Entries in Colin Powell (7)


Colin Powell Criticizes ‘Idiot Presentations’ by Some Republicans

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday lashed out at people in the Republican Party who spent the last four years spreading “birther nonsense” and other “things that demonize the president,” calling on GOP leaders to denounce such talk -- publicly.

“Republicans have to stop buying into things that demonize the president.  I mean, why aren’t Republican leaders shouting out about all this birther nonsense and all these other things?  They should speak out.  This is the kind of intolerance that I’ve been talking about, where these idiot presentations continue to be made and you don’t see the senior leadership of the party say, ‘No, that’s wrong.’  In fact, sometimes by not speaking out, they’re encouraging it.  And the base keeps buying the stuff," Powell told ABC’s Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos during ABC’s special inauguration day coverage Monday morning.

“And it’s killing the base of the party," he continued.  "I mean, 26 percent favorability rating for the party right now.  It ought to be telling them something.  So, instead of attacking me or whoever speaks like I do, look in the mirror and realize, ‘How are we going to win the next election?”

Powell, who served as national security adviser under President Ronald Reagan, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under George H.W. Bush and as the nation’s top diplomat under President George W. Bush, didn’t stop there.

“The Republican Party ought to be out there not restricting voting by voter ID, but saying we want everybody to vote,” he told Sawyer and Stephanopoulos.  “It’s a party that has to stop saying, ‘We are going to appeal to you with new messages.’  You need policies -- the country is becoming more minority.”

Powell, who endorsed President Obama’s reelection bid in October, said that his critiques of the GOP have left some wondering, “Why are you still a Republican?”

Because, Powell said, “I grew up under Ronald Reagan and Cap Weinberger and George Schultz and George Herbert Walker Bush -- that’s the Republican party I know -- the Howard Bakers of the world, and I think we’ve drifted from that.  And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to drift a little bit back.  Not because it’s just good to be moderate, but because that’s where the American people are.  They lost an election -- two.”

Powell also said President Obama needed to do a better job during his second term of reaching out to members of Congress.  And as for the president’s second inaugural address, Powell said, “I hope he can, through his own example, restore a sense of civility in the country.”

Powell said that Monday was a day for members of both parties, “not to scream and argue with each other, but to come together.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Colin Powell Has No Reservations of Chuck Hagel for Defense Chief

ABC/Donna Svennevik(WASHINGTON) -- Retired Gen. Colin Powell is bullish on Chuck Hagel as the next defense secretary.

Just after President Obama formally tapped the one-time Nebraska Republican senator last week to head the Pentagon, Powell was singing the praises of Hagel as being eminently qualified for the job.

On NBC's Meet the Press Sunday, Powell said that Hagel proved his mettle time and time again by volunteering for the unpopular Vietnam War, resigning from the Veterans' Administration when he felt that vets were getting short shrift, and leading the USO, the organization designed to support troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services.

While fellow Republicans and some Democrats argue that Hagel may not be fit for the job because of controversial views in the past, Powell claimed the nominee already has the most resounding endorsement of all: "The men and women in the armed forces of the United States and their parents."

Powell, a former defense chief and secretary of state for two administrations, also deflected criticism that Hagel is not a stronger defender of Israel, saying nothing could be farther from the truth.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Colin Powell Endorses President Obama

ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has backed President Obama for a second term in the White House.

“I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012,” Powell said Thursday morning on CBS.

The Republican crossed party lines four years ago to support Obama in his race with Sen. John McCain.  On Thursday, he did the same, casting himself as part of a “dying breed,” a “Republican of a more moderate mold.”

Powell set the blame for much of the recent gridlock in Washington at the foot of a divided Congress, though he also pressed Obama to show “greater leadership potential.”

A retired four-star general, Powell criticized Mitt Romney’s foreign policy plans, calling them “a moving target.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former Powell Chief of Staff: Cheney 'Fears Being Tried as a War Criminal'

(WASHINGTON) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, is out Tuesday, and it's full of criticism and attacks on his Bush administration colleagues -- from describing Condoleezza Rice as "tearfully admitting" he was right on the war in Iraq to revealing private conversations with George W. Bush on the eve of the Iraq war.

He reserves much of his ire for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and now Powell and his longtime aide and chief of staff, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, are attempting to set the record straight, in no uncertain terms. Cheney, Wilkerson told ABC News, "was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration" and "fears being tried as a war criminal."

In his memoir, Cheney claims Powell undermined President Bush. "It was as though he thought the proper way to express his views was by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government," Cheney writes, adding that he encouraged Powell's removal from the administration after the 2004 election, writing Powell's resignation "was for the best."

