Yes, Really: Romney Surrogate Says Colin Powell Endorsed Obama Because He’s Black

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Oct. 26 2012 4:42 PM

Yes, Really: Romney Surrogate Says Colin Powell Endorsed Obama Because He’s Black

A day after former Secretary of State Colin Powell said he supported Barack Obama based on health care and foreign policy, a top Mitt Romney surrogate floated a different theory. Campaign co-chair and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said Powell likely endorsed the president because they are both black.

Appearing on CNN, Sununu said he applauded the retired general, but then added: “Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder if that's an endorsement based on issues, or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama.” In case that was unclear, he then specified that he was referring to the men’s race.

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Hours later, Sununu backpedaled furiously, saying that he is a friend of Powell’s and that he didn’t in fact doubt his motives behind the endorsement.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Sununu has made headlines for racially charged comments. In July, he called Obama “foreign,” saying that the president doesn’t understand the “American system” because “he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something.”

Jeffrey Bloomer is a Slate assistant editor focused on video. Follow him on Twitter.

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