July 20th, 2007
09:21 AM ET
7 years ago

Democratic candidate learns of Plame news on the trail

Richardson campaigned in Iowa Thursday.

NEWTON, Iowa (CNN) - A self-described 'news junkie' asked democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson what he thought of the dismissal of Valerie Plame's CIA leak lawsuit at a campaign stop in rural Iowa Thursday.

"Tell me what happened," Richardson said. "Tell everybody [so we can hear you]."

Obviously, this was the first Richardson had heard of the news. After being told, and then explaining to the crowd of about 90 what the case was about for those who were unfamiliar, he responded.

"That's wrong," he said. "She has a right to defend her career. She can't go back into intelligence. She was a very accomplished person, and it probably was a judge appointed by President Bush. The Supreme Court is not on our side, not on the peoples' side, so I'm worried about those appointments. Was that [news] out this morning?"

The same man in the audience at the United Auto Workers Hall in Newton told him that the story had only broke "about an hour ago."

"Oh," Richardson said laughing. "Well, [here's CNN], now this is my official reaction. I'm glad you told me though."

Before the question and answer period of his "Presidential Job Interview" campaign stop, Richardson, the current governor of New Mexico, took other jabs at the Bush Administration. He said that he would be a president who would obey the constitution of the United States.

"I say that because, you know, that hasn't been happening," said Richardson. "We've got a vice president who says he's not a member of the executive branch. He said that, because he didn't want to comply with documents!"

Richardson was referring to the office of the vice president's refusal to comply with an executive order regulating the proper course of action for executive material.

The governor also called for the closure of Guantanamo Bay, a U.S.
detainment camp on the island of Cuba. He said there would be a “no torture” policy if he were president.

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. James Atlanta, GA

    Why has everyone forgot that the only reason all of this happen is because Mr. Wilson leaked his views on pre-war intelligence. The information that he put in his op-ed was classified as well. It also directly contradicted the information that we were getting from the British and the French intelligence services. If I (as CIA director) had to weigh what I thought was more credible, I would have given more credibility to two intelligence services versus a single field agent's report. And, if people do not remember the exerts that they let out of his report, he even spoke to country officials that flat-out told him that the only reason Iraqi officials would be seeking trade would be for dangerous materials. His final assessment was that the story was not true.

    This story has been driven by people trying to get at those who leaked Plame's name. But, what if the lone individual was wrong. Her name would have never been an issue if her husband/confidant had not leaked classified information to the press first. In all fairness, a leak is a leak.

    July 20, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Doug, Boston, Massachusetts

    I agree with James from Atlanta.
    Only government officials should be able to leak classified,WRONG, information to the press. Why should we ever want to hear the CORRECT, truth.
    Somehow, wrong information from "so called" credible sources is has more weight with some folks than the facts.
    God Bless America, the land of the free and the home of the (intentionally) ignorant.

    July 20, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. David, Knoxville TN

    "People's", "had only broken" (or "story only broke"), and "Plame's".

    July 20, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Darren Marietta, GA

    ...and in the end, was Mr. Wilson wrong?

    July 21, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |