John McCain, fervent support of Colin Powell

Now that Powell is supporting Gates and Mullen on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, it’s timely to recall just what John McCain thinks of Colin Powell’s advice:

McCain admires Powell as much as anyone else in the world. “Q: When do you think the United States has an obligation to intervene to prevent genocides: Mr. McCain: When it goes on and we can find an effective way to stop it – or even, if we can, if have the prescience we can try to stop it before it happens. That’s not very easy, obviously. We have to have effective ways of addressing genocide. I know what you are leading to and that is Darfur, where Colin Powell, a man who I admire as much as any man in the world, person in the world, declared genocide in Darfur several years ago.” [NY Times interview with John McCain, 7/13/08]

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 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 says Bush administration should have listened to Powell more. When asked about torture on CBS, Scott Pelley asked, “How did we lose our way?” McCain responded “I don’t know the answer to that. I think one of the failures maybe was not to listen more to our military leadership, including people like General Colin Powell, on this issue,” McCain said. [CBS, 3/9/08]

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]

McCain says Powell led the State Department with “honor and distinction.” “Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said all Americans should consider Mr. Powell’s ‘great service to our country.’ ‘When he took the helm at the State Department nearly four years ago, I was confident that Secretary Powell would lead with honor and distinction,’ Mr. McCain said. ‘I have not been disappointed.’” [NY Times, 11/15/04]

McCain was in favor of Powell talking to Syria. McCain said that: “I think it’s appropriate that Colin Powell is going there [Syria].” Chris Matthews followed up “So you don’t agree with Newt Gingrich dumping all over him? You don’t agree with Newt Gingrich dumping on the Powell trip?” McCain responded “You know, Dick — Richard Armitage is Powell’s deputy. And he’s a wonderful guy. He served in Vietnam. And he’s a really tough guy. And he was quoted someplace today that Newt Gingrich is out of therapy.” McCain added “Colin Powell is going to look Bashar aside in the eye and say, look, you know. You better clean up your act here. It’s a new day in the Middle East. And I think it’s entirely appropriate to do that.” [MSNBC Hardball, 4/23/03]


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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