Democrat Barack Obama snared the coveted endorsement of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and announced a record-shattering fundraising haul, dealing another setback to Republican John McCain's lagging presidential campaign. The decision by Powell, a Republican who served as President George W. Bush's first secretary of state, undermines McCain's claim that his rival is not ready to be commander in chief of the U.S. military. It could help Obama woo independent voters concerned about his qualifications in the final two weeks before the Nov. 4 election. Obama's staggering $150 million in donations in September more than doubles his previous record, and gives him leverage to campaign in battleground states and force McCain to defend Republican turf. McCain, meanwhile, stumped in swing state Ohio, pushing himself as an advocate of working class Americans and small business owners, and asserting that the Illinois senator's tax plan amounted to socialism. Powell called McCain's words an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate'' and part of an overly negative campaign by my beloved friend and colleague John McCain, a friend of 25 years.'' I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain,'' Powell said on NBC television. The Gallup Poll daily tracking survey showed on Sunday that Obama was leading McCain nationally by 10 percentage points, 52-42, an uptick after declining to as little six points last week. In addition to criticizing what he said was an overly negative McCain campaign, Powell said the 72-year-old senate veteran's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was not presidential timber. I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president,'' Powell said. McCain was being interviewed on Fox News as Powell endorsed Obama. He reacted by reminding viewers he had the backing of four former secretaries of state and scores of current and former military leaders. We have a respectful disagreement,'' he said of Powell.