DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson said Saturday that he differs from the leading candidates on one key issue: how the U.S. ends the war in Iraq.
Speaking to approximately 9,000 Iowa Democrats at the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, the New Mexico governor said, "The leading candidates are talking about keeping troops [in Iraq] until 2013. Here's my position–I will bring troops back within one year."
Richardson said he'd do it in part by using a Muslim peacekeeping force and diplomacy.
But in his prepared remarks–sent to the media by the campaign almost simultaneously–Richardson went even further than he did in front of the crowd and called out the leading candidates by name.
"Barack [Obama], Hillary [Clinton], and John [Edwards] were asked to pledge to have all of our troops out of Iraq by 2013, and they refused to do so. I have made that pledge," Richardson said in the statement.
Asked why Richardson did not name any names during the live speech, a spokesman with the campaign said, "He was caught up in the great reception from the crowd and simply left them out. The fact that we differ on Iraq was nonetheless clear to the caucus goers in attendance."
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch