Powell – Meet The Press 10/19/2008
MR. BROKAW: Well, let's move to the American presidential campaign now, if we can. We saw at the
beginning of this broadcast a short tease of what you had to say just a month ago. Let's share with our
viewers now a little more of Colin Powell on these two candidates and your position.
GEN. POWELL: I'm an American, first and foremost, and I'm very proud--I said, I've said, I've said to
my beloved friend and colleague John McCain, a friend of 25 years, "John, I love you, but I'm not just
going to vote for you on the basis of our affection or friendship." And I've said to Barack Obama, "I
admire you. I'll give you all the advice I can. But I'm not going to vote for you just because you're
black." We, we have to move beyond this.
MR. BROKAW: General Powell, actually you gave a campaign contribution to Senator McCain. You
have met twice at least with Barack Obama. Are you prepared to make a public declaration of which of
these two candidates that you're prepared to support?
GEN. POWELL: Yes, but let me lead into it this way. I know both of these individuals very well now.
I've known John for 25 years as your setup said. And I've gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the
past two years. Both of them are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the
welfare of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president. I have said to Mr.
McCain that I admire all he has done. I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in
recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that's a choice the party makes.
And I've said to Mr. Obama, "You have to pass a test of do you have enough experience, and do you
bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that you would be a good president."
And I've watched him over the past two years, frankly, and I've had this conversation with him. I have
especially watched over the last six of seven weeks as both of them have really taken a final exam with
respect to this economic crisis that we are in and coming out of the conventions. And I must say that I've
gotten a good measure of both. In the case of Mr. McCain, I found that he was a little unsure as to deal
with the economic problems that we were having and almost every day there was a different approach to
the problem. And that concerned me, sensing that he didn't have a complete grasp of the economic
problems that we had. And I was also concerned at the selection of Governor Palin. She's a very