powell endorses obama
(Reuters) - Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday endorsed Barack Obama's bid for re-election, citing the Democratic president's efforts to wind down the war in Afghanistan and tackle terrorism as well as an improving U.S. economy.
"I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on," the Republican, who also backed Obama in 2008, told "CBS This Morning." He added, "I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012."
The move comes just days after Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney clashed over foreign policy in the third and last presidential debate ahead of the November 6 election.
Polls show Obama and Romney neck and neck. A Reuters/Ipsos online tracking poll gave Romney a 1-point edge on Wednesday, 47 percent to Obama's 46 percent.
Obama welcomed the endorsement at a rally in Richmond, Virginia.
"I was proud and humbled to learn that we have Colin Powell's support in this campaign. I'm grateful to him for his lifetime of service to his country both as a soldier and as a diplomat," he told the crowd.
The president earlier called Powell to thank him, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One before landing in Virginia, a battleground state where the military vote is important.
In his endorsement, Powell said domestic issues such as the economy, healthcare and education loomed large in his support for a second term for Obama.
"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 ... we were in real trouble," Powell said, adding that housing market has started to pick up, the auto industry has recovered and consumer confidence is rising.
"I think generally we've come out of the dive and starting to gain altitude," he said. "I see that we are starting to rise up," he said, but added problems such as unemployment and the housing market still need work.
Powell also criticized Romney's foreign policy as inconsistent and questioned the former Massachusetts governor's ability to address the deficit and looming defense cuts.
"I'm not quite sure which Governor Romney we'd be getting with respect to foreign policy," he told CBS, calling Romney's foreign policy "a moving target."
As for the U.S. budget, he added: "It's essentially, let's cut taxes and compensate for that with other things, but that compensation does not cover all the cuts intended or the expenses associated with defense."
Powell, a moderate Republican, served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush. Some of Romney's advisers are more conservative veterans of the Bush administration.
"There's some very, very strong neo-conservative views that are presented by the governor that I have some trouble with," Powell said.
A retired four-star general, Powell was also chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush and was national security advisor under former President Ronald Reagan.
October 26, 2012, 1:01 amComment
Sununu Suggests Powell’s Endorsement of Obama Was Based on Race
By JIM RUTENBERG
Former Gov. John H. Sununu of New Hampshire, a co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign, injected race into the presidential election in overt fashion on Thursday night, providing a potential hiccup for Mr. Romney in the closing days of the race.
Speaking with the CNN host Piers Morgan about the endorsement of President Obama by the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin L. Powell, a Republican, Mr. Sununu suggested it was because of their shared heritage as African-Americans.
“When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama,” Mr. Sununu said.
Mr. Morgan asked flatly, “What reason would that be?”
Mr. Sununu responded, “Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.”
The remark drew immediate criticism on Twitter, shortly after midnight, Mr. Sununu released a statement backtracking, posted on the Web site of the conservative National Review magazine.
“Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies,” he said.
and meatloaf endorses romney
Meat Loaf Endorses Mitt Romney in Rocker’s First Political Endorsement Ever
DEFIANCE, Ohio – Forget swing state newspapers and major politicians, Mitt Romney tonight received a premium endorsement that nobody was expecting when rock legend Meat Loaf took the stage here and threw his support behind the Republican presidential nominee.
“I have never been in any political agenda in my life, but I think that in 2012 this is the most important election in the history of the United States,” Meat Loaf said in a black silk shirt with sparkly buttons down the front and sequined designs on the sleeves. “Storm clouds [have] come over the United States. There is thunderstorms over Europe. There are hail storms, and I mean major hail storms, in the Middle East.
“There are storms brewing through China, through Asia, through everywhere,” Meat Loaf said. “And there’s only one man that on the other night, when President Barack Obama, God bless him, said to Mitt Romney, ‘The Cold War is over’ – I have never heard such a thing in my life.”
The singer was referring to the presidential debate earlier this week, during which President Obama ribbed Romney for once declaring Russia America’s No. 1 geopolitical foe.
“The man needs to understand Putin and Russia, so I want you to know that there is one man who will stand tall in this country and fight the storm and bring the United States back to what it should be – Gov. Mitt Romney,” Meat Loaf said to roars from a crowd packed into a football stadium here.
