January 6th, 2008
05:31 PM ET
10 years ago

Richardson denies sending Iowa voters to Obama

(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

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Marsha, OR

    This would be stupid if he wants any chance at becoming her vice president.

    January 6, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Would have been good advice anyway. Bill, you are a good man with a proven track record in the second tier. But as a top office candidate, and extrapolated to if you were a President, you lecture and pontificate too much. You missed the cut, and have overstayed the party. Go home.

    January 6, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  3. PW Va

    Hillary...you can't stop a tidal wave...especially one of HOPE!!! Suck it up...stop your "whispering" campaign and either move on or get out of the way!!!!

    January 6, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    This is typical politics. Why would it be a big deal even if it were true?

    January 6, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. twila

    if it's typical politics, then why would Obama be any different than any other candidates.......what is hope if you can't delivered???

    January 6, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. Dane Traber

    My mom was in the caucus for Joe Biden. When Biden and Dodd proved non-viable, their people quickly moved to other candidates. Kucinich's people went next but they tried to get people to join for Kucinich, but bailed when it became obvious Super K wasn't viable.

    The Richardson people, who had about half the people they needed to be viable, held out, trying to convince people from the other candidates to come over to Richardson just to keep him available as an option with only one delegate. Nobody budged so the 70 or so caucus attendees for Richardson went their own way. Many went to Obama, but there was certainly no organized effort to do so.

    And they held out until the end.

    January 6, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. Morris Valentine

    Governor Bill Richardson is still the best-qualified candidate in the race. You could scrape together all the "experience" Clinton, Edwards and Obama have, and it still wouldn't come up to Richardson's knees.

    The press really needs to be paying more attention to Richardson's terrific presidential credentials, achievements, and platform, rather than to the school-ground rumours about him likely coming out of the sore-loser Clinton camp.

    January 6, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  8. Vivian

    I was watching the the debate on ABC news of Sunday night and wondering if that was Bill Richardson's real hair or was it a wig? There was a noticable color difference in the front of his hair line. It was very distracting and it was hard to focus on what he was saying. Is his platform For change" a change of hair color?

    January 6, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Sherry

    If that is true it is despicable.

    There is no way Obama can win in the general election. Keep it real. Obama is neither black or white. He's of mixed race. He is for himself, by himself and lives for himself. We are a battered nation and in need of a mother's love.

    She alone can pull us out of this quagmire, and do something about all the
    issues we face in this country and abroad. We had better wake up or the republicans will win this thing in November.

    January 6, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  10. Hugh Jass, Atlanta, GA

    OK. Here's a comment so Bill can feel like some one cares.
    "Hey, Bill. Why don't you swap some more water out of Elephant Butte to the Texas dems for there support?"

    January 6, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  11. Regis

    Dear Sherry , you need to keep it real as you speak, I'm "of mixed race" myself and I'm glad that people like you are part of the past , It's really time for a CHANGE. I cannot believe that someone can be that stupid. I can't wait to see Obama in the white house. Anyway I don't think Clinton can handle those nasty republicans, she flip/flop so many times already.

    January 6, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. Jimmy, Iowa

    My teen ager just told me it was ok to smoke pot and snort crank because Obama did. Obama YOU BETTER EXPLAIN TO MY CHILD NOW> I WILL HOLD YOU RESPOINSEABLE> YES I AM ANGRY

    Edwards 2008

    January 6, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  13. Marma

    What does race or gender have to do with it anyway? being married to the president does not qualify one to become one. Clinton was (is) corrupt and power hungry. Why doesn't anybody ask why all the FBI personnel files ended up in Hillary's office when her hubby was president? Can anyone imagine all the abuse of power there will be if Hillary was elected? I think that this lady is not clean...

