(CNN) – Bill Richardson criticized a Clinton campaign adviser Friday for suggesting his endorsement of Barack Obama is insignificant.
"I resent the fact that the Clinton people are now saying that my endorsement is too late because I only can help with Texans - with Texas and Hispanics, implying that that's my only value," the New Mexico governor told CNN's John King.
"That's typical of some of his advisers that kind of turned me off."Earlier Friday, Clinton campaign senior strategist Mark Penn said he thought Richardson's endorsement came too late to make an impact.
“The time that he could have been effective has long since passed," Penn told reporters on a conference call. "I don’t think it is a significant endorsement in this environment.”
In the interview Friday, Richardson also said he called Hillary Clinton Thursday to inform her of his decision to back Obama, a conversation he described as "painful."
"It was painful and it wasn't easy," he said. "I've spoken to others who have had that same conversation and they say at the end, it’s not all that pleasant.
"The former Democratic presidential candidate declined to elaborate further on his conversation with Clinton.Last month, Chris Dodd - another former presidential candidate who decided to endorse Obama last month - said he had a "not comfortable" conversation with Clinton informing her of the news.
Also in the interview Friday, Richardson said he ultimately decided to back Obama because the Illinois senator has "something special."
"I think that Sen. Obama has something special,” explained Richardson. “Something that can bring internationally America’s prestige back, that can deal with the race issue as he did so eloquently last week, that can deal with the domestic issues in a bipartisan way."
Richardson, who held posts as the Secretary of Energy and the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. in President Clinton’s administration, also said he "owes a lot to the Clinton family but I served well. I paid it back in service to the country."
Related video: Richardson on Obama endorsement
Updated 7:22 p.m. to add link to interview video
– CNN's Martina Stewart and Alex Mooney
Only two endorsements would be bigger at this stage – John Edwards and Al Gore.
I wouldn't be to happy with you either , Some friend you are, with friends like you who needs enemies. If I were hillary or Bill I would never speak to you again. I'am sure you hope to gain something by supporting Obama, but actually you lost something. Traitor.
You did the right thing, Bill!! We appreciate it.
Your late support is a testimony that you were torn between the two candidates and you needed immense courage to say 'no' to the Clintons. But, you did the right thing and I congratulate you for it.
Those who say Bill is ungrateful, shame on you.... When somebody does you a favor, you return the favor, but not by selling your soul. If Clintons say they had done a favor to Bill, then all should know that Bill did a greater favor to Clintons because not only did Bill Clinton get all the hispanic support during his runs, but also Hillary got all the hispanic support this season despite Bill supporting Obama...
So, I congratulate Bill again and welcome aboard!
Obama and Richardson now thats a winner!!!
the walls are finally closing in on hrc. all those past allies are leaving her (hiliary)in favor of whats best for the american people. his (rich) endorsement of obama is huge given his close ties with the clintons i commend him for being a true american and not a politician!
Who Cares...Wa Wa Wa. Loyality is nothing in politics. They always flock to who ever is winning...What ever....
Obama has something "special" alright. And it's name is Wright. And on the issue of Wright, Obama is dead wrong! Even now, he fails to see that in the fall, when the entire electorate is involved and engaged, the incindiary rhetoric that Wright preaches, will be Obama's downfall. The fact that he cannot see that, and has never seen that in the twenty years he has invested in this man, brings into serious question his ability to perceive a dangerous situation and make a reasoned decision to dismantle it.
how ignorant, but then again this doesn't shock me coming from the Hillary camp. SORE LOSERS
how is this news... Obama must have mentioned possible VP slot... of course it is going to be hard to tell a friend that I am going to support someone else... all of the super delegates are going to have this feeling whomever they back...
Obama just trying to get the news off of Wright and his radio interview...
when I read the statement of Richardson being insignificant, I did not like that at all. Again, racially dividing the country. Thank you Gov. Richardson for speaking out, this is not just a Black-White America.
Now Richardson is calling Clinton advisor RACIST!!!
Richardson is just acting out again. Hillary all the way.
Not this time. Not this time.
That's what we will say to Barry in November. You're tired old leftist ideas has been resoundly beaten at the polls before.
No you can't. No you can't.
The news of Richardson endorsing Obama has made my day! May God Bless America. I will pray for the folks that cast hatred toward Obama. You cannot be held responsible solely for your ignorance. The media is partially to blame. I will pray that God helps you to think and see with you own minds and eyes.
Add this endorsement to the list of the people, states, and votes that Hillary's campaign says are unimportant (after losing them).
They will say and do anything to get the nomination! Go Barak!
Richardson is a loser, always has been always will be.
THANK YOU, BILL!!
interesting? I think there is a plea bargain...someone is promising a VP spot to all those has beens
In May/June, when Obama continues to lead the tallies in more states, more delegates and the popular vote (with or without MI and FLA). Does the Clinton stance change the IMPORTANCE and the DECISION from those millions of “voters” to the “endorsers” and so-called electabiity.
“Both candidates have many great endorsers, but the voters, not endorsers, will decide this election, and there are still millions of voters in upcoming contests who want to have their voices heard,” Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said.
Tell me, I’m listening. What will the stance be then?
Clintons will just USE PEOPLE to their benefit. It's sad that the only significance Hillary can see of Richardson is to pull in the Latino vote.
Does Hillary really think Latinos are that gullible?
Bill Richason seems like he never liked the Clintons.
Thank you for putting your judgment and what you believe is the best interests of your country above your personal political loyalties.
"Loyalty over judgment" has had an eight year run in the White House, but it is about to end. And today...you brought us a little bit closer to that goal.
Bill and Barry will make a great team – The first all minority ticket in history to go down in flames!
OK CNN guessin you like Richardson, cause you keep on cutting my comments off.