“Like I said, never before have I endorsed a single candidate ’til now, so let me hear y’all repeat after me,” Meat Loaf said, leading a call-and-response with Mitt Romney’s name, the crowd repeating it after him.
Meat Loaf wasn’t done. After playing a musical interlude, the musician grabbed the microphone – which at times was decorated with a red cape – and continued his endorsement.
“Mitt Romney has got the backbone,” he said. “Go out and vote. Let me tell you what: I know there’s one thing that you’ve been taught your whole life, is that you never argue politics or religion with your friends. But 2012 is completely different.
“I have been arguing for Mitt Romney for a year,” he said. “I made three phone calls today to Democrats in California, and I got two of them to switch to Romney, so two out of three ain’t bad. So you get out there and you argue with your relatives, you argue with your neighbors, you get in fights over politics and religion, ’cause we need Ohio! God bless ya. We love ya. Thank you. Keep rockin’ – and Mitt Romney!”
When Romney finally took the stage, he didn’t wait to thank the musician, and appeared somewhat surprised.
“I mean Meat Loaf was here, can you believe it?” asked Romney.
“Look, these guys have other things to do, you know – they have lives,” Romney said. “They can go to a concert where they’re getting paid, but they decided instead, because this election counts so much, to come here, and I want to thank them for their generosity and support.”
At the end of the rally, as fireworks went off overhead, Meat Loaf joined Romney on stage and the two joined to sing “America the Beautiful” together.
In an amusing coincidence, Romney’s wife, Ann Romney, appeared earlier today on the daytime cooking show hosted by Rachel Ray, during which she made her husband’s favorite dish: Meatloaf.
check out meatloaf's semi-incoherent endoresment here:
John Sununu is the former New Hampshire governor who served as White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush. Powell is a retired four-star Army general who was secretary of state for President George W. Bush.
Appearing Thursday on CNN, Sununu said he wondered whether Powell had "a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama."
Host Piers Morgan asked what reason that would be.
Sununu said — quote — "Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."
i wonder if he thinks meatloaf endoresed romney because both are white? typical race baiting on the right. he will probably come back later and say he did not really mean it.
Sununu backs off race statement about Powell
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top adviser to Mitt Romney is backing away from his suggestion that fellow Republican Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama because both men are black.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu issued a statement late Thursday night saying Powell is a friend and he respects the endorsement.
"I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president's policies," Sununu said in the statement.
Appearing on CNN earlier Thursday, Sununu said he wondered whether Powell had "a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama."
Host Piers Morgan asked what reason that would be.
Sununu said, "Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."
Sununu served as White House chief of staff under President George H.W. Bush. Powell is a retired four-star Army general who was secretary of state for President George W. Bush.
Powell endorsed Obama Wednesday on CBS "This Morning," saying the president got the United States out of Iraq, has laid out a plan for leaving Afghanistan "and didn't get us into any new wars."
He praised Obama's economic performance, saying that while difficult choices are ahead on taxes, spending and budgetary policies, "steadily, I think we've begun to come out of the dive, and we're gaining altitude."
Bloomberg Backs Obama, Citing Fallout From Storm
By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ
In a surprise announcement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Thursday that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign and that as a result, he was endorsing President Obama.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term leading New York City, has been sharply critical of Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican rival, saying that both men had failed to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. But he said he had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the better candidate to tackle the global climate change that he believes might have contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.
“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of next Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote in an editorial for Bloomberg View.
“Our climate is changing,” he wrote. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
Mr. Bloomberg’s endorsement is another indication that Hurricane Sandy has influenced the presidential campaign. The storm and the destruction it left in its wake have dominated news coverage, transfixing the nation and prompting the candidates to halt their campaigning briefly.
The announcement is also the latest in a series of steps Mr. Bloomberg has taken in a bid to assert his influence nationally as his final term as mayor enters its twilight — and after he appears to have abandoned his own hopes of one day becoming president.
Last month, the mayor said that he was creating his own “super PAC” to support candidates from either party, as well as independents, who he believes are devoted to his brand of nonideological problem solving, and he has increasingly used his personal wealth and the bully pulpit of his office in an effort to persuade elected officials to support same-sex marriage, gun control and education reform.