    January 6, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. Steve, Landing, NJ


    1: What the heck? Are you trying to say that mixed-race people are "for themselves"? What? If Obama's mother was black or his father was white he'd be more selfless? WHAT?
    2: You're telling me that you're rooting for Clinton because we as a nation need a "mother's love"? Are you joking? We're not voting for a parent, we're voting for a president. Your blatant sexism aside (as if fathers can't love every bit as much as mothers), the idea that electing a "mother" figure who'll heal the nation is so ridiculous that it's only matched by the sheer lunacy of believing that as figure as divisive as Clinton could possibly *be* that figure. Good lord.
    3: If you're concerned about who can win in November, you might want to consider what we saw in Iowa: Obama drawing in young voters, Obama drawing in Independents, Obama drawing in moderate Republicans. Clinton's support came almost exclusively from Democrats–people who will be almost uniformly voting for whatever Democratic nominee wins the primaries. You want to beat the GOP next year, vote for someone who'll get votes from across the spectrum. That person isn't Clinton.

    I have no real problem with Hillary, and I'll happily support her should she win the nomination. But this bizarre need to deify her while battering her opponents–all of whom are basically good, decent, capable people–is truly disturbing.

    January 6, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. Gil - California

    Richardson's supporters didn't all go to Obama....some went to Edwards. Hillary may be the first choice for some people, but she clearly is not the second choice.

    January 6, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Alan

    I don't understand the constant negative comments (especially Hillary) on politicians "flip-flopping". Mrs. Clinton took a stance in the direction that she believed her constituents (including future ones as President) wanted her to take and when she realized that the majority of these people wanted something else, she changed her stance. This is a sign of strength and maturity, not weakness. It shows that she can admit when she's wrong, unlike the current President. I'm sure we all know people whose "strength of conviction" make them intractable and difficult to communicate with. This is no different for politicians. In fact, we've had just such a person in the Oval Office for the past eight years. Barack Obama not only lacks the necessary experience for such a job, his obvious beliefs that he knows what's best for the country borders on arrogance. He's not ready. Let Hillary have the chance to make some changes and give Obama the chance to gain some experience. He'll make a fine President in four to eight years. Experience in this job is not only important, it's necessary.

    January 6, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  17. Linda

    Obama is of the human race and the presidential race, as well as a couple of other races and experience with additional races. I hope people can think from eyes of hope and not of fear.

    January 6, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. Logan

    After watching the debate on Saturday night, it is easy to see that Obama is the best suited of the four to get into the White house. Hillary may talk about how much experience she has, and the changes that she has already made, but none of that matters, because she can't handle scrutiny. She blew up on John Edwards after Edwards pointed out her attacks on Obama. If she can't handle small comments like that, how is she going to be able to handle criticism from Republicans, and the nation as a whole?

    Barack Obama was faced with criticism, and he took very good care of himself. He addressed the criticism head on, and he began to lay out his plans in a clear and precise manner. Edwards noticed that, and that's the reason why he sided with Obama over Hillary in that debate.

    I could be alone here, but I would love to see an Obama/Edwards ticket after the primaries are done. I think that those two men could very well be what this country needs to get out of the rut we're in now, and to exemplify the superpower status that we've almost lost over the last 6 years.

    January 6, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  19. me ofcourse

    Nobody cares!!!
    At the end of the day Clinton will come up with the most delegates....Watch and see how it works... Like it or not..

    Politics is not about looking good or trying to lecture people...Obama is the one beeing artificially prop up, not Clinton. The latter can actually do the work and bring us back to stability and confidence. Gop supporters and Independents are voting for Obama because they want somebody that they can easily tear down during the general election.. Think about it! In real politics race can not play a big factor, but experience count... This is the first nation in the face of the planet... Carefully select a 'Leader', not a talker or an immature.. Let us not mention Edwards; he's looking @ obama shoulders for running mate like last time; but this time he is not getting.. Even the most sublime forces of nature will not let it happen or let America in the hands of 2 immatures!! If they get the nomination, that will be it for the Democratic party!!! Thus, I'll be campaigning and voting for McCain or any other GOP nominee..This is not personal or the race for the Senate.

