Mitt Romney’s most outspoken surrogate was trying to tamp down criticism of a comment he made on CNN last night suggesting former Secretary of State Colin Powell supported President Obama because he’s black.
Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R) was asked by Piers Morgan whether Powell’s endorsement — the second time the general has backed Obama — meant Powell should leave the GOP.
“Well, I’m not sure how important that is,” Sununu said. “I do like the fact that Colin Powell’s boss, George Herbert Walker Bush, has endorsed Mitt Romney all along. And frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that’s an endorsement based on issues or whether he’s got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.”
“What reason would that be?” Morgan asked.
“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,” Sununu responded.
Sununu issued a statement a few hours after the interview, when the comments had taken off across Twitter.
“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,” Sununu said.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Morgan’s show that it is time for Powell to switch his party registration.
“I just wish that he wouldn’t call himself a Republican,” McCain said. “I mean we Republicans have a habit of supporting Republicans. So that’s all. I mean, everybody’s entitled to their views. Frankly, I don’t think it will change one vote.”