WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is declining to renew the endorsement he gave Barack Obama four years ago, when he called Obama "a transformational figure."
Pressed in a network interview to say whether he's backing Obama, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff demurred Tuesday.
Powell told NBC's "Today" show, "I always keep my powder dry, as they say in the military." He credited Obama with stabilizing the financial system and "fixing the auto industry" but says he should have spent more time on the economy.
However, he said he would have closed the Guantanamo Bay detention center. "I would have closed that rapidly. He tried. He was stopped by Congress," said Powell.
Powell called Mitt Romney a viable candidate and said he's "still listening" to Republican proposals. Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, also said "I don't want to throw my weight behind someone" at this point in the campaign.
"The beautiful part of being a private citizen is you can decide when you want to throw your weight, if you want to throw your weight. I'm still listening to what the Republicans are saying they're going to do to fix the fiscal problems we have, to get the economy moving," said Powell. "And i think I owe that to the Republican Party."
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