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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Powell Praises Obama, Fears Afghanistan Growing 'More Difficult' Than Iraq

By ED O'KEEFE

.....Returning to presidential politics, Powell condemned controversial remarks by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor of 20 years, as "deplorable" but complimented the Democratic candidate for his speech on race that followed in the aftermath.

"Rev. Wright is also somebody who has made enormous contributions in his community and has turned a lot of lives around," Powell said, "And so, I have to put that in context with these very offensive comments that he made, which I reject out of hand."

Powell added that he does not know Wright, and praised Obama's response.

"I think that Sen. Obama handled the issue well . . . he didn't look the other way. He didn't wait for the, for the, you know, for the storm to go over. He went on television, and I thought, gave a very, very thoughtful, direct speech. And he didn't abandon the minister who brought him closer to his faith," Powell told Sawyer.

Powell, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate in almost every election since he retired from military service and public life, expressed admiration for Obama.

"It was a good (speech)," Powell said. "I admired him for giving it. And I agreed with much of what he said."

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