Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has some advice for Mitt Romney on Russia policy: “Let’s not go creating enemies.”
“I think he really needs to think carefully about these statements,” Powell said Wednesday on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, responding to Romney calling Russia the United States’s No. 1 geopolitical foe. “Let’s not go creating enemies.”
The former Bush Cabinet official said the situation with Russia and China needs “mature people” to analyze it without hyperbole.
Powell has remained out of the 2012 political fray, having not yet endorsed a candidate. In 2008, he backed Barack Obama, and he now says that he has been generally pleased with the president’s performance.
“I think President Obama has been successful in stabilizing the economy, or at least the financial aspects of the economy,” he said.
He said the president missed opportunities to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and to act on the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles entitlement reform plan. As for the president’s attacks on Romney’s experience as the head of Bain Capital, Powell said he “finds nothing wrong with equity and capital.”
But don’t expect an endorsement from Powell anytime soon. “I’m on a book tour,” he said. “I have no obligation as a private citizen to endorse or not to endorse.”
Powell also criticized the presumptive Republican nominee’s hard-line position on Russia earlier on Wednesday during a morning interview on the cable network, saying, “Come on, Mitt, think.”