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Obama touts Powell's endorsement before Virginia crowd

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

President Barack Obama delivers doughnuts to fire fighters at a fire house in Tampa, Fla., Oct. 25, 2012.

 

RICHMOND, VA -- President Barack Obama touted the endorsement of former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement, suggesting it was a nod of support to his record on foreign policy and defense.

Addressing a crowd of 15,000 here at a public park, Obama said, "I was proud to learn that we have Colin Powell's support in this campaign."

"I'm grateful to him for his lifetime of service to his country both as a soldier and a diplomat. And every brave American who wears this uniform of this country should know that as long as I am your Commander in Chief, we will sustain the strongest military this world has ever known.

President Obama received a sudden endorsement from retired General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell via morning television. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

"We will be relentless in pursuit of our enemies. Those are promises I've kept."

Military spending is a key issue in swing state Virginia, home to several bases as well as many civilian defense employees, who live primarily in Northern Virginia.

"President Obama says that ‘trust matters,’ but Virginians already know that he cannot be trusted to protect our military or our economy. Under President Obama, our military stands to be cut by nearly $1 trillion and he has no plan whatsoever to save the 136,000 Virginia jobs that could be eliminated because of his cuts," said Curt Cashour, Romney's spokesman for Virginia. "To make matters worse, the president’s liberal policies are killing jobs in Virginia as we speak."

After his speech, the president was headed to Chicago where he would become the first sitting president to vote early in person.