November 11th, 2007
07:31 AM ET
10 years ago

Richardson: I'll have troops home by 2009, top three won't

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

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Julie Medford,Oregon

    Richardson means well, but he should talk to Biden the only candidate who I think has a actual plan that makes since. While he's talking to Biden he should arrange a conference call with Clinton,Obama,Edwards they should listen too.

    November 11, 2007 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  2. Bill,boston,ma

    Talk of getting desperate and selling other members of your party....Isn't what you are doing Richardson? You do anything time of desperation.........

    November 11, 2007 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  3. John Adkisson, Sacramento, California

    Why is the CNN Ticker so behind the news? Obama knocked it out of the park 2 hours ago with the "Our Moment Is Now" speech which rivaled his "Red State/Blue State" Convention speech in 2004. In this speech I was literally emotional hearing him make the connection between Martin Luther King's "urgency of now" sermons and the urgency in 2008 for new, meaningful change.

    The Iowa Jefferson Jackson dinner, often the turning point in the Iowa caucuses, absolutely belonged to Obama tonight - no other candidate even seemed prepared compared to his performance.

    Something's happening in Iowa. They are actually awake!

    November 11, 2007 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  4. Cody Harding, Kinsley, KS

    Have us out by '09

    Go right back in in '15, and have to do this crap all over again.

    It is our duty to finish this battle. I sincerely hope this man doesn't take office.

    November 11, 2007 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  5. Mac, Severn, Md

    He will abandon Iraq and he will not be trusted by any other nation in the world if/when they ask for help.

    November 11, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  6. mark wikes barre pa

    A candidate that actually said what he will do ? How refreshing. Although I think his Ideas on getting out of Iraq by 09 are impossible and foolish. I aplaud him for actually saying somthing. Mabey he should try starting of with somthing he might actaully be able to pull off, and I am not being sarcastic, just realistic. The other candidates should take note of mr richardson and try the same thing instead of bashing the other candidates (with the exception of hillary ,its fun to watch )

    November 11, 2007 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  7. Daniel, NY

    Speaking of New Mexico, a new poll was released today of the Senate race and has Tom Udall who just confirmed he is running crushing the Republicans.

    November 11, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. Ella, Des Moines

    @John in CA-
    I was at the JJ dinner in Des Moines. Didn't see Barack's speech you refer to. I caught some of the end of it on CSpan. I, like the majority of people there, had left already. His speech might have been good, as you say, but unfortunately he was only addressing it to the people he bussed in from Illinois to sit as his supporters.

    November 11, 2007 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Jay, Kenosha, WI

    Richardson said he'd do it in part by using a Muslim peacekeeping force and diplomacy.

    Where is Richardson going to get this "Muslim" peacekeeping force? If you replace the world Muslim with Iraqi, you have the current Bush policy, minus the arbitrary deadline.

    November 11, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Nancy, Tx

    Talk of getting desperate and selling other members of your party….Isn't what you are doing Richardson? You do anything time of desperation………

    Posted By Bill,boston,ma : November 11, 2007 1:21 am


    How is Richardson desparate and Edwards or Obama are not? Or is it that you are another hypocrite?

    Richardson is highlighting the politics of deception played by Edwards and Obama. They will attack Hillary but never share their views which matches with Hillary 95% of the times.

    I didnt know their supporters can be so dumb and blind. But I guess we have some percentage of dumb followers in America.

    November 11, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Kevin, Ames IA

    Richardson should be praised for his relentless stress on a full removal of the troops. Removing some troops and leaving some is not ending the war. Richardson has realized that getting EVERYONE out is the only way for America to regain the respect that it has squandered away in the last 7 years.

    November 11, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. JD Rugby ND

    That alone is reason enough for him to get his party's nomination. Bush's war of terror in Iraq has been the most dishonest, misguided, mishandled abomination of U.S. foreign policy since sent Americans to get killed in Europe in The Great War, aka World War One. The U.S. needs to leave Iraq yesterday.

    November 11, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Bill Richardson is the best choice for vice-president no matter who the nominee is. He has a lot of foreign policy experience and a few years as understudy to the president will prepare him to hold the office himself later. He would be capable of assuming office in case of the president's inability or death. He is sixty now and would be an asset to a Democratic ticket.

    November 11, 2007 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Ron Nebraska

    Exactly right Terry! Good job!

    November 11, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  15. Expat Teacher

    If anyone thinks that any program or policy can be implemented while we are still paying billions and billions of dollars for the Iraq War, they are mistaken. Hillary, Obama and Edwards all have wonderful plans, but as long as we are hemorrhaging money down the Iraqi bottomless pit, we'll never be able to pay for a single one.

    Bill Richardson is right on this issue! We must be out. The sooner the better. And he has the experience to know that other Islamic nations will contribute troops, if we help. North African, Bangladesh, Indonesian and Malaysian troops could all be used without igniting regional powers.

    As for him being a great VP choice...why bother? He's either the best candidate for the presidency or he isn't. And he clearly is with the most experience and the policies of change. Besides, he's the only candidate that fundamentally changes the electoral college outcome.

    November 11, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. Ann ME

    And???? What next????

    November 12, 2007 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  17. Laura -Tulsa OK

    I think Islamo-fascism and its main manifestation, terrorism will be with us for our lifetimes. I don't think you can set a deadline for it.

    November 12, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Ryan Indianapolis

    What an incredibly stupid comment. To say without knowing the conditions of what will be going on at that time you already have already made up your mind is misleading and naive. The sad part is 30% percent of americans would accept this plan and shows the ignorance of those people as well.

    November 12, 2007 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Steve in SC

    Nice try! What you ment to say is you wil TRY to get the troops home! To the informed, that is a function of Congress! Stop with the silly promises that cannot be delivered unless Congress says so!

    November 13, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |