Former New Hampshire governor and Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu suggested that Colin Powell endorsed President Obama for a second term because they are both African American.
During an interview with Piers Morgan Thursday night, Sununu asked if Powell’s endorsement was “based on issues on whether he got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.” When Morgan asked what reason that would be, Sununu said, “Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him.”
Ryan Williams, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, released a statement from Sununu early Friday morning:
“Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made and I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the President’s policies. Piers Morgan’s question was whether Colin Powell should leave the party, and I don’t think he should.”
The statement did not address why Sununu brought up the issue of race in answering whether Powell should remain in the Republican party after voting for a Democrat for the second time.
Powell was accused of voting based on race in 2008 when Rush Limbaugh, among others, made a similar insinuation.
The former four-star general announced Thursday that he was endorsing the president for reelection. Powell applauded the way the president has handled the economy, and the fact that he ended the war in Iraq.
“I think we ought to keep on the track we are on,” he said.
President Obama called Powell Thursday to thank him for his endorsement.