Powell himself called Cheney's criticism "cheap shots" during an interview this past Sunday on CBS News' Face the Nation.

"What really sort of got my attention was this way in which he characterized it: it's going to 'cause heads to explode,'" Powell said. "That's quite a visual. And in fact, it's the kind of headline I would expect to come out of a gossip columnist, or the kind of headline you might see one of the supermarket tabloids write. It's not the kind of headline I would have expected to come from a former vice president of the United States of America."

Before serving as Powell's chief of staff while Powell was Secretary of State, Wilkerson worked in the first Bush administration as a special assistant to Powell, who was then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Cheney was serving as secretary of defense. He's known Cheney for decades, but says now, "I simply don't recognize Mr. Cheney anymore," calling him a "very vindictive person."

"He's developed an angst and almost a protective cover, and now he fears being tried as a war criminal so he uses such terminology as 'exploding heads all over Washington' because that's the way someone who's decided he's not going to be prosecuted acts: boldly, let's get out in front of everybody, let's act like we are not concerned and so forth when in fact they are covering up their own fear that somebody will Pinochet him," Wilkerson said, alluding to the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was arrested for war crimes.

Cheney told NBC News that his revealing memoir would have "heads exploding all over Washington."

Wilkerson said Powell was "simply not opposed to the war," citing the former secretary of state's now-infamous trip to the United Nations in February 2003 in which he testified that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as proof that he wasn't undermining Bush. Instead, Wilkerson said, he actually criticized Powell for "expressing too much support" for the war and explained that he used his own military experience to advise Powell that the U.S. military wasn't finished with its job in Afghanistan, and the military would be stretched too thin. He said he registered "all manner of objections" to Powell, adding that "some of those probably leaked" but that Powell wasn't objecting to the war.

"From what I've read, Cheney seems to criticize everyone, including President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, [Deputy Secretary of State] Rich Armitage, and a host of others except himself. Waterboarding is a war crime, unwarranted surveillance… all of which are crimes. I don't care whether the president authorized him to do it or not, they are crimes," Wilkerson said. "Cheney was a good secretary of defense in my view. In fact I would put him up amongst the top three in the short history of the position. No longer do I feel that way, and I don't know what happened to Cheney."

Wilkerson added that he was struck that Cheney doesn't seem to admit any mistakes or backtrack on any of the decisions he made during his time in the administration.

"There are plenty of people who have written their memoirs and have had battles to fight in those memoirs who have not been as acidic or acerbic as Cheney is and I can't think of anyone…who have not at least admitted to a mistake here and there or at least given some extenuating circumstances. Cheney doesn't seem capable of that," Wilkerson said.

Wilkerson adds, "Something happened to Dick Cheney and it wasn't just 9/11," which Cheney cites as deeply changing him. Wilkerson said the former vice president always "coveted power" and that Cheney was "fully expecting that he was going to be vice president" when he headed up the search team for Bush.

"I can't speak to the psychosomatic or the genetic problems with heart attacks or whatever, but I can speak to power," Wilkerson said. "He wanted desperately to be president of the United States…he knew the Texas governor was not steeped in anything but baseball, so he knew he was going to be president and I think he got his dream. He was president for all practical purposes for the first term of the Bush administration."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Colin Powell Not Sold on Obama in 2012

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who famously crossed party lines to vote for President Obama in 2008, said on Sunday that he’s not necessarily supporting the president for reelection in 2012.

“I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for,” Powell said on CBS’ Face the Nation.  “Just as was the case in 2008, I am going to watch the campaign unfold.  In the course of my life I have voted for Democrats, I have voted for Republicans, I have changed from one four-year cycle to another."

“I’ve always felt it my responsibility as a citizen to take a look at the issues, examine the candidates, and pick the person that I think is best qualified for the office of the president in that year.  And not just solely on the basis of party affiliation,” he said.

Asked about the Republican field, Powell said there are some “interesting candidates,” but no one who has “emerged into the leading position.”

“So let’s see if anybody else is going to join, and we’ve got a long way to go,” he added.

Powell, the nation’s first African-American secretary of state, praised Obama’s leadership style in 2008 in endorsing him, saying shortly before the election that Obama “has a definite way of doing business that will serve us well.”  He also said at the time that he didn’t think the GOP vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was “ready” to be president.

In his interview Sunday, Powell also had a strong reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s new memoir.  He said Cheney took “cheap shots” in his book and seemed to be chasing “tabloid” headlines by saying his book would make “heads explode” in Washington.

“I haven’t heard anything that explosive,” Powell said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Makes No Friends with Forthcoming Memoir

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir is set to be released next week, but juicy excerpts have already leaked, and from the looks of them, he may sell books, but his former colleagues in the Bush administration might take him off their Christmas card list.

