October 18th, 2007
04:05 PM ET
12 years ago

Richardson to Republicans: We need the U.N

Richardson, a former U.N. ambassador, offered advice to a few Republicans in Des Moines Thursday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson on Thursday defended the United Nations and its role in international diplomacy against recent Republican attacks.

"[I will] introduce some Republicans to a basic reality," said Richardson. "[The] United Nations...is a necessary and important framework for building the international cooperation that will be necessary to confront problems like environmental degradation and poverty."

In a speech addressing 21st century global threats, the New Mexico governor said the U.N. is vital to peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, and solutions to global climate change.

"As a former U.N. ambassador there - your ambassador there - I, more than
anyone in this race, understand the shortcomings of that institution," the New Mexico governor admitted. "But I also know the incredible power in the legitimacy of international cooperation."

Richardson also took shots at his opponents - both Democratic and Republican - over their international resumes.

"My colleagues in this race have my respect, but it is a simple fact that the next international deal negotiated by any of them will be their first."

Richardson's remarks come the same day Republican candidate Mitt Romney
called the U.N. a "failure."

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Iowa
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Yes, we need the U.N.

    ...like a fish needs a bicycle. (Thank you Ms. Steinem)

    October 18, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Richardson, you are so out of touch. The U.N. has lost it's way for quite some time now. Read the papers.

    October 18, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Bill Richardson wants to introduce Republicans to "basic reality"? Here's some basic reality, Bill, you've got as much chance of becoming President here as you do in Iran.

    Sure you feel a need to defend the UN since you were a former ambassador, but to blindly ignore the UN's ongoing impudence to act and anti-American views is ridiculous.

    October 18, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Greg

    This is a very tricky subject. The UN is the right vehicle for these kinds of issues but at the same time it has been startlingly incapable of action.

    The world needs a body like the UN to take control of issues that affect the countries of the world rather than letting a single country like the US or any other sponsor their individual approach to solving a global problem. Only by using it and trying to improve it will it come to be what is necessary – by attempting to ignore it or regard it as useless, its very important role is being undermined. This is irresponsible at best, and given the failure of foreign policy decisions over recent years from one particular country, the need for a body like the UN has never been more obvious.

    October 18, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  5. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Richardson is not my candidate of choice, but he makes a convincing argument to vote for him. Mitt Romney supports a North American union, which every good Democrat knows would mean the final blow against the good reputation of the US.

    October 18, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Thank You Governor Richardson. It is certainly refreshing to know that ONE CANDIDATE actually knows what he is talking about.

    More refreshing is that this one Candidate was a former UN Ambassador for the US. We need more international savvy like yours in the White House. As it seems the Democrats have just ingnited another fire in the Middle East whilst the Bush fires are still blazing.

    VOTE RICHARDSON 2008 for Peace, Common Sense, International Diplomacy and Experience and an end to the Iraq War, and the Pakistan, Iran and Turkey dissention.

    October 18, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Ed, Berwick, PA

    Of course the UN is needed. Just because we don't get our way on every issue, or every vote; doesn't mean that the UN is useless. I am aware that our finacial support for the UN is astronomically more than other nations, that is our fault. We need to insist that other nations contribute their fair share. Our over funding doesn't mean that our opion in the world is more important than let us say Zambias. Turning our back on the world will come back to haunt us.

    October 18, 2007 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. john williams san diego, ca.

    the BEST thing i can say about the U.N. is that the organization and ALL, i repeat ALL of its members are corrupt.. if THEY really cared about world peace they would immediately relocate to Darfur, Tehran, Bagdad, Cuba, Tel Aviv, Mogadishu or Moscow...and PLEASE take Richardson and Halfbright with you...OUT of OUR COUNTRY

    October 18, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. Coach Haughton

    What an excellent Vice-Presidential Candidate.

    October 18, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. failedbymitt ny ny

    that guy with the name mitt is a failure, failed as governor and won´t get a chance to fail as president, give it up and save the donor´s money

    October 18, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. Jonathan Hattiesburg, MS

    People should listen to this man. He has the breadth and diversity of experience that NONE of his opponents in either party can match.

    Kerry was #4 in the polls before he shook up the race. . .I expect Bill to do the very same.

    October 18, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Jen, Detroit MI

    We don't need the UN, Bill, and we don't need you either.

    October 18, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  13. Paul, Kissimmee Fl

    Yeah. Look at the great job they're doing in Africa. WORTHLESS.

    October 18, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. john williams san diego, ca.

    finally, cnn agrees with me

    October 18, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. Carlos Nevarez / Dorado, Puerto Rico, U.S.A

    I disagree with Mr. Richardson. If I were alive 40 years back, then I might have agreed. The United Nations at its current state is in total dissary. Like I've said before on this issue. Look at those poor nations in Africa which the U.N is trying to subdue. They must have been there for YEARS, and still there is no sign of progress. Also, the United Nations is trying to dictate some of our policy. OUR policy. I find this behavior totally unacceptable. This great Republic will do just fine without the help of the U.N. The U.N is full of countries that are and will always be Hypocrites. Just look at China and Russia...

    October 18, 2007 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. JK Ashburn, VA

    The UN does have a valuable role to play. It's just unfortunate that it is institutionally so incompetent and corrupt to be taken seriously in accomplishing that role. Many people mistake Republican disregard of the UN as a belief that we don't need it. If the UN could do its job and not be so incredibly corrupt, I'd be all for it.

    October 18, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  17. Chris, Middletown, CT

    OMG....watch 20/20 tomorrow – Stossel is going to talk about global warming..this time....the other side gets to be heard....since I have to discuss Richardson....is he still running?

    October 18, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  18. Laura, Tulsa OK

    Shortcomings of the UN? ... that's an understatement; they haven't done anything. They don't do anything and are corrupt. So, Im a fan of abolishing the UN.

    October 18, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Mike, NY

    No, we don't. I'm quite sure we can converse with other nations and engage in rigorous diplomacy without the United Nations.

    October 18, 2007 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    I agree with Romney about the U.N especially when they are talking about a globe tax and having to get permission for exploring for oil, mining, terrorism supects and so on. It is a sad day when we need permission from any one that can't even help the people of the poor countries and I think that we need to keep our money in our government and maybe send the U.N. to Iran or Cuba.

    October 18, 2007 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  21. Henry, Portland, OR

    No we do not! Wake up Richardson!

    October 19, 2007 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  22. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    No, Bill, we don't.

    The UN is useless organization of unelected officials and not in the best interest of the United States.

    Let them push their third world socialist global agenda without our taxpayer money or membership.

    October 19, 2007 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  23. bret, atl, ga

    You cannot change the world, but you can change your self.

    Local change is the answer, not global. Progress happens from the ground up, not the sky down.

    The UN is a waste of taxpayer money.

    October 19, 2007 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  24. therealist

    Why do we need an inept organization to address peacekeeping, humanitarian relief, and climate change issues? Just think how much more we could accomplish with the tax dollars wasted by the UN..

    October 19, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. James, Phoenix AZ

    Sensible Americans to the Republican Party: We DON'T need you.

    October 19, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
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