Article published on the 2008-10-20 Latest update 2008-10-20 17:03 TU
Speaking on the NBC television programme "Meet the Press" on Sunday Republican Colin Powell said the Illinois senator had "met the standard" to be commander-in-chief "because of his ability to inspire" Americans of all ages and ethnic and political stripes.
"I think he would be a transformational president. For that reason I will be voting for Senator Barack Obama," said Powell.
He also said that Obama was better equipped to deal with the financial crisis.
Powell expressed disappointment in McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, saying she was not ready to take over as president, if necessary.
In contrast, Powell said Obama "displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at (economic) problems like this, and picking a vice president (Joseph Biden) that I think is ready to be president on day one."
Powell criticised the Republican Party for moving too far right in recent years.
Reacting on Fox News television, Republican candidate John McCain said he was not surprised by Powell's decision. He pointed out that other former secretaries of state including Henry Kissinger and James Baker endorsed him.
Barack Obama, who was campaigning in North Carolina, said he was honored and humbled by the retired general's support.
The Democratic campaign yesterday announced that they had raised a record 150 million dollars in September. This gives Obama a sharp financial edge over the Republican candidate two weeks from the presidential vote.
2008-10-16 12:33 TU