March 21st, 2008
05:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Richardson calls out Clinton adviser

Richardson’s backing was sought by both the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

Richardson’s backing was sought by both the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

(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

soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. Dave

    He knows the Clintons very well. This says a lot.

    March 21, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. Whitney Obama 4 Young people LOVE how the Clinton campaign will put something down when it goes in favor of Obama. Her true colors are shining brightly. They wanted the endorsement, everyone knows that. Clinton and her negativity and fakeness is not what this country needs. The Clintons play dirty games & the Hillary supporters TRY to say Obama mimics when the facts are plain as day for all to see. Hillary endorsed McCain and his experience and u stubborn Hillary supporters refuse to see ur candidates true colors!!! EXPLAIN THAT. This woman is a snake and will do ANYTHING to get to the top. Its sad when the people who supported you lose hope in u. ITS NOT BACKSTABBING morons. They simply see the truth more so than we do and are with them PERSONALLY and STILL u people think Hillary should b president. Get real and see ur candidate for the politician she is!
    OBAMA 08

    March 21, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. bigben

    Richardson is a tool

    March 21, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Antoinette

    The endorsement is insignificant yet you tried to get it and wouldnt have said any of this had you gotten it

    Maybe he wants to endorse Sen. Obama because he likes wha he is about, not to try and sway voters to vote for him. I dont think this was at all about swaying voters, but just showing support

    Too bad her Super Dels have gone from her to Obama

    March 21, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. Eric

    The most amusing thing about this whole campaign is hardcore Billary supporters and conservatives are pulling their hair out in frustration over the popularity of Obama. Hahaha!

    March 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. John F Kennedy

    Richardson = backstabber
    Obama = arrogant racist, fooling the American people in droves
    Clinton = tax and spend economics

    You decide what's left

    March 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. bigben

    The advisor didn't say anything nasty. He right a endorsement , is just that a endorsement.

    March 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. carmenincali

    spoken and repeated until it's reads of truth

    March 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. William

    I'm sure Hillary is offering just about anything to get John Edwards' endorsement, If Edwards is smart, he'll also endorse Obama and shun Clinton.

    Folks, Hillary Clinton would be very bad for this country. Look closely at the deception out of her camp and judge for yourself. People are walking away from her.

    March 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Deb, IN

    This is just another way they are trying to get the media to move away from the pastors remarks.

    America knows now its too late......all the endorsements in the world is not going to make him electable now!!!!!

    Obama has shown VERY POOR JUDGEMENT over the past 20 years!!!!

    March 21, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. AL

    A significant endorsement for Obama after a gutsy and heartfelt presentation on RACE. Hillary still has a chance to get John Edwards, so the nomination process is not over..but great to see Richardson sum up the race issue well. Barak did speak to all colors and backgrounds. We were listening.

    A "Hopeful" white person backing Barak !
    PS Even Lincoln might be listening .

    March 21, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  12. remaining?

    elmerg? when you say "remaining Clinton followers" you mean the other HALF of the popular vote? Or do you seriously think that your candidate is winning this thing 100-1? And you want venom – try going to the kos blog and check out the meaness on the Obama side before you send over stones. In fact, scroll up and read the 10 posts before yours...that would be venom from Obama supporters. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. before you type. Read before you type...

    March 21, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |

    Now, just how do we tell Hillary of the good tidings?
    Obamaman for President or NO ONE. Half of the Democrats
    will not vote. Obama is THE reason so many people are out
    OF LIES.

    March 21, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. Saad

    Go Richardson. If Obama wins, you are the VP. But what if he doesn't? Why did you blow your chances of being a VP on Hillary's ticket? Or did you have insider information that she will not make you a VP?

    March 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. jack

    This cant happen to clinton. All of them are back stabbers. Oh my god i can hardly breathe. Clinton has to win ......Bill do something!!

    March 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Bill in Oklahoma City

    How foolish will all of you Clinton robots look when Richardson is not the VP? Typical Clinton response, "If I can't have it, it is no good!"

    What would you have been saying if he had endorsed Hillery? Get over it. She has lost. There will be not be another President Clinton. More super delegates are going to follow this endorsement.

    Now you have to ask yourselves whom do you want in the Whitehouse.

    McCain (Bush/ “So?” Chaney) for 4 more years? Or a chance to turn this country around and make things better under President Obama?

    100 more years of war? Or a chance at a better standing for the US in the world? Nothing is going to happen without a change, we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome.

    March 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Kari from Wisconsin

    Thank you Governor put to words my exact feelings. There is indeed something special, something historic, something very good about this man, our next President – Barack Obama.

    March 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  18. jwilliams

    Richardson isn't using good judgment by going with Obama He wonts the VP spot . These two men don't have good judgment they have proven it by Richardson for Obama and Obama for Wright!!!! Sorry guys Hillary is the one and the only one for President spot.

    March 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. Jerry from Oregon

    well, of course Governor Richardson's endorsement is insignificant. After all most of the states in the country are insigificant to the Clinton campaign.

    Why should the governor of a state that already had it's primary matter?

    March 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Jack Walden

    It is high time that these super deligates make up their mind and select their candidate. It is obvious that ultimately neither of these two candidates can reach the magic number. If they wait long enough, their vote will be meaningless because the Clintons will have damaged the party and voter base by then. I am an independent (former Republican) leaning on Obama but with this constant bickering, I may be better off voting for McCain.

    March 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. Beth

    Richarson himself said Endorsements really dont matter. WOW

    March 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    After reading these comments, I am convinced that Hilary supporters are really dumb. They can hardly spell their name, let alone put a few words together to make a sentence. It's obvious that they spend their time watching FOX, listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, and writing ignorant ramblings on the blogs. You are a sad angry bunch of dimwits.

    March 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Kara

    Are these Ticker writers 5th graders?? The writing has been atrocious lately! Come on, get it together!

    March 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. d

    I am so tired of hearing that Obama is 'something special'. And might I add, Obama is a liar!

    March 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. Thomas

    I was at the Portland rally this morning when Richardson endorsed. Both Richardson and Obama had positives words for Hillary as a candidate; however, Richardson showed that choice shouldn't be about who you owe for the past , but what you believe about the future...

    March 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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