Colin Powell standing by Obama in 2012 presidential race

WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a longtime Republican, is sticking with President Barack Obama in this year’s election.

He tells “CBS This Morning” he respects Mitt Romney but thinks he’s been vague on many issues.

Speaking of Obama, Powell said the president got the United States out of Iraq and has laid out a plan for leaving Afghanistan “and didn’t get us into any new wars.”

He praises Obama’s economic performance, saying that while difficult choices are ahead on taxes, spending and budgetary policies, “steadily, I think we’ve begun to come out of the dive and we’re gaining altitude.” Powell, a retired general, also formerly was a White House chief of staff and chairman of the military’s Joint Chief of Staffs.

Powell says that he’s still a Republican.

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