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Colin Powell remembers George H.W. Bush: 'A perfect American' who 'hated losing'

Colin Powell remembers George H.W. Bush: 'A perfect American' who 'hated losing'
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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell paid homage to the late President George H.W. Bush, calling him a “perfect American.” 

Powell, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Bush presidency, told CNN Bush believed that “because you run against each other, that doesn't mean you're enemies. Politics doesn't have to be uncivil and nasty."

“I wish we could get some of that back in our system now,” he said, adding, “he was a great president, and he was a perfect American.”

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Powell said Bush greatly valued the opinions of his advisors when making military decisions, adding that the former president, a World War II veteran himself, deeply cared about the troops he put in harm’s way.

“He cared about every single soldier, sailor, airman and Marine we sent over there,” Powell said, referring to the Persian Gulf War.

“I think he was a great commander in chief,” Powell added. “And his military experience, of course, had a lot to do with that as well. He knew what combat was all about. He knew that this was not a game. It was a war, and we had to do it well, we had to do it right.”

Besides directing a successful military effort in the Gulf War, Bush is widely credited with helping maintain peace in Europe after the Soviet Union dissolved during his term. 

Bush's family announced the former president's death Friday in a statement released by his son former President George W. Bush. No cause of death has been given. He was 94 years old.

He will lie in state in the capitol Monday through Wednesday morning.