Colin Powell, the Secretary of State under Bush, has endorsed Barack Obama for President just like he did in 2008. Says former Republican presidential nominee John McCain: “Colin Powell, interestingly enough, said that Obama got us out of Iraq. But it was Colin Powell, with his testimony before the U.N. Security Council, that got us into Iraq.” McCain makes a good point: it was Powell’s famous speech to the U.N. Security Council in 2003 that got many people on board with the invasion. But wasn’t McCain one of the biggest supporters of the war in Iraq even before it started? The candidate Obama ran a much more peace-oriented campaign than did McCainÂ—the candidate who spoke like the biggest war-hawk of the 2008 political season.
Powell does not like Romney on the economy. He said, “As I listen to what his proposals are especially with respect to dealing with respect to 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.” Powell is overall very happy with Obama’s recovery of the last four years. “Generally we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude,” he said. “The unemployment rate is too high, people are still hurting in housing but I see that we’re starting to rise up.”
Powell’s endorsement of the President shouldn’t come as a surprise in a political landscape where differences are more rhetoric than substance. Since the candidates have no major differences on foreign policy, for instance, Powell likes Obama better because Romney seems to change his mind a lot. “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.” But this is not a real difference in foreign policy. Still, McCain called Obama’s foreign policy “the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime.”
McCain and other Republicans are upset about Powell’s endorsement and his claim to still be a Republican. But Powell can legitimately continue calling himself a Republican as long as Republicans more or less copy the Democrats’ policies and vice versa. “I think I’m a Republican of a more moderate mold,” he said before adding, “That’s something of a dying breed I’m sorry to say.” Free thinkers is the dying breed, and Powell is just part of the Republicrat political establishment, and so is John McCain.
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