Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served prominently in Republican George W. Bush’s administration, added his voice to the Democratic convention Tuesday night.
“I support Joe Biden for the presidency of the United States because those values still define him, and we need to restore those values to the White House,” Powell said of the former vice president’s Scranton, Pa., roots.
“Joe Biden will be a president we will all be proud to salute,” Powell added. “With Joe Biden in the White House, you will never doubt that he will stand with our friends and stand up to our adversaries — never the other way around.”
It’s not surprising that Powell would publicly endorse the Democratic presidential nominee. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also backed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the previous presidential cycles. He had revealed his support for Biden in June.
Moreover, Powell is part of a swath of former generals who have denounced Trump — a list of military figures that includes several members of Trump’s own administration. Former Defense Secretary James Mattis said in June that he was “angry and appalled” by Trump’s forceful clearing of peaceful protesters near the White House. (Trump tweeted back that Mattis was “the world’s most overrated General.”) Former White House chief of staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, has also criticized Trump on a number of fronts, especially on foreign policy. (Trump fired back that Kelly was “way over his head” and should “keep his mouth shut.”)
22 PHOTOSColin Powell through his careerSee GalleryColin Powell through his careerChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell (C) and members of the 132nd MP Company pose for photographs in Saudi Arabia December 22, 1990. REUTERS/Jonathan Bainbridge (SAUDI ARABIA – Tags: POLITICS)BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEPresident George H.W. Bush meets with his military advisors at the Pentagon to duscuss the Gulf crisis August 15, 1990. From left are: General Norman Schwarzkopf, chief of Middle East forces, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, Bush and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell.REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES- Tags: POLITICS)BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEFormer U.S. Defense Secretary Richard Cheney and former Chairman of theArmed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell (L), speak with reportersabout reductions in short range nuclear weapons during a press conference atthe Pentagon in this September 28, 1991 file photo.PP03030031REUTERS/StrHB/Arriving at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for award ceremonies November 9 are (L-R) former President Ronald Reagan , Alma Powell , Nancy Reagan and General Colin L. Powell , former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffRepublican presidential candidate Texas Governor George W. Bush (R) and retired General Colin Powell talk during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh, October 26, 2000. Bush hammered rival Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore on the responsibility of leadership.JM/RCSTexas Governor and Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush listens to former chairman of the joint chiefs retired Gen. Colin Powell at VFW Post 3323 in Westland, Michigan, September 7, 2000. Powell praised Bush’s plan to reinvigorate the U.S. military.RTW/RCSRichard Cheney, U.S. Defense Secretary during the Gulf War, and then Chairman of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell (R), address U.S. troops deployed in Saudi Arabia as part of operation Desert Shield during the Gulf crisis, in a December 21, 1990 file photo. According to reports, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush decided on July 24, 2000 to offer the vice presidential spot on the Republican White House ticket to Cheney. Senior Republican sources in Washington said Bush would call Cheney soon and appear with him July 25. Cheney had previously told associates that if asked, he would accept the nomination. Bush had also been courting Powell for the Vice President’s job, but Powell said he was not interested.HB/Musician Kenny G (center/right) stands with students of Macfarland Middle School (front), Charles Goldstock of Arista Records (left/rear), and General Colin Powell (ret.) (center), as he launches his new Foundation called Miracles by donating instruments to the school in Washington July 1. The mission of The Kenny G Miracles Foundation is to bring the miracle of music to America’s youth by providing resources for school programs.MMRU.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) points as he shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Cairo February 24, 2001. Both men both men are expected to discuss arms control, Iraq and Middle East peace. Powell said his meeting with Ivanov would be a “getacquainted session” and the start of the engagement between the new Bush administration and the Putin government in Moscow.U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell (R) laughs along with other U.S.officials during ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of OperationDesert Storm in Kuwait City February 25, 2001. From left, are: formerNational Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, retired General NormanSchwarzkopf, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait James Larocco and Powell, aretired general and former Joint Chiefs chairman during the Gulf war.REUTERS/Royal Navy/Dave Coombs/HandoutDVCC/SVU.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presents an American proposal to help bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under control May 21, 2001. Powell said on Monday he had instructed his ambassador to Jordan, William Burns, to help Israelis and Palestinians build a “timeline” for peace and urged both sides to call an immediate and unconditional cease-fire.KL/JPU.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell testifies before the HouseAppropriations subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice,State and the Judiciary, on Capitol Hill in Washington March 26, 2003.Powell testified for the State Department’s 2004 budget as well as thewar in Iraq. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBMU.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks on Iraq before members ofthe House International Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill, September19, 2002. President Bush warned today that the U.N. Security Councilmust deal with Iraq or the United States and its allies would actalone. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueKL/MEU.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2ndL) reads a final statement beside (L-R) Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Pique, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana during their joint news conference at Moncloa Palace April 10, 2002. Leaders met to discuss the Middle East crisis.WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 19:Former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell (ret.) speaks during a taping of ‘Meet the Press’ at NBC October 19, 2008 in Washington, DC. Secretary Powell spoke about his endorsement of Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).(Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for Meet The Press)U.S. President Barack Obama meets with former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, December 1, 2010.REUTERS/Jim Young(UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, December 1, 2010.REUTERS/Jim Young(UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)Former Secretary of State Colin Powell stands over U.S. President Barack Obama during the signing of America’s Promise Summit Declaration at the White House in Washington September 22,2014.Powell served as the founding chairman of America’s Promise Alliance which mobilizes non-profit groups, businesses, educators and communities to end high school dropout, and to prepare students for college and the workforce.REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque(UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS EDUCATION)Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the unveiling of Powell’s official State Department portrait in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department in Washington, DC, on December 7, 2009. Powell served as Secretary of State from 2001-2005 under former US President George W. Bush. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 07:Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell walks by his official State Department portrait after an unveiling ceremony with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the State Department December 7, 2009 in Washington, DC. Powell served as Secretary of State from 2001-2005 under former U.S. President George W. Bush.(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)Former US Secretaries of State Colin Powell (L) and Hillary Clintonspeak during a ceremony to break ground on the US Diplomacy Center at the US State Department in Washington, DC, September 3, 2014.AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON / AFP / JIM WATSON(Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 03:Former Secretaries of State (L-R) Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton share a laugh during the ceremonial groundbreaking for the future U.S. Diplomacy Center with former Secretary of State Colin Powell (L) at the State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building September 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. When completed, the Diplomacy Center will be a museum and education center that will ‘demonstrate the ways in which diplomacy matters now and has mattered throughout American history.'(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Up Next
Powell did not mention Trump by name, but he touted Biden’s foreign policy vision and contrasted it with the incumbent’s.
“He will trust our diplomats and intelligence community, not the flattery of dictators and despots. He will make it his job to know when anyone dares to threaten us. He will stand up to our adversaries with strength and experience. They will know that he means business,” Powell said.
Powell also represents the latest in a series of Republican-aligned figures to back Biden at the Democratic convention. On Monday night, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich joined former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, former New York Rep. Susan Molinari and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman to speak in support of the Democratic ticket.
Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa told the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery” this week that the cross-party endorsements were intended to send a unity message to the country.
“We understand that regardless of who you voted for in 2016, or whether you voted in a Democratic primary, or whether you have never voted at all, it’s important to bring everybody together,” Hinojosa said. “That’s the only way we win.”
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