Richardson officially dropped his presidential bid Thursday. (Photo Credit: AP)
(CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson announced Thursday he is quitting the Democratic presidential race after fourth-place finishes in the first two contests of the 2008 election.
"Despite overwhelming financial and political odds, I am proud of the campaign we waged," he told cheering supporters in his state capital of Santa Fe.
Richardson, who served as energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration, drew 5 percent of the vote in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary and 2 percent in last week's Iowa caucuses, far behind leading Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
In bowing out, he called the Democratic field "the most promising field in my lifetime" and predicted the party's eventual nominee will win the White House.
Related video: Richardson explains decision
I know people in New Mexico who regard Mr. Richardson very fondly. I could see him easily taking a role in the next presidency, although honestly I wish he would seriously consider taking Pete Domenici's open seat in the Senate.
Poor Bill. He was only in it to be considered for the Veep spot, but there's no way he'll get the nod from any of the front runners
What a joke! The three most qualified and experienced candidates all left the race: Dodd, Biden and Richardson, and the three most inexperienced candidates remain. Glad we don't live in perilous times!
Time for Gravel to do the same.
I'm a Rep who was going to vote for Richardson if he made it. Now – dang! Anyone have a dart I can throw?
I thought Richardson was a seasoned leader of possible presidential quality until he said he would demand that Musharraf resign after the Bhutto assassination. Who, dear Bill, would have watched the nukes for us if our only ally, flawed as he may be, were gone from the scene in Pakistan?
Congratulations to Gov. Richardson on a well faught campaign and good luck to him in everything he does in the future. I agree with Joshua, he should definitely run for the Senate.
The Democratic Party and America lose because of Governor Richardson's withdrawal. He's a real man of integrity and vision. Shame the media decided in early 2007, that it would be an Obama-Hillary campaign.
The media & Obama has made experience sound like a bad thing, it's sad that Gov Richardson had to leave the race.
I am deeply saddened by Richardson's departure. Unfortunately, I am an independent, and I am also unconvinced by Hillary and Obama. I may be voting for John McCain now.
He will still get my vote in the Maryland Primary. He was the most qualified of all the democrats and probably the most respected internationally.
Gravel doubled his support from Iowa to New Hampshire. Ride the wave Jen!
Actually he is well positioned for VP. Any of the front runners may be interested in a canditate who could pull in western voters. He lacks "celebrity status", so he was ignored by the media. Despite this, he still has some name recognition, plenty of experience, and could potentialy trounce the opposition in the VP debates. It may not matter much, but every little bit helps.
Bill Richardson is an American who would be an excellent President. As a young man he has much more to offer the country in the years ahead.His supporters want him to run for the Senate because his voice should be included in finding the solutions and making the decisions the country will be making in the next decade. Thank you Bill for your commitment for a better America.
I really liked Bill Richardson. He would be a wonderful Veep with Hilary as president. It's going to be a tough job for the next administration so you need a president that knows the ropes and has walked the walk and is already respected world wide to clean up the mess created by Bush and to make the USA as great a place to live for ALL as it should be.. I hope Bill Richardson backs Hilary. Us Canadians want you to live well because it effects us too.
experience counts for nothing in this age of celebrity candidates.
He made a contribution, and will make a good VP or New Mexico Senatorial candidate.
We'll welcome his supporters to the Edwards camp!
Edwards/Richardson in 2008!
How about McCain???
A good man. A real shame he did not get a fair shake. Instead, we are having the Clintons rammed down our throats. Richardson has everything Hillary does not...not the least of which are experience and character.
This is depressing. I thought he was the best candidate out there. I'm a registered Republician, and I wrote him in on my primary ballot.
I hope someone picks him for VP. I might even vote for Hillary if she did. Now, an Obama/Richardson ticket? I'd follow that in an instant.
Here's how it's going to play out.....
Richardson is going to endorse Hillary. There has been some team-building previously as the Clinton camp was earlier angry with Richardson for suggesting she flip-flops. Richardson sees Edwards firmly implanted in Obama's backside – he figures his best VP shot is with Hillary.
With Richardson out of the race, the only candidate with any real experience on the Democratic side is Hillary Clinton. I'm sorry, Obama and Edwards supporters, but one term in the Senate doesn't count as experience. These are perilous times, and as charismatic as some politicians may be, that doesn't make them presidential.
I've always like Bill Richardson. His qualifications and humorous commercials always attracted me. I think he and Hillary would make a great team.
Good Riddence!!! When's the Space Alien Kucinich pulling pitch?
Governor Richardson was the very best this country could have had for our next leader. What a SHAME so many are caught up in glitz and star power. YUK!
And to "Rchard" – Calling for Musharrif's resignation was exactly right – as for the nukes? They're VERY heavily guarded and controlled by Pakistan's military. Do your homework before you diss the beliefs of one of our premiere foreign policy experts.
I too hope whoever manages to win this thing is smart enough to tap the Governor for all of his wisdom and experience.
I'm saddened that he wasn't one of the frontrunners; as nonsensical as it may sound, I'm sad they couldn't ALL have been frontrunners. I think each of the candidates has something to bring to the table, and any of them would have my vote. Assuming we have a Democrat in the WH come next year, I hope there's a spot in the cabinet for each of these fine, honorable people (even the curmudgeonly Gravel).