Richardson recently endorsed Obama despite his longstanding ties to the Clintons.
(Photo credit: AP)
(CNN) - Barack Obama supporter Gov. Bill Richardson, D-New Mexico, responded on Sunday to controversial comments by James Carville, saying that he would not "stoop to Carville's level."
Carville, a Hillary Clinton supporter and former strategist for her husband's 1992 presidential campaign, compared Richardson to the Biblical figure Judas in an interview with the New York Times last week. When later asked whether his comment was accurate, Carville made no attempt to apologize, saying that it had "the desired effect."
"I haven't gotten into the gutter on this. And you know, I'm not going to stoop to Carville's level. I barely know the guy in the first place," Richardson told Bob Scheiffer on CBS's "Face the Nation."
Carville had argued that Richardson's endorsement of the Illinois senator was an act of betrayal since the governor has a long history of political ties with her husband. Richardson disagreed.
"I think loyalty to the nation, loyalty to the party is a lot more important than personal loyalty," he said. "I owe the Clintons a lot. I served in the president's cabinet. That loyalty is to President Clinton. That doesn't mean that I'm going to for the rest of my life be in lockstep with whatever they do."
Though Richardson did not personally attack the Democratic strategist, he criticized the Clinton campaign's behavior.
"I ran against Senator Clinton. I was a presidential candidate. And what I ran against this personal venom that people like Carville and many others in the Clinton team that feel a sense of entitlement, that the presidency is theirs. "
On CNN's Late Edition, Carville acknowledged that his comment was harsh, but said that these kind of campaign spats are "powder puff stuff" compared to the general election.
"I don't think this campaign has been particularly negative. I've probably said the most negative thing in the whole campaign," he told Wolf Blitzer.
–CNN's Peter Lanier