January 21st, 2009
02:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Powell names Obama's 'No. 1 problem'


Watch Obama discuss his Pennsylvania primary loss on CNN Radio Wednesday.

(CNN) - The 300-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Tuesday reinforced just how dire an economic environment President Obama faces, Colin Powell told CNN.

In an interview with American Morning Wednesday, the former Secretary of State under President Bush who endorsed Obama's White House bid earlier this fall, said the economy was the new president's "No. 1 problem."

"The American people I think fundamentally bet on President Obama because of the economic situation we are in," Powell said. "The stock market dropped another 300 points on this glorious Inauguration Day and people are losing jobs, and that will be No. 1 for him."

Powell, who was also Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security Advisor under President George H.W. Bush, reiterated that he has never held political ambitions of his own, and that his wife was not happy with the idea of political life - both reasons he cited for avoiding a presidential run against then-President Bill Clinton in 1996, despite the urging of many leading Republicans.

"I'm a soldier. I never found inside of me the kind of internal passion that you got to have to run for elected office," he said.

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soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. RealityKing

    While America's new number one problem is Obama's tax and spend liberal ideals..

    January 21, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Nicholas

    Poor choice of words for a title, me thinks.

    January 21, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Obama for life

    I don't know what you're reffering at, "realityking", but think you're terribly wrong in your statement because America's number one problem is you people who won't get a rest, accept the reality without thinking that you are a king and try to help things out.
    It's time to work and earn your money fairly and don't have to pay excess because of the lobbiest-fees.

    January 21, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. LisaR_Dallas, TX

    Tsk. Tsk. RealityKing. It's a new day, you should try to come up with new pot-shots. That one is really stale.

    Day 1 – Obama freezes staff salaries over $100k

    January 21, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. You're kidding, right???

    Powell says people are losing jobs, but Obama has no problem spending a record-shattering $150 million on his self-coronation. What a hyprocrite.

    January 21, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. mike

    Americas no. 1 problem are people who sell out their integrity like Powell did. He is like David Gergen. He is a "RINO". Republican in name only.

    January 21, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Alfred E. Nueman

    Wrong Realityking, tax and spend liberals may be our best hope if history is any indicator. Ronald Reagan-Fiscal Conservative left office with a $200 billion deficit, George Bush I – Fiscal Conservative, left office with a $300 billion deficit, Bill Clinton – Tax and Spend Liberal left office with a $200 billion SURPLUS, George W. Bush – Fiscal Conservative left office with a $482 billion deficit. By the looks of things the last thing we want in office would be another "Fiscal Conservative".

    January 21, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Roger Francis

    RealityKing probably loves the cut taxes and splurge like a cokehead policies which brought us failure, recession and a record high deficit. Cut taxes and spend more conservative idiocy got us here, but who is counting?

    January 21, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. End Imperialism

    The reason the economy is in the toilet is we have sent a trillion dollars to Iraq for an unjustified war and we send billions a year to the middle east for oil. All that money leaving the country means less jobs, a lower standard of living and less US citizens who can afford a mortgage. Ending the war and taxing gasoline and the gas guzzling SUVs and trucks that use most of it would end the mortgage crisis in a matter of weeks.

    January 21, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. ginger

    @Obama for life, well said.

    What's up with all these haters? Oh well, I guess some folk can't appreciate a brilliant, confident, hard-working President.

    January 21, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. J.L.

    @RealityKing: Yeah, the no-regulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, trickle-down economics ideals of the Republican Bush Administration really did us lotsa good....

    January 21, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. shannon

    What's up with Powell, is he trying to make the public forget he lied us into a war. He isn't relevant and should be worried about the illegal war he lied us into.

    January 21, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Sonny

    Powell your a traitor and a clown.

    January 21, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. CA Indie for Obama


    Powell got all his information from bush...if he lied, bush lied, too.

    January 21, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. peeking

    That's not very nice of Gen.Powell to discuss the presidents alleged No.1 problem.Maybe he should have his prostate checked.

    January 21, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. Colin Can't be Trusted

    Obama is a back-stabber. John McCain can tell you all about that.

    January 21, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. PJP

    Hey Powell, go and sit in a corner somewhere!

    January 21, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Jay OH

    @RealityKing....the #one problem did not move to Texas with Bush ...it is the economy STUPID

    January 21, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |