ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports:
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who famously crossed party lines to vote for President Obama in 2008, said today that he’s not necessarily supporting the president for reelection in 2012.
“I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for,” Powell said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Just as was the case in 2008, I am going to watch the campaign unfold. In the course of my life I have voted for Democrats, I have voted for Republicans, I have changed from one four-year cycle to another.
“I’ve always felt it my responsibility as a citizen to take a look at the issues, examine the candidates, and pick the person that I think is best qualified for the office of the president in that year. And not just solely on the basis of party affiliation,” he said.
Asked about the Republican field, Powell said there are some “interesting candidates,” but no one who has “emerged into the leading position.”
“So let’s see if anybody else is going to join, and we’ve got a long way to go,” he added.
Powell, the nation’s first African-American secretary of state, praised Obama’s leadership style in 2008 in endorsing him, saying shortly before the election that Obama “has a definite way of doing business that will serve us well.” He also said at the time that he didn’t think the GOP vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was “ready” to be president.
In his interview today, Powell also had a strong reaction to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s new memoir. He said Cheney took “cheap shots” in his book and seemed to be chasing “tabloid” headlines by saying his book would make “heads explode” in Washington.
“I haven’t heard anything that explosive,” Powell said.