Powell critical of Romney foreign policy team

WASHINGTON Wed May 23, 2012 3:18pm EDT

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Seoul in this May 13, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Truth Leem

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Seoul in this May 13, 2010 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Truth Leem

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday for taking advice from foreign policy advisers who are "quite far to the right" in an sign of lingering strains from his tenure under President George W. Bush.

Powell is a moderate Republican who endorsed President Barack Obama in his 2008 bid for the White House. He has said he has not decided who he will endorse this year - Obama or Romney.

But he made clear that he is not happy with some of the neo-conservatives who are advising Romney.

Powell has said it was "blot" on his record when the Bush administration dispatched him in 2003 to the United Nations to provide testimony on Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war there.

Powell's argument was essential in shaping the U.S. case for why a war was needed in Iraq. No such weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

"I don't know who all of his advisers are but I've seen some of the names and some are quite far to the right and sometimes they, I think, might be in a position to make judgments or recommendations to the candidate that should get a second thought," Powell told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Romney's advisers include some veterans of the Bush administration. An informal outside adviser is former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. Of 24 "special advisers" on national security and foreign policy, 16 served in diplomatic or political roles for Bush.

Powell took particular exception to a recent comment from Romney that Russia is the top U.S. geopolitical threat.

"Come on Mitt, think! That isn't the case," said Powell.

(Reporting By Steve Holland)

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Comments (5)
flashrooster wrote:
Romney would be the neocon’s dream–2 more terms of George W. Bush. I guess if a majority of Americans want to believe that unnecessary wars, tax cuts for the rich, more deregulating of Wall Street and the banks, and more runaway spending in other countries is the best course for America, then Romney’s the one to go with. At least when there’s criticism of the Bush/Romney agenda it’s not fabricated nonsense like not being born in the US or has secret plans to destroy America.

You really can’t knock Obama’s efforts. Unlike Bush, Obama has been focused on America and trying to help the American Middle Class. Unfortunately, the Republicans have fought him tooth and nail so that they could claim that Obama hasn’t done anything. No one should support a political party that will sacrifice America’s best interests while advancing their own. It makes clear what the Republicans’ priorities are and it’s not about helping the people of this great country.

May 23, 2012 3:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:
This is a man I would vote for….

May 23, 2012 9:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RoaringFish wrote:
In summary, Mitt Romney’s strategy is find a bunch of failures and hire them as advisors. There’s a guy with impeccable judgement…

May 24, 2012 10:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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