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.”)
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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