ABC News’ John Berman, Sunlen Miller and Ursula Fahy Report: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., wasted no time basking in the glow of his latest big-name supporter.
"Today, I am beyond honored and deeply humbled to have the support of General Colin Powell," he said before a crowd of 10 thousand in Fayetteville, NC.
Fayetteville sits in the shadow of Fort Bragg, home to the 82nd Airborne, and is a town with deep military roots. So it is no surprise, Obama added, "General Powell has defended this nation bravely, and he has embodied our highest ideals through his long and distinguished public service."
Obama worked to incorporate Powell into the themes of his stump speech, "he knows, as we do, that this is a moment where we all need to come together as one nation – young and old, rich and poor, black and white, Republican and Democrat," said Obama. And he invoked Powell’s name when defending himself against some of the attacks coming lately from the McCain campaign, "He reminded us that at this defining moment, we don’t have the luxury of relying on the same political games the same political tactics that are used every election to divide us from one another and make us afraid of one another."
Specifically, Obama tried to parry the new charge from the McCain team, that his tax plan amounts to socialism. "Socialism!" scoffed Obama to a booing crowd, "it’s kind of hard to figure how Warren Buffet endorsed me. Colin Powell endorses me and John McCain thinks I’m passing socialism."
While Obama largely stuck to his stump speech, he did pounce on some recent gaffe by the McCain campaign. Yesterday, a McCain surrogate suggested Northern Virginia is not "Real Virginia," and Governor Sarah Plain has commented on visiting pro-America parts of the country. Today Obama said, "There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation – we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from."
Though it should be added, not everyone loves him. As he visited Cape Fear BBQ and Chicken, he was met by a shouting woman, 54 year-old Diane Fanning, who yelled, "Socialist! Socialist! Socialist! Ger out of here!"