'Powell endorsed Obama because he's black'

2012-10-26 09:04

Washington - An outspoken surrogate for Mitt Romney's White House campaign suggested late on Thursday that race was a factor in former secretary of state Colin Powell's endorsement of President Barack Obama.

Former New Hampshire governor John Sununu told CNN that the re-endorsement of Obama by Powell - a Republican who served in both Bush presidencies but backed Obama in 2008 - was possibly due to both men being African-Americans.

"Frankly, 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," Sununu told CNN host Piers Morgan.

"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 remarks by Sununu, a prominent and often flamboyant supporter of Romney, could inject race into a campaign the Republican challenger has tried to keep focused on the sluggish US economy.

The remarks came just two days after Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, explaining his anti-abortion stance, sparked controversy by saying that pregnancies caused by rape are "something God intended to happen".

Distracting from Republican argument

Those remarks threatened to slow Romney's progress in winning over vital women voters in key swing states and gave Obama an opening to brand Republicans as extremists when it comes to women's rights.

Sununu's remarks could prove less damaging - as Obama already enjoys overwhelming support among African-American voters - but may further distract from Republicans' central argument against the president's economic policies.

The two presidential candidates are locked in a virtual tie less than two weeks ahead of the 6 November election, with Romney enjoying a slight lead in national polls but Obama holding a narrow edge in vital battleground states.

Powell, who served as chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H W Bush and secretary of state under President George W Bush, is a moderate Republican once seen as a promising presidential prospect.

In his re-endorsement of Obama on Thursday, Powell credited the president with recent improvements in the economy and praised him as a steely commander-in-chief who had wound down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • napolita.kio - 2012-10-26 09:35

    Meaning he John Sununu supports Mitt Romney because his is white!? Ok, that was easy ;)

      pierre.burger.315 - 2012-10-26 09:55

      Being facetious usually is too easy. Sununu supports Romney because he's a Republican. Powell is a Republican too - that's why his support of Obama (the DEMOCRATIC candidate) is unusual and has to be explained by something other than party-political loyalty.

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-10-26 10:05

      @Pierre maybe he doesn't like the Republican candidates...if a black president was such an issue to him, I'm sure he would have chosen to run for president himself when he had the chance

  • parys.fotograaf - 2012-10-26 09:58

    It must be hard for Powell to have to choose between party and race...and he failed the test.

      johan.louw.399 - 2012-10-26 14:27

      It was not hard!!! He is a two face jackal who cannot be trusted

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-10-26 11:20

    It's called kinship, a principle totally foreign to those whose only kin is money!

  • phahla.matwa - 2012-10-26 11:49

    Black president. We love u Obama. South Africans love u.

  • mzakes.matabata - 2012-10-26 12:18

    Holy smokes and here i thought US is the "Leader of the free world" the democracy of democracy's and this guy cant even choose who to support regardless of affiliation.

  • andrew.nelson.52687506 - 2012-10-26 21:46

    Powell was never a conservative, much less a Republican. He claimed that only because he thought it would further his career. Now, he is free to endorse whom ever he wants, as long as they are the same race. What a man.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-27 13:03

    This is so funny, it is like BEE in South Africa, it is like eating a 50cents vinyla ice-cream with chopsticks. It is like the jailing of punk group Pussy-riot by the once great Russian empire we can't say it is the pot calling the kettle, even though it is close. I personally like those two african-american gentleman, I compare them to Zuma, and I think.......??? eeerrrmmmmm..... Zuma=Bush without so many wives. Maybe Mr Powel likes the democrats, because he sees no good for America under the republicans. You probably have to be stupid or white or both to be a supporter of the republicans. I wonder what they would say if Ms Rice also baked a pudding by endorsing Obama? They would want to call her a bloody double agent.....a racist one at that.

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