He broke party lines in 2008 and he's not looking back: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for president this morning, saying that he inherited a terrible economy and has only just begun to turn things around. “I think, generally, we’ve come out of the dive and we’re starting to gain altitude,” Powell told CBS's This Morning. "I voted for him in 2008, and I plan to stick with him in 2012. I’ll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month.”

The retired general insisted he's still a Republican, but criticized his party's nominee Mitt Romney for his fluid views on foreign policy. "I am not quite sure which Gov. Romney we would be getting with respect to foreign policy," Powell said. "My concern is that sometimes I don't sense that he has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have."

Powell also expressed support for President Obama's health care reform overhaul and the auto bailout and said he was more "comfortable" with Obama on immigration, education and climate change. All of which raises the question of why he's still a card-carrying Republican in the first place. In the past couple of years, he has warned the president about our "huge national debt," so there's that. But clearly, Powell and the president have a special relationship. In the interview, he said he still speaks with the president with regularity, but was ultimately making his decision as a citizen of the United States. "I signed on for a long patrol with President Obama, and I don't think this is the time to make such a sudden change."