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Colin Powell Endorses Obama's 2012 Campaign: VIDEO

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Basing his 2012 endorsement primarily on economic upticks and strong foreign policy, former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell backed President Obama's reelection this morning.

Powell voted for Obama in 2008 but has stayed on the sidelines for the current bout. That changed this morning, when he told CBS News that he plans on going to again cast his ballot for the commander-in-chief. Romney, he says, is offering nothing new or useful in his one area of expertise: the economy.

From the transcript of Powell's remarks to host Charlie Rose:

ROSE: Will you endorse President Obama this race?

POWELL: Well, you know I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I’ll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.

ROSE: That's an endorsement for President Obama for re-election?

POWELL: When he took over the country was in very, very difficult straits, we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos. We had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment would peak a few months later at 10%. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing. The housing industry was starting to collapse, and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it's starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising. So I think generally we've come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude. It doesn't mean we are problem solved, there are lots of problems still out there. The unemployment rate is too high. People are still hurting in housing. But I see that we are starting to rise up.

I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he's taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. And so I think we ought to keep on the track that we are on.

With respect to Governor Romney, I have the utmost respect to him but as I listen to what his proposals are especially with respect to dealing with our most significant issue, the economy, it's essentially let's cut taxes and compensate for that with other things. But that compensation does not cover all of the cuts intended or the new expenses associated with defense.

Watch the video, rapidly and excitedly snipped by the DNC, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Colin Powell Sings 'Call Me Maybe': VIDEO

Powell

Okay, things are starting to get a little out of control.

Watch the clip from CBS This Morning, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Colin Powell Comes Out in Support of Gay Marriage: VIDEO

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Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell told Wolf Blitzer today in an interview that he backs Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage:

"I have no problem with it...As I’ve thought about gay marriage, I know a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is, and they raise children. And so I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Colin Powell Says Repeal 'DADT', But Don't Pressure Congress

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Colin Powell tells Larry King that it is time to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', and we have now heard from the military, but we should not pressure Congress to act before the Pentagon's study has been released, the Wonk Room reports.

Said Powell:

"our military leaders have now spoken. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, there is some, some difference of opinion among the chiefs that will have to be resolved. But I wish that we would just let that study be finished, let it be published and let everybody read it and not leak parts of it. And so I share Senator McCain’s view that we ought to let the process unfold and not try to intercept it with court rulings or with people trying to get a vote out of the Congress when the Congress is not ready to vote on it."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previous statements from Powell...
Colin Powell: It's Time to Reevaluate 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' 12/11/08 [tr]
Powell Fully Supports 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal 2/3/10 [tr]

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Colin Powell: 'Perfectly Acceptable To Get Rid Of DADT'

A couple of politicians took to the airwaves during Sunday morning's political talk shows to discuss "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Colin Powell, who back in February revealed that he supported the repeal of DADT, was a guest on ABC's "This Week" and was asked why he's changed his mind about the policy.

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"Things have changed. That was 17 years ago." He also added that, "I am personally of the view now that attitudes have changed and I think it is perfectly acceptable to get rid of the law and the policy but I think before we actually do it we have to hear clearly from the officers and the men and women who are charge of executing the policy."

“I think it's important to listen to the troops who are affected and take into account the views of the senior leadership and military leadership of the armed forces.”

Watch a clip of Powell on "This Week" AFTER THE JUMP.

Also this morning, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" and told Candy Crowley he thinks Congress should have waited before voting to repeal the policy last week.

Politico reports:

Mullen, who backs the repeal, said a provision that requires the White House to "certify" the change gives the military great leeway in when and how to phase in the controversial changes.

"Ideally, I would certainly have preferred that legislation not be brought forward .. until we are done with that review," he told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union."

"That certification is key in terms of when we would be ready to implement it and whether in our judgment how much the change is going to effect the things that are at the top of the list for me – readiness, unit cohesion, recruiting and readiness," Mullen said. "It makes this review… that much more critical."

Meanwhile Lt. Dan Choi Capt. Jim Pietrangelo are spending their Memorial Day weekend by continuing the dignity fast they began a few days ago in protest of DADT. Watch the two speak after two days of going without food AFTER THE JUMP.

  Fast

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Watch: Rachel Maddow on DOJ's Defense of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and General John Sheehan's 'Apology'

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Last night, Rachel Maddow discussed the Department of Justice's defense of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (I mentioned that the brief filed yesterday inspired HRC to wake up and get on Obama's case) and its use of an old Colin Powell position to bolster its argument.

Maddow also talked about former General John Sheehan's 'apology' for saying gays in the military were the cause of the 1995 Bosnian massacre at Srebrenica.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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