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Colin Powell sings ‘Call Me Maybe’

“You ran the clock out, we were done talking about politics,” Powell said to “CBS This Morning” host Charlie Rose, after singing the chorus of Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit song with co-host Gayle King.

{mosads}Powell, who was secretary of State for former President George W. Bush, was appearing on the show to promote his new book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, but also discussed the growing turmoil in Syria.

Powell called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has faced international criticism for his violent response to an uprising, “a liar of the first order.”

“The question always comes down to: ‘Should somebody go in and
intervene?’ And that someone almost always turns to be the United
States and I don’t think we can do that, I don’t think we should find
ourselves in the middle of this,” cautioned Powell about calls for military intervention on behalf of anti-Assad forces.

“Because remember, it’s not
just a matter of intervene. If you take out this government, as we
learned in Afghanistan and Iraq, you now become responsible for this
country,” he added.

Powell, who said President Obama is “taking [Syria] very, very
seriously,” sided with the administration on its opposition to U.S. military involvement. The White House has focused its efforts on providing humanitarian assistance to civilians and mobilizing international pressure to convince Assad to relinquish power.

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has used the subject to highlight differences
between his foreign policy and that of Obama, urging the
to arm the Syrian rebels.

“Syria is ugly, from what we see on television every day, but there
are lots of other ugly countries in the world. What about Sudan?”
argued Powell against military intervention.

Powell, who has not endorsed a presidential candidate but endorsed
Obama in 2008, again bypassed the chance to openly back a contender this cycle, saying he does not feel any “obligation to make an endorsement just because I’m on a book tour.”

“I always try to look at both candidates, Republican and Democrat, see
who seems to have the best vision for the country, who seems to have
the best policies coming in with that person, and who else is liable
to be on their team, and then I’ll make a judgment,” he said. “And
once I make a judgment in my own mind, I may share it with my fellow
citizens or I may not.”

He added that he still needs more information on both Romney and Obama
before he makes a judgment call, specifically noting that he hasn’t
seen “solid, in my humble judgment, economic suggestions” from

“Whatever judgment I have right now would be incomplete,” he said. “I
don’t feel that I’m a sort of play-maker in this.”


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