Powell standing by Obama in 2012 presidential race

Associated Press
FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2010 file photo, former Secretary of State Colin Powell meets with President Barack Obama, in the Oval Office at the White in Washington. Powell, a longtime Republican said on the "CBS This Morning" program Thursday, he is sticking with President Barack Obama in this year's election.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2010 file photo, former Secretary of State Colin Powell meets with President Barack Obama, in the Oval Office at the White in Washington. Powell, a longtime Republican said on the "CBS This Morning" program Thursday, he is sticking with President Barack Obama in this year's election. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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

He told CBS' "This Morning" he respects fellow Republican Mitt Romney but thinks he's been vague on many issues.

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

He praised Obama's economic performance, saying, 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."

Obama later called Powell to thank him.

Powell, a retired general, was also a White House national security adviser and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Powell says he's still a Republican.

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