Joe Biden: ‘Above All, Colin Powell Was My Friend’

Secretary of State-designate Colin Powell, left, and Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., pose for photographers on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2001. Powell is holding a series of meetings with senators prior to his confirmation hearing next week. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
AP Photo/Dennis Cook

President Joe Biden memorialized former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday, describing him as a “friend” and a “patriot.”

“Above all, Colin was my friend. Easy to share a laugh with. A trusted confidant in good and hard times,” Biden wrote in a statement that was more than 400 words.

Powell served in the George W. Bush administration as secretary of state and was also a national security adviser for President Ronald Reagan and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under former President George H.W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton.

U.S. President George W. Bush, left, has a word with Secretary of State Colin Powell during opening remarks at the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, June 28, 2004. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

U.S. President George W. Bush, left, has a word with Secretary of State Colin Powell during opening remarks at the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, June 28, 2004 (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak).

Biden described Powell as “a patriot of unmatched honor and dignity” and recalled Powell’s decision to endorse him for president in 2020.

“I am forever grateful for his support of my candidacy for president and for our shared battle for the soul of the nation,” he wrote. “I will miss being able to call on his wisdom in the future.”

Biden praised Powell effusively, writing that he “embodied the highest ideals of both warrior and diplomat,” even though he did not always agree with him.

“Over our many years working together – even in disagreement – Colin was always someone who gave you his best and treated you with respect,” he wrote.

Biden also praised Powell for breaking racial barriers and his commitment to mentoring “the next generation of leadership.”

The president also detailed his and Powell’s shared love of Corvettes.

“He could drive his Corvette Stingray like nobody’s business—something I learned firsthand on the race track when I was Vice President,” he wrote.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell waits to drive the pace car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, April 16, 2005. Powell will drive a Chevrolet Corvette convertible pace car to lead the field to the start of the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29, 2005. Former Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford was riding with Powell.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell waits to drive the pace car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Saturday, April 16, 2005 (AP Photo/Darron Cummings).

In 2016, Biden and Powell raced their Corvettes for an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.

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