Obama returns a compliment to Colin Powell
INDIANAPOLIS – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday returned a compliment to Colin Powell after the former Bush administration secretary of state told an interviewer that he was impressed with Obama.
Powell told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Obama seemed to be a quick study.
“Sen. Obama, he didn’t have a lot of experience in running a presidential campaign, did he, but he seems to know how to organize a task and he seems to know how to apply resources to a problem at hand,” Powell said.
“So that gives you some indication that (despite) his inexperience in foreign affairs and domestic affairs, he may be somebody who can learn quickly.”
Asked about Powell’s comments, Obama described Powell as “an outstanding public servant.”
“He’s somebody who I’ve known for some time and I have extraordinary respect for him,” the Illinois senator told reporters … So I appreciate the kind words.”
Powell, who served as secretary of state in Bush’s first term, helped Bush to build a case with the United Nations for the Iraq war.
But in “Plan of Attack,” a book by journalist Bob Woodward that gives an account of the behind-the-scenes debate within the administration about the war, Powell is described as having privately counseled Bush not to go to war because of concerns about the chaos that might ensue after an invasion.
Even though he has served in Republican administrations, Powell is not automatically throwing his support to presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.
“I’m looking at all three candidates, I know them all very, very well, I consider myself a friend of each and every one of them, and I have not decided who I will vote for yet,” he told ABC.
Asked how frequently he speaks to Powell, Obama said: “We’re not speaking on a regular basis but we speak occasionally and every time that we do I find it very useful because he’s somebody who I think has good judgment, loves his country and is somebody whose counsel I actively seek.”
Photo credit: REUTERS//Frank Polich (Obama speaks during a campaign stop in Gary, Indiana)