Former Secretary of State Colin Powell this morning endorsed Barack Obama for a second time, declaring during a CBS interview that “I signed onto a long patrol’ with the president.
Powell also expressed concern about what he called Mitt Romney’s shifting views on world affairs, pointing to this week’s final presidential debate. “I’m not sure which Governor Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy,” Powell said. Watch here:
”When [Obama] 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. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos. We had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment would peak a few months later at 10percent. So we were in real trouble….
“I think generally we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude. It doesn’t mean we are problem-solved, there are lots of problems still out there. The unemployment rate is too high. People are still hurting in housing. But I see that we are starting to rise up.
“I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he’s taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid.”
Powell said that, although it needs improving, he would also like to see Obama’s universal health care initiative preserved. “I did not want to see the Obamacare plan thrown off the table,” he said.
Powell described himself as “a Republican of a more moderate mold, and that’s something of a dying breed, I’m sorry to say.” But he has no intention of leaving the party, he said.
Meanwhile, Condoleezza Rice, another African-American and former secretary of state, on Wednesday defended Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate from Democratic charges that they were insensitive to women. From Politico.com:
Rice, who served as President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, said on Fox News’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” on Wednesday night that the Romney-Ryan ticket will “respect” those who differ with them on those subjects.
“I would like to say to people that I am not always in agreement with everything that’s written in the Republican platform about social issues,” she said. “But I know that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are going to respect the views of those who may disagree on these issues. They are going to take that into account.”
That off-the-record, then on-the-record interview of President Barack Obama by the editors of the Des Moines Register provides much of today’s fodder. From the Washington Post:
The transcript gave a surprising glimpse of Obama as political pundit, gaming out timetables and calculations for his dealings with Capitol Hill Republicans. He predicted, for instance, that an expectedly poor showing by Republican challenger Mitt Romney among Hispanics would put pressure on GOP lawmakers to ease their opposition to an immigration overhaul that offers a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
“Since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt,” Obama said at one point. “Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community.”
Obama said he also expected to put together a bipartisan compromise to address the federal debt and avoid the “fiscal cliff” of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts:
“We’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business,” Obama said. “It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in [taxes], and work to reduce the costs of our health-care programs.”
A travelling Gov. Nathan Deal said he expects some good economic news next month. From the Augusta Chronicle:
During his address to the CSRA Regional Commission, Deal said the federal government’s formal “record of decision” that will allow the Savannah Harbor deepening project to move forward is expected soon.
“I am now being told it will be next month,” he said, though it is not likely to occur before Election Day.
The record of decision is a document in which every federal agency with oversight of the $600 million project signs off on the plan.
“It will be the green light to move forward toward making that project a reality,” he said.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider