The condemnation of John McCain by John Lewis -- a man McCain called one of the three wise men he would consult as president -- was a huge personal blow to McCain. But Powell's endorsement of Obama is even more of a slap in the face.
Powell is a man that McCain has tremendous respect and admiration for. He once said he respected Powell more than any man in the world. In the New York Times Magazine this summer McCain said, "Colin Powell, a man who I admire as much as any man in the world, person in the world..." McCain called Powell one of the most "credible" and "respected men in America. Politico reported in August that McCain was even considering asking Powell to be his running mate. McCain has repeatedly said in the past that if elected he would have asked Powell to serve in his administration. Powell and McCain know each other well and have worked closely together. His public endorsement of Obama is a huge validation of Obama and a tremendous repudiation of McCain.
McCain said, "Colin Powell, a man who I admire as much as any man in the world, person in the world..." [NY Times interview with John McCain, 7/13/08]McCain considered Powell for a running mate. "Retired Gen. Colin Powell is among the potential running mates who have been considered by John McCain, campaign advisers told Politico. Powell was among the possible vice presidential choices the Arizona Republican senator was thinking of when he said he would not rule out a supporter of abortion rights, a key adviser said." [Politico, 8/23/08]
McCain said President Bush was "blessed" to have Powell working for him. McCain said, "I think the president is blessed to have two extremely talented people (Powell and Rumsfeld), experienced people, working for him, and others, but particularly those two." [MSNBC Hardball, 4/23/03]McCain called Powell one of the most "credible" and "respected men in America. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) praised Powell as one of the "most credible" and "most respected" men in America. [LA Times, 2/6/03]McCain said he admired and respected Powell, said he was one of most "honest" men he had "ever known." "Sen. McCain: Well, Colin Powell's one of the most honest men that I've ever known and I admire and respect him enormously, and so obviously I'd take his word for it." [CNBC 4/20/04]McCain was "exuberant" over Powell's selection as Secretary of State. After it was announced that Powell had been nominated by Bush for Secretary of State, McCain said, "I'm exuberant over the prospect of his [Colin Powell] stewardship of American foreign policy. There's a lot of very dangerous places in the world due to the fecklessness of the Clinton administration." [NBC Nightly News, 12/15/00]
McCain lauds Powell's selection as Secretary of State. Senator John McCain "I think his credentials and his charisma will have a significant effect, a beneficial effect, on the conduct of American foreign policy." [NBC Nightly News, 12/16/00]
McCain said if elected in 2000 he would have appointed Powell to his cabinet. On Larry King in 2001, McCain was asked whether he would have named Mr. Rumsfeld and Colin L. Powell to a McCain cabinet. 'Oh, yes." [CNN Larry King, 11/28/01]As leader of the International Republican Institute, John McCain gave Colin Powell the Freedom Award. "As Senator John McCain waited to speak at the annual awards dinner of the International Republican Institute, a democracy-building group he has led for 15 years," "Mr. McCain could use the chairman's [of the institute] perch to score points with important Republican figures -- he presented Freedom Awards to President Bush, former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and, in 2003, the incoming Senate majority leader, Bill Frist." [NY Times, 7/28/08]