On Thursday, President Barack Obama received an endorsement for a second term in the White House by former Secretary of State Colin Powell. “You know, I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I’ll be voting for he and Vice President Joe Biden next month,” he said on CBS’ “This Morning.” When Powell was asked if his comments were an endorsement, he responded with, “Yes.” Powell lauded the president for how he has dealt with the economy and the Iraq War, saying, “I think we ought to keep on the track we are on.”
The former Secretary of State said that he respects Mitt Romney but had some criticisms of his tax plan. “One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Gov. Romney agreed with the president with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign.”
Powell, who served for President George W. Bush during his first term, backed Obama in 2008 as well. Powell received a thank you call from the president Thursday morning after learning of his endorsement, according to Jen Psaki, the Obama campaign traveling press secretary. She did not mention if the two would make any joint appearances in the coming days prior to the election.
Not long after Powell endorsed the president, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized his fellow Republican for the endorsement on “Kilmeade & Friends” on Fox News Radio Thursday.
“Well, I’m just saddened because, you know, I used to be a great admirer of Colin Powell. We were friends. I think one of the sad aspects of his career is going to the United Nations Security Council and telling them things about Iraq that were absolutely false,” he said.
“Obviously, my view of the situation in Iraq is we’re losing,” he continued. “We’re losing what we won thanks to the surge. Al Qaeda is doubled. There’s training camps in Western Iraq. In Afghanistan, all we do is say we’re leaving. Al Qaeda is on the comeback all over northern Africa. They’ve taken over parts of Mali. All I can say is that Gen. Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what has clearly been the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime.”