Colin Powell: George H.W. Bush ‘Had More Experience in Foreign Affairs Than Any President in History’

By Melanie Arter | December 3, 2018 | 11:46 AM EST

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (Screenshot)

( - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush, told CNN’s “State of the Union With Jake Tapper” that Bush had more foreign affairs experience that any other president in U.S. history.

When asked why Bush was so successful in foreign affairs, Powell said, “Because he had more experience in foreign affairs than any president in history. He had been an envoy to China. He had been in war himself, as you well know. He had eight years as vice president of the United States. He could watch what was going on in the Reagan years.

“He served at the U.N. He served in the Congress. He was the director of the CIA. What other credentials do you need to be a successful president with respect to foreign policy?” Powell asked.

“So, he knew the world. He understood so many of the personalities who were working in the world at that point, and he was essentially fully prepared to be a foreign policy president, and he was a successful one, a very successful one,” he said.


As previously reported, Bush died Friday at the age of 94.

“And it seemed as though -- I mean, he helped negotiate the post-Cold War era. It was very important to him to build alliances, to invest, to help out the Soviet -- the former Soviet Union as it disintegrated, to help out Germany as it unified,” Tapper said.

“International organizations, which today Republican voters and Republican presidents look at, you know, ... look askance at, they were part of his blood,” he added.

“They were part of his blood, and maybe he also read the history of World War I, where we didn't do this kind of thing, and we produced a situation that produced World War II, but President Bush, he wanted to talk about a new world order,” Powell said.

“It was a term he used all the time, and by that ... he didn't mean a world order where somebody dominates. He wanted all the nations of the world to come together and deal with each other in the spirit of humility, in the spirit of, let's get the job done. And that's the way he went about his eight years as vice president and his four years as president,” he said.


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