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Richardson Says He's Best at
Grass-roots Politics

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson still regrets his rather tortured answer to a question at a presidential candidate forum hosted by Human Rights Campaign last month. "Did you ever make a mistake?" he asked Washington Post reporters and editors during an interview Wednesday.

Richardson had stumbled over whether he believes homosexuality was biological or a matter of choice. He said "choice" and when given a chance to clarify his answer failed to do so, to the dismay of the predominantly gay audience.

"I made a mistake," he repeated. "I was tired. Did you ever fly all night?"

The Democratic candidate pointed to his record in New Mexico and as a congressman as proof of his commitment to gay rights. "How many other candidates have taken those position [and] actually done something?" he said.

Richardson said that during the forum his first impulse was that he was being thrown a trick question and that he seized on the word "choice" to guide him without thinking. "The word 'choice' is a big plus for Democrats."

The episode raised another question about whether the current nominating process asks too much of the candidates, forcing them into too many forums and to spend much of their time balancing fundraising requirements with the demands of voters in early states.

Richardson said the first thing he would do to reform the process is to put all candidates on a level playing field financially.

"I spend half of my time raising money -- 50 percent in four states campaigning, 50 percent out raising money," he said. "I don't have the machines of these other candidates. I've got to go myself, give a speech, collect this here, here, here, here."

He also called on party leaders to bring the nominating calendar under control, noting that candidates still don't know the dates or order of the first four contests next year. "Right now there's chaos."

Richardson has seen his poll numbers rise to low double-digits in Iowa and New Hampshire. He said his path to the nomination hinges on defeating one of the three top candidates -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards -- in Iowa and then using that as a "slingshot" in New Hampshire and Nevada, the next two states on the calendar.

He said that unlike Clinton and Obama, he is doing true grass-roots campaigning in Iowa. "I do 10 house parties, 10 town meetings, a 100 people each a day when I'm there," he said "You get the Clintons and Obamas there, they do a rally -- a thousand people -- and they're gone. The grass-roots approach in Iowa and New Hampshire works -- and I'm doing that."

Richardson said he believes the Hispanic vote will swing even more strongly in the direction of the Democrats in 2008 because of what he called a "colossal error" by the Republicans on immigration..

He was asked about the recent Democratic debate hosted by Univision, in which he complained about not being able to speak Spanish. Did he really not know that the hosts had decided to hold the debate in English, with Spanish translation for the audience? "I was trying to make a point," he said. "They changed the ground rules because I suspect Obama and Clinton and others said, why are you going to give Richardson and Dodd some juice. They changed the format and I [complained] about it."

Shortly before the start of the debate, he said, Univision executives came to him and quietly asked whether he was actually going to speak Spanish. "I didn't answer the question," he said. "I made my point. I find it incongruous for the largest Hispanic chain in America to impose an English-only rule."

--Dan Balz

By Washington Post editors  |  September 19, 2007; 7:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

I was pleased to see a photo of Bill Richardson in the Post because the amount of coverage he gets is remarkably scant given his experience and the strength of his veiws on Iraq. But then it was only a silly story about a small mistake he made on the campaign trail. It's not suprising he was tired - he is the only candidate that attends each and every debate he is invited to. Richardson's position on Iraq is that all of the troops should be pulled out now and that no residual troops should be left behind. Now THAT's a story that ought to be covered by the Post.

Posted by: Annie3 | September 20, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Ron Paul is NOT for a one world government, but for fair and truly free engagement with other countries for trade. No alliances, no intervention, and a strong committment to showing how Democracy can work through example and self-respect, rather than by pre-emptive force. This administration is doing so much to undermine our constitution that if we do not act now, our wages will be lower, our rights evaporated, and our quality of life diminished. www.ronpaul2008.com

Posted by: pdubya1 | September 20, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

CFR / NAU & 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

"The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the American Branch of a society which originated in England and believes national boundaries should be obliterated and one-world rule established." -Carroll Quigley, member of CFR, mentor to Bill Clinton

"The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relation is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence and submergence into an all powerful, one world government." "...the very substantial research facilities of the CFR are put to work to develop arguments, intellectual and emotional, to support the new policy..." "...and to confound and discredit, intellectually and politically, any opposition." -Admiral Chester Ward, former CFR member and Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy

Who is a CFR / NAU member?

Which Presidential Candidates are for One-World Government?


Republican Fred Thompson

Republican Rudy Giuliani

Republican Mitt Romney

Republican John McCain

Republican Jim Gilmore

Republican Newt Gingrich

Democrat Hilary Clinton

Democrat Barack Obama

Democrat John Edwards

Democrat Joe Biden

Democrat Chris Dodd

Democrat Bill Richardson


Is there any difference between Republican and Democrat when they have the same goal?


Go to www.cfr.org (Council of Foreign Relations Website). Do a search for: Sovereignty and Globalisation. Take a look at CFR President Richard N. Haass' article "Sovereignty and Globalisation. Check the membership and involvement of all the candidates. See For Yourself!


So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations are a threat to our independence as a nation.

We MUST withdraw from any organization and trade deal that infringes upon the Freedom and Independence of the United States of America!


It's not politics as usual. Research and Vote Wisely. Too Much Is At Stake....

Posted by: calumonit | September 20, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

GRASS-ROOTS ACTION NEEDED!!

After an enormous uproar from the American People stopped the huge amnesty bill S. 1639 this year, its unscrupulous proponents are trying to slip bits and pieces of it into the Department of Defense authorization bill. If they succeed in all their efforts, this betraying exercise in stealth will give them most of the outrageous elements of the "comprehensive" immigration bill that American rejected.

The main thrust of this plan is to add the DREAM Act amnesty (SA 2919), as an amendment to the Defense funding bill in the Senate. Ostensibly, this is just an amnesty to provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens who entered the country before they were 16, but since no documentation is required, virtually all the millions of illegal aliens in this country could claim eligibility.


The other two components of the plan are:


*Increase the number of H-2B non-agricultural seasonal visas. These visas deny jobs to, and depress wages for, low-skilled Americans--our own working poor. There is no system to guarantee that these "temporary" workers would ever leave. Much of the current illegal alien population arrived on temporary visas and then refused to leave when the visas expired.

*Increase the number of "hi-tech" H-1B visas. The SKIL Act would increase the figure from 65,000 to 115,000 in the first year and another 20 percent the following year. This expansion will make it even easier for U.S. employers to import cheap foreign workers and displace American workers!

ACTION NEEDED

It requires another public outcry to stop this amnesty. Let your Senators know that you do not want to see the Defense bill hijacked with these amendments.
--------------------------

BREAKING NEWS!

Sellout Senator Dick Durbin is backing up a bit. He is pulling back his first amendment (SA 2237) and submitting a new Dream Act Amendment (SA 2919)

While the text of this new amendment is unavailable, DC sources tell us that he is pulling out the In-State tuition for illegals language and setting an age cap on the Amnesty at 30 years of age. He is leaving in the language about 2 years in the military to qualify to keep this amendment Germane to the defense spending bill.

If we can push a little harder today, we could delay this move.

A delay will be to our favor because it will give us more time to notify the American public so they can respond!

Posted by: calumonit | September 20, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Bill Richardson may not have the "smooth" factor down pat - much due, no doubt, to exhaustion - he's the hardest working candidate out there today - but in terms of qualifications and appeal across the board? Bill Richardson wins hands down. I am of hopes (naively perhaps) that the MSM will do a better (much better) job at spreading his message to the masses.

Posted by: luvadog | September 20, 2007 6:14 AM | Report abuse

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