RICHMOND, Va.—President Barack Obama phoned Colin Powell Thursday to thank him for endorsing him for a second term, a White House official said.
Powell, the former secretary of state under Republican President George W. Bush, endorsed Obama in 2008 and told CBS in an interview Thursday morning that he still supports him.
"The president is very appreciative of the endorsement," White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer told reporters on a plane ride from Tampa, Fla., where Obama held a rally. "He called Colin Powell this morning before the event to thank him."
The president did not discuss a possible endorsement with Powell before Thursday's announcement and was unaware he would give it, Pfeiffer said.
"We did not have a heads-up that he was going to do this," he said. "The president spoke to Colin Powell recently and Colin Powell did not give us any indication what he was going to do."
Powell said he was impressed with Obama's record on the economy and criticized Republican challenger Mitt Romney for his positions on foreign policy.