Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday endorsed President Barack Obama for reelection. “I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012,” Powell said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “I’ll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.”
One of the most coveted endorsements remaining in the 2012 presidential race, Powell, a Republican, said Obama inherited a horrendous economy and has begun to turn it around. “I think, generally, we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude,” said Powell, who served as George W. Bush’s secretary of state. “It doesn’t mean all our problems are solved.” Powell also took issue with some of GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s foreign policy positions, calling Romney’s stances a “moving target.”
COLIN POWELL: 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 Governor 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. So I’m not quite sure which Governor Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy.
NORAH O’DONNELL: What concerns do you have about Governor Romney’s foreign policy?
POWELL: Well, it’s hard to fix it. I mean, 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, which I’ve expressed previously in a public way, 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 to modify as he goes along.
CHARLIE ROSE: Are you concerned about the people that are advising Governor Romney?
POWELL: I think there’s some very, very strong neo-conservative views that are presented by the Governor that I have some trouble with. There are other issues as well, not just the economy and foreign policy. I’m more comfortable with President Obama and his administration when it comes to issues like what are we going to do about climate, what are we going to do about immigration? What are we going to do about education? Lots of things like that. I do not want to see the new Obamacare plan thrown off the table. It has issues, you have to fix some things in that plan. But what I see when I look at that plan is 30 million of our fellow citizens will now be covered by insurance. And I think that’s good. We’re one of the few nations in the world, with our size, population and wealth, that does not have universal health care.”