    January 6, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  20. Janice Cat lover

    Let Iran take over Iraq with its nuclear weapons

    Pull out and say welcome to hell.

    January 6, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. judith escalona

    It seems to me, once again, that Clinton won the debate - the media commentators notwithstanding. It is becoming clear that experience combined with a humanistic agenda will triumph over simple inspirational words.

    January 6, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  22. Jay

    Sherry, I too am mixed race and I don't see how being mixed race means that Obama is in your words 'for himself or lives for himself'. Obama is giving hope to all, democrats and republicans. Clinton acts like a spoiled child. I HOPE Obama wins in NH, and if he does, he'll be unstoppable.

    January 6, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. Brian

    Sherry – dont believe everything you hear...the reason Obama got Richardson's votes is that he has the capacity to bring people together.

    Hillary is part of the same broke-down political machine that has gotten this country nowhere.

    Talking about Obama's race demonstrates how little of an IQ you truely have. Are you sure your not a republican!

    January 7, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. Tim

    Ok, so let me get this straight Sherry...

    You're saying Barack Obama can't win because he is neither black or white...? First of all, that sounds pretty biggoted to me. Second of all, if you base your decision to vote for someone based on if they are black or white – or like you say, neither – then you are down there among the ranks with many Republicans to me... To me, what you said was the most unAmerican thing you can say. No matter how "honest" you were trying to be. Also, if he does go on to win the nomination, will you vote Republican, or just not vote?
    This is what Obama truly means by "change." Not change just from Bush, but from hate filled politics like you, Sherry, have just demonstrated. In the basic form of change, Barack Obama provides that change just because it isn't another Clinton. I was too young during Clinton's presidency to have a truly informed opinion on him, but I know enough people on the Republican side don't have favorable opinions of him. Or her for that matter.
    I have never heard ANYONE supporting Barack Obama say that Hilary Clinton can't get elected because of her gender. I think enough people have moved past race-based electability and sex-based electability issues to get him into the White House. Please, join us and get with the times.

    January 7, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  25. Jermaine

    Sherry, wake up,.. does bein mixed race make him any less, that's a really Ignorant comment, no differnt than what I expect from a Clintonista. Idealism is alive and it is time for a change. Obama is full of Hope, and idealism, that is what we need in this country again. We don't elect Presidents base on experience, we elect them base on their "VISION" for America and the World. It is so amazing that OBAMA will be President, "can you feel what OBAMA is cooking,...HOPE"? It is so funny Hillary and others like you try to discredit him, but you know it was LINCOLN a Republican that put this country back together again, and during the wars of the 60's in this country (the Civil Rights Movement) it was Democrats from the South that try to deny Blacks and Minorities a voice. You tell me now what will Hillary do for us, she in no way can unite the country, she keeps talking about fighting the Republicans. That is the very point OBAMA is making, we don't need no fighting, we don't need no segregation base on Party Affiliation, all we need is HOPE and to have a "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" where we all bleeds RED, WHITE AND BLUE! Hillary will keep the country divided, and will cause the DEMOCRATS to lose the CONGRESS in 2010. OBAMA will ensure a TIDAL WAVE for the DEMS in 08!
    We hope there is a God without ever seeing him, we hope for change and it happens, if we have faith, and HOPE for a brighter tomorrow it will happen. OBAMA knows very well you have to Hope for things not yet seen, but if you trust in your him and in yourself we will raise up a mighty nation come November 2008.

    I truely believe that if Hillary is elected President, we will be much worst than we are today. It would be historic and great to have a female President, but Hillary Clinton is not the change agent she claims to be. How can she be, the country will be at a stand still for the next 4 years, we can't afford that mistake, or risk at this critical junture, not Now!

    Hope is the belief in and for things not yet seen. As BARACK so elequently put it,
    "Hope is the bedrock of this nation, the belief that our destiny will not be written for us but by us." Barack Obama, 08




    January 7, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
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