Colin Powell made a surprising announcement this Tuesday at a luncheon in Long Island. The former Republican Secretary of State said that he is going to vote for Hillary Clinton. In front of about 1,000 business and political leaders, Colin Powell gave his endorsement to the Democratic nominee. The endorsement is a high-profile one for Clinton, as Colin Powell benefits from having national security and foreign policy expertise. By going against the nominee of his own party, Colin Powell is stepping out of line and will most likely upset fellow Republicans.
Colin Powell Endorses the Democratic Nominee
Colin Powell has served in two previous Republican administrations. He was part of the Reagan administration and the George H.W. Bush administration. But his political endorsements were not reserved for the Republican party. He publicly supported Barack Obama in 2008 as well as in 2012. So this is not the first time that the former Secretary of State endorses a Democratic candidate for the White House.
After Powell’s chief of staff, Peggy Cifrino, confirmed the announcement, Hillary Clinton was told by her staff. The Democratic candidate was at an early voting rally in Florida on Tuesday afternoon. She was grateful to receive the support of the former Secretary of State, according to her campaign.
Later in the day, Hillary Clinton wrote about the endorsement on Twitter.
“Proud to have the endorsement of General Powell, a decorated soldier and distinguished statesman.”
Tweeted Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton a Better Choice than Donald J. Trump
At first, Colin Powell did not favor any of the two candidates and had tough words for both of them. A series of hacked emails that became public in September show that the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had a very poor opinion of Donald J. Trump. In one of the emails, Powell refers to the Republican candidate as a “national disgrace and an international pariah”.
Powell followed the presidential race closely and was careful about taking a position in the competition between the two candidates. If he was going to have a public position about the 2016 presidential election, he was going to time it very well.
“Everybody wants me to speak out, but I will pick the time and place for maximum effect like I did in 2008 and 2012. Right now, Trump is his worst own enemy.”
Wrote Colin Powell in an email in August.
At the time the emails became public, an aide confirmed that the content was “accurate” but Powell himself did not make any comments.
Powell’s relationship with Hillary Clinton has been a difficult one. Over the summer, news reports implied that Clinton got the idea to use a separate private email account from Colin Powell. Newly in office as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton contacted Powell and asked him for advice regarding private communication. When reports came out, Powell was upset that his name became a part of the Clinton email controversy. Throughout, he insisted that he did not suggest Hillary Clinton use a separate email.
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