Colin Powell, a retired four-star general who served as secretary of state under the Republican administration of President George W. Bush, has announced that he will be voting for the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the upcoming presidential election.
As Newsday reported, Powell told an audience of more than 1,000 Long Island business and political leaders that "[Hillary Clinton] is smart, she is capable, she was a good secretary of State. She is balanced, she has temperament and no matter what anyone says, she has stamina ... I think she is fully qualified to serve as the president of the United States and will serve it with distinction."
Other the other hand, Powell criticized Republican nominee Donald Trump as unqualified, citing his repeated insults of numerous groups: “He has insulted America in one way almost every day,” Powell said. “He has insulted Latino Americans. He has insulted African-Americans. He has insulted women. He has insulted his own party. He has insulted our allies around the world one by one by one. He has insulted veterans.”
Although Powell is a Republican, he broke with his party in 2008, endorsing Democratic Senator Barack Obama over Republican Senator John McCain in that year's presidential election.
Leaked messages from Powell's e-mail account published earlier this year revealed his candid thoughts about Trump and Clinton. Powell called Trump a “national disgrace” and an “international pariah,” and described Trump's role in perpetuating birther claims about President Obama as “racist.” And while Powell described Clinton as a respected friend, he also said she was someone he would rather not vote for and observed that "everything she touches, she kind of screws up with hubris."