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Powell Says He's Made His Decision

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 25) -- Retired Gen. Colin Powell, still fending off speculation he might join the Republican ticket, says it would "make life easier for me" if people would stop raising the possibility.

"I've answered the question, and I thought I answered rather completely," Powell said after a speech Monday night (33K AIFF or WAV sound). "I'm honored and flattered that people would continue to speculate about it, but I've made my decision."

[Quote from Powell]

Powell said earlier he would not run for any elective office this year, but some polls have suggested his presence on the Republican ticket could markedly improve the GOP's chances in the fall (50K AIFF or WAV sound).

[Powell and McCain]

Powell spoke at an International Republican Institute dinner. In his talk, he made no mention of domestic politics, focusing instead on international political changes. In a question-and-answer session afterward, he told the audience he was sticking with his decision not to run.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who introduced Powell, said he has never refused the call of duty. "America may yet ask more of him, I don't know," McCain said. "I do know that Colin Powell loves his country, and he will hear her if she calls."

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