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World Map / Upcoming Elections / US Presidential election 2016 / US Election Updates / Obama dismisses Romney adviser's comment over Powell endorsement

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US Election Updates - October 27, 2012

Obama dismisses Romney adviser's comment over Powell endorsement

President Barack Obama has dismissed suggestions by an adviser to Republican opponent Mitt Romney that former Secretary of State Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama was due to race rather than support for his positions.

"Any suggestion that General Powell would make such a profound statement in such an important election based on anything other than what he thought was best for America, I think, doesn't make much sense," Obama told radio host Michael Smerconish.

Smerconish asked Obama in an interview on Friday whether he was offended by Sununu's remarks.

Sununu, a former New Hampshire governor and chief of staff to former President George H.W. Bush, made the comments when asked about Powell's endorsement of the Democratic incumbent and whether Powell, a Republican, should leave the party.

Sununu said Powell, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush, may have had another reason for supporting Obama.

"When you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to look at whether that's an endorsement based on issues or he's got a slightly different reason for endorsing President Obama," he said in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.

When pushed for what that reason was, Sununu suggested it might be because, like Obama, Powell is black.

"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 said.

Sununu later backtracked on his comment, saying Powell's support of Obama was due to the president's policies.

"Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the endorsement decision he made, I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the President's policies," Sununu said in a statement. "Piers Morgan's question was whether Colin Powell should leave the party, and I don't think he should."

Obama said Powell's statement of support spoke for itself.

"He spoke about the fact that my foreign policy during a very difficult time had been steady and strong," the president said. "He talked about with respect to our economy, that we had helped to rescue America from a potential great depression and that we were moving in the right direction."

Powell announced his endorsement of Obama on Thursday.