd like to know where you went after your speech about Wmd. I know for positive that you were not out ON THE WHITE HOUSE STEPS, screaming the TRUTH about what you did know. I know for sure that over 4 thousands lives of our soldiers are lost and Im absolutely positive of who you support the most. That would be YOURSELF.

    July 1, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. Taa Taa

    I LOVE YOU SENATOR OBAMA... MAY GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU. Please don't pick Hillary as your running mate.. PLEASE don't do it...

    July 1, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  3. Donkey Party

    An Obama / Powell pairing would indeed be the 'Dream Ticket', all we'd have to worry about is KY and WV seceding from the Union. But then again, not a great loss... Just kidding, mountain folk! Cheer up, America likes you, we just don't like some of your poor, backward decisions.

    July 1, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. tigerakabj

    Come on over Powell. We all know you wanna join the winning Obama team. Besides, you don't want to be tagged a Republican when Obama initiates Nuremburg trials round 2 on these war criminals.

    July 1, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. Charles

    Obama doesn need Powell's endorsement. Powell is tainted and has accepted dirty money for remaining silent on crimes committed while he was in the Bush administration. 10 million reasons to keep quite and Powell has allowed his career to be tarnished by this administration. This is the biggest political corruption story in the history of this country and Powell is just one of a long list former Bush officials involved!

    July 1, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  6. georgia

    Come on Veep !!!!
    You allowed the BUSH-wackers to dissuade you on what should & could have been your ticket in 2004. The country needs your leadership even more now along w/ Obama's !!!!

    July 1, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. Andrew

    He's probably going to endorse McCain in the end, in fact he's more likely to do so than not. He's a moderate Republican, like McCain, after all. He could pull a complete U-turn and end up endorsing the most liberal senator in the U.S senate, as ranked by the non-partisan National Journal.

    July 1, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. Old Artillery Man

    Does Obama really want someone who used Bush’s lies to sell the war to us and to the UN as his vice-president? I cannot think of a quicker way to lose my vote than that. In addition, as for Powell, he is the ultimate to get along, go along man.

    July 1, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Julie-Sioux City, IA

    Don't jump the gun here. Colin Powell hasn't endorsed anyone yet. But he's a gentleman who took the high road with the Bush administration after the debunkle with the U.N. and Iraq. Whoever he endorses (and I'm praying it's Senator Obama) I think American's will respect, appreciate and take his words to heart.

    July 1, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    Mr. Powell would be a great VP choice for Senator Obama, but probably won't be asked and if asked would not accept it. I believe that he will eventually endorse Senator Obama and if not endorse him most certainly will vote for him. McCain is McBush and I think Mr. Powell had enough of them.

    July 1, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  11. PaulC

    Colin Powell does not have my respect.
    He marched right along like a good soldier know full well that what he was saying was a lie but he had to think of his career.
    Don't ever put him in a position where he has to sell his country down the drain or lose his position. The position will win every time.

    July 1, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Fast Eddie Obama

    Black Congressman James E. Clyburn from South Carolina said: he was undecided and neutral.

    We knew from day one, he was for Obama.

    Colin Powell is also black who also endorsed Bush/Chenney/Powell/Rumsfeld Iraq War.

    Who do you think he will support when time comes?

    Small Hint: His wife supports Obama now.

    July 1, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. Geneva Hill


    July 1, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    I'd take them in any order – Obama/Powell OR Powell/Obama! 🙂

    July 1, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. Scott L

    If Powell backs Obama it is only because of race. Otherwise why would he? He is a Republican who served a Republican President. That would be like saying Condi Rice would be Obama's VP. Is that what Democrats want? They spent so many years bashing Condi, you just simply change your minds?

    Powell lost all credibility with the world when he was up at the UN holding up that vial of powder talking about WMD. Unfortunately that was his defining moment and it was bad one. I personally love Powell and would love to see him by McCain's side, but he would have too much baggage from Bush.

    July 1, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. Chut Pata

    Fool Powell once, shame on Bush

    Fool Powell twice, shame on McBush

    Stay away from those who used you like a toilet paper and disposed off like one.

    Obama '08, Powell as National Security Advisor

    July 1, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  17. William, from Cali!

    If I was planning, to fight a War; I would want Colin Powell "in my Camp". He knows War, and how to best fight it. I was stationed in West Germany, in 1968-1970, when he was "running things"; I would listen to his advice, if nothing else......................................Russia, was still a threat then......................................."Change, is the only constant"; remember that!

    July 1, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)


    Sad, but that's true. There are some REALLY ignorant people out here.

    July 1, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. Brian from Cincinnati

    I just wish Powell would have run for the Republican nomination. If we can't have him as President, I would love to see him as McCain's VP. He is one of the greatest military minds living.

    Of course Gen. Clark would probably even question Powell's military record if that is what Sen. Obama wanted.

    Vote McCain!!!

    July 1, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. Debby

    I like Colin Powell but its obvious whom he will endorse.

    July 1, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. OH

    Speculation is a beast and you'll never see Powell as VP that would make middle America mad as hell.

    Obama has 1/5 chance of getting a few votes some places in America; just imagine both on the same ticket.

    I agree as an adviser or some security office but not VP. It will take another 20 years or more before that kind of history is made.

    Look at the polls, if Obama was white he would be 40 points ahead by now and he'll have to figth tooth and nail to win in November. He has my support 100% either way!

    July 1, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. Doyle - MI

    Powell would make a great VP on anyone's ticket. A serious step-up for America.

    July 1, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  23. Gene

    First off.. Biff... You d' Man! I totally agree with your comment.

    Now.. to the issue at hand... I think Powell's endorsement can possibly be a make or break for either candidate. Powell is one of the most respected military and cabinet members that I can remember in my entire lifetime.

    I don't know if America is ready for an "all black" candidacy... as it is there's already so much hate out there for Obama. At least you can't say anything about Powell... his record is impeccable. But as much respect as this man has... his vote could very well be the deciding vote for the future of this country.

    Personally I would vote for Obama/Powell in a heartbeat.. without a second thought. Plus.. he would bring huge amounts of republicans into Obama's corner... but I'm afraid that the racist factor would REALLY come out if they ran together. But I would put Powell high in the cabinet in a second.

    July 1, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  24. craig

    Please! Two blacks on a ticket. What ever!

    July 1, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Tim from Ohio

    Of course Powell is going to support Obama because they are both black. Come on people. You're smarter than that. Powell is trying to trick everyone in thinking he would consider voting for McCain but in all reality he already knows he will vote for Obama. Obama has garnished over 90 percent of the vote from black people.

    July 1, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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