Colin Powell criticizes fellow Republicans, backs Obama
WASHINGTON – Colin Powell, a retired U.S. Army general and former secretary of state in the Bush administration, criticized fellow Republicans on Sunday and endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Powell described Obama as an inspirational figure and denounced some efforts by White House contender John McCain and other Republicans to defeat him.
“What they’re trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings,” Powell said. “This goes too far and I think it has made the McCain campaign look a little narrow.”
Powell said he was also troubled that some members of the Republican Party — not McCain — have said, “‘Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.’”
“He is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian,” Powell said. “But the really right answer is ‘what if he is?’ Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no.”
Powell said Obama understands the issues and has reached out across across ethnic, racial and generational lines.
“He speaks authoritatively. He speaks with great insight into the challenges we’re facing of a military and political and economic nature,” Powell said. “He has both style and substance — he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Alessia Pierdomenico (Colin Powell at an event on London on Oct. 14)