(CNN) - In a CNN interview Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson denied reports that his Iowa supporters were told to support rival Barack Obama if the New Mexico governor fared poorly in the first round of caucus voting.
“That is totally untrue. I don't know where that came out of,” Richardson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
Iowa’s Democratic caucus rules allow supporters of candidates receiving less than 15 percent of the vote in each precinct – which means those names are eliminated from later consideration - to vote for any of the remaining presidential contenders.
Some Clinton supporters had claimed there was a deal that would send the governor’s supporters to back Obama in later voting rounds.
Barack Obama emerged as the clear winner of the Iowa’s Democratic caucuses Thursday night, garnering 38 percent of the vote. Sen. John Edwards took second with 30 percent, and Hillary Clinton came in third at 29 percent. Richardson rounded out the top four with 2 percent of the delegate vote.
On CNN’s Late Edition, the New Mexico governor dismissed claims of a deal with Obama, crediting first-time caucus voters with the Illinois senator’s win “He got a huge amount of voters participating that had never participated before. Hardly anyone anticipated that, at least the huge numbers that he brought forth. So that's why, you know, there are all of these rumors,” he said.
–CNN’s Peter Lanier and Jessica Rummel contributed to this report