Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for re-election

Powell: Obama has country on right path

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2008: Retired Gen. Colin Powell, a Republican who was President George W. Bush's first secretary of state, breaks with the party and endorses Democrat Barack Obama for president.

NEW YORK - President George W. Bush's former secretary of state Colin Powell announced he endorsed President Obama and planned to vote for him in the November election.

"I voted for [Obama] in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012," the retired four-star general told CBS This Morning.

Powell said Mitt Romney -- Obama's Republican challenger -- was a capable and strong candidate. However, he said he had concerns over Romney's economic plan and his foreign policy strategy.

"As I listen to what his proposals are -- especially with respect to the economy -- it's essentially let's cut taxes and compensate for that with other things," Powell said.

Powell told CBS This Morning neither candidate asked for an endorsement and he made his decision as a citizen -- not a politician. He said the United States doesn't need a sudden change and believes the president has the country on the right path.

"When he took over, the country was in very, very difficult straits," Powell said.

"I saw over the next several years stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years," Powell told CBS This Morning. "So I think generally we've come out of the dive and we're starting to gain altitude."

Powell acknowledged "there are a lot of problems still out there" but said he believes the president is pushing the economy in the right direction.

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