Cheney's memoir, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir, is the vice president's version of events in the Bush administration. According to The New York Times, he reveals personal conversations with Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and George Tenet.

There are also details from Sept. 11, 2001, and Cheney writes about his heart problems and his backup plan in case his health problems overwhelmed him. He also writes, for the first time, about the weeks he was unconscious after heart surgery in 2010.

Cheney told NBC News that "there are going to be heads exploding all over Washington" after people read the book. Here's a look at some of the juiciest parts that have been leaked early:

Condoleezza Rice

According to The New York Times, Cheney goes after former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her "naivete" in her efforts to negotiate a nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea. The book also details Cheney's view that "he saw no need to apologize" for the controversial words included in Bush's 2003 State of the Union about Iraq's supposed search for uranium in Niger that helped justify the war in Iraq. Cheney's writes that Rice eventually agreed with him, and she "tearfully admitted I had been right."

On Thursday Rice's publisher announced that her memoir about her time in the Bush administration would be released in November. The announcement describes her book as "surprisingly candid in her narrative of administration colleagues, as well as the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt," so there is no doubt her memoir will tell her side of the story and could be quite different from her former colleague's.

Colin Powell

Cheney doesn't sugarcoat how he feels about former Secretary of State Colin Powell, writing that he believes Powell tried to undermine Bush by expressing his worry about the Iraq War in private conversations.

"It was as though he thought the proper way to express his views was by criticizing administration policy to people outside the government," Cheney writes, according to The New York Times.

Cheney adds that he encouraged that Powell be removed from the administration after the 2004 election, writing Powell's resignation "was for the best."

George Tenet

Cheney writes that the former and longest-serving director of the CIA, George Tenet, resigned in 2004 just "when the going got tough." The former vice president calls Tenet's resignation "unfair to the president," according to The New York Times.

Tenet's own book, At the Center of the Storm, was released in 2007, and it harshly criticized Cheney and other members of the Bush administration, writing they pushed the country to war in Iraq.

Sept. 11

The memoir begins with Cheney's memories from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The New York Times writes that the vice president "commanded the government's response from a bunker beneath the White House" because the president was away from Washington.

"My past government experience," he writes, "had prepared me to manage the crisis during those first few hours on 9/11, but I knew that if I went out and spoke to the press, it would undermine the president, and that would be bad for him and for the country. We were at war. Our commander-in-chief needed to be seen as in charge, strong, and resolute -- as George W. Bush was."


One of the most shocking revelations of the leaked excerpts is that Cheney says he urged Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in June 2007, but his colleagues weren't going for it.

"I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor," Cheney writes, according to The New York Times, "But I was a lone voice. After I finished, the president asked, 'Does anyone here agree with the vice president?' Not a single hand went up around the room."

Cheney's Heart Condition and Backup Plan

Cheney reveals for the first time that because of his history of heart disease, he worried that while in office a heart attack or stroke could leave him unable to fulfill his duties. He wrote a letter of resignation that he kept in a locked safe to use if he became incapacitated.

Cheney told NBC's Jamie Gangel he did it because "there is no mechanism for getting rid of a vice president who can't function."

Cheney also writes that after heart surgery in 2010, he was unconscious for weeks. During that time, The New York Times writes, Cheney had a "prolonged, vivid dream that he was living in an Italian villa, pacing the stone paths to get coffee and newspapers."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gov. Rendell Defends Bloomberg, Talks Life Post-Governorship

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Outgoing Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has been a vocal critic of the NFL’s decision to postpone last weekend’s Philadelphia Eagles-Minnesota Viking game due to inclement weather, lamenting that “we’re becoming a nation of wussies.”  But Rendell on Friday came to the defense of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s under fire for what many see as the city’s poor response to the snowstorm.

“It was difficult to predict, it came very quickly and swiftly,” Rendell told ABC News. “New York’s had a very good track record of snow removal and…you can’t hit a home run every time at bat and even the best players in sports have bad days. I don’t know what happened in New York. I know some areas were clean better than others, but by and large, the Bloomberg administration does a very good job on things like this.”

As for his future post-governorship, Rendell played down chatter that he had been picked as the new White House chief of staff.

“ I don’t have the stature that Colin Powell has,” said Rendell, who sees the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the ideal candidate for the job. “I don’t think hardly anybody in America has that stature of non-partisanship, acting in the good of the country. I think that’s what we need.”

“If they are going to replace [acting Chief of Staff] Peter Rouse or keep Peter as a deputy, I’d love to see [ex U.S. Senator] Tom Daschle. I think he’s another person who could bring this together very effectively."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio