Colin Powell spoke on Meet the Press.
“This is a guy who would be very careful about putting their lives at risk because he put his life at risk,” Powell told NBC’s David Gregory.
Hagel, who was seriously wounded while serving as an Army infantryman in Vietnam, was a Republican senator from Nebraska from 1997 to 2009.
“He knows what war is and he will fight a war if it’s necessary, but he’s a guy who will do it with great deliberation and care,” Powell said.
Secretary Powell, who voted twice for President Obama, said, “I’m still a Republican.”
…but he delivered a prolonged criticism of the Republican Party, rebuking the hawks in the party. “They’ve lost two elections. The American people have made it clear that they are not particularly interested in finding new conflicts to get into.”
“I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is to take a very hard look at itself” and at the attitude of some Republicans toward ethnic minorities, he said, accusing unnamed Republicans of “intolerance” and “(looking) down at minorities.”
Powell criticized – although did not identify by name — former New Hampshire governor John Sununu, who served as chief of staff for President George H. W Bush and as an aide to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, for calling Obama “lazy” after his first debate performance and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for using the phrase “shuck and jive” in criticizing Obama’s explanation of the administration’s response to attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi.