Thursday, October 25, 2012

Colin Powell Endorses President Obama


Colin Powell endorsed the President - for the second time - and shared some concerns about Mitt Romney's foreign policy flip-flops.

Charlie Rose: Will you endorse President Obama this race?

Colin Powell: Well, 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 for Vice President Joe Biden next month.

Rose: That's an endorsement for President Obama for re-election?
Powell: When he took over the country was in very, very difficult straits, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos. We had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment would peak a few months later at 10%. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing. The housing industry was starting to collapse, and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it's starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising. So I think generally we've come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude. It doesn't mean we are... problem solved, there are lots of problems still out there. The unemployment rate is too high. People are still hurting in housing. But I see that we are starting to rise up.

I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he's taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. And so I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on.

With respect to Governor Romney, I have the utmost respect to him but as I listen to what his proposals are especially with respect to dealing with our most significant issue, the economy, it's essentially let's cut taxes and compensate for that with other things. But that compensation does not cover all of the cuts intended or the new expenses associated with defense.

Charlie Rose: Have you talked to Gov. Romney about this? Did you to give him an early notice that you planned to endorse the President again?

Colin Powell: No, I didn't give anyone early notice. I have spoken to Gov. Romney. We had a very good conversation a few weeks back.

Norah O'Donnell: Did he ask you for an endorsement of him back then?

Colin Powell: No.

Norah: And have you spoken with President Obama?

Colin Powell: I speak to the President on a regular basis. And he didn't ask either. This is my decision based on my looking at it as a citizen. I think this is an exciting race between two very very capable men, and I signed on for a long patrol with President Obama, and I don't think this is the time to make such a sudden change. And not only am I not comfortable with what Gov. Romney is proposing for his economic plan, I have concerns about his views on foreign policy.

The governor who was speaking on Monday night at the debate was saying things that were quite different from what he said earlier. I'm not quite sure which Gov. Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy.

Norah: What concerns do you have about Mitt Romney's foreign policy?

Colin Powell: Well, it's hard to fix it. It's a moving target. 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 almost every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Governor 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. And my concern ... is that sometimes I don't sense that he has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have. And he gets advice from his campaign staff that he then has to adjust or modify as he goes along.

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