The impact of Mr. Bloomberg’s endorsement is unclear; his city and his state are overwhelmingly Democratic, and although he is a well-known and long-serving public official who frequently appears in the national media, his influence is difficult to measure: an ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted in December found 30 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Mr. Bloomberg, 26 percent had an unfavorable view, and many — 44 percent — had no opinion of him one way or the other.
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns had aggressively sought the mayor’s endorsement, in large part because they believed he could influence independent voters around the country. Mr. Bloomberg had recently signaled he would not make an endorsement, telling reporters several weeks ago that he had decided whom he would vote for, but that he was not sure he would share that decision with the public.
John Weaver, a prominent Republican political strategist, said the timing of the mayor’s endorsement was notable.
“His announcement is sandwiched between this horrific calamity and the presidential election,” he noted. “So the timing could not have been more significant for him and his views.”
Steve McMahon, a veteran Democratic strategist, said he believed that now that Mr. Bloomberg had come to terms with not running for the presidency, he was interested in cementing his political legacy.
“Many politicians reach the point in their careers where they have built up considerable political equity and the only question is how they use it to make a difference,” he said. “In endorsing President Obama, the mayor seems to have decided to use some of his equity.”
Even before the hurricane struck, Mr. Bloomberg had been concerned about climate change. He is the chairman of an organization called C40, a network of cities seeking to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
Yet until the storm, climate change had not been much of an issue in the presidential campaign. The topic did not come up during the three presidential debates, and the candidates have not provided detailed legislative or regulatory plans outlining their stances on the issue.
Since the hurricane, a number of elected officials have come forward, chiefly in New York, to say that they have concluded the planet is undergoing climate change, that huge storms are no longer freak occurrences but expectable reality, and that public policy must begin to prepare for the impact.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Tuesday, “Anyone who says there is not a dramatic change in weather patterns I think is denying reality.” Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Wednesday, “We’re going to pay a price for the change in climate.” And Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of Manhattan, echoed the consensus of local officials on Thursday, saying simply, “There will be a storm of this magnitude again.”
Mr. Bloomberg did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2008, when Mr. Obama ran against Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and until Thursday, he had steadfastly withheld his support from both presidential candidates this year, largely because he had grown frustrated with the tone and substance of the presidential campaign. He recently derided as “gibberish” the answers that Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney gave during a debate to a question about an assault-weapons ban. He has expressed disappointment with Mr. Obama’s performance over the past few years and concern about what he has described as the shifts in Mr. Romney’s views over time.
Even in his endorsement, the mayor continued to express criticism of the president. He said Mr. Obama had fallen short of his 2008 campaign promise to be a problem solver and consensus builder, noting that Mr. Obama had “devoted little time” to creating a coalition of centrists in Washington who could find common ground on important issues like illegal guns, immigration, tax reform and deficit reduction.
“Rather than uniting the country around a message of shared sacrifice,” Mr. Bloomberg said of Mr. Obama, “he engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it.”
In making his endorsement, Mr. Bloomberg listed the various steps that Mr. Obama had taken over the last four years to confront the issue of climate change, including pushing regulations that seek to curtail emissions from cars and power plants. But the mayor cited other reasons for endorsing Mr. Obama, including the president’s support for abortion rights and for same-sex marriage, two high-priority issues for the mayor.
At the same time, Mr. Bloomberg said he might have endorsed Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, except for the fact that the Republican had abandoned positions that he once publicly held.
“In the past he has taken sensible positions on immigration, illegal guns, abortion rights and health care — but he has reversed course on all of them, and is even running against the very health care model he signed into law in Massachusetts,” the mayor said of Mr. Romney.
In a statement, Mr. Obama said he was “honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement.” The president acknowledged Mr. Bloomberg’s chief concern, saying climate change was “a threat to our children’s future, and we owe it to them to do something about it.”
And alluding to the damage from the hurricane, Mr. Obama said: “He has my continued commitment that this country will stand by New York in its time of need. And New Yorkers have my word that we will recover, we will rebuild, and we will come back stronger.”
Coming on the heels of Gov. Chris Christie’s public embrace of Mr. Obama, the endorsement by Mr. Bloomberg left aides to Mr. Romney a bit flustered, and they privately dismissed its importance.