NEW YORK (CNN) – Former presidential rival turned supporter Bill Richardson will campaign this week for Barack Obama in Puerto Rico, 10 days before the Commonwealth holds its Democratic primary, a Richardson aide tells CNN.
Richardson, the governor of New Mexico and former Cabinet official, is one of the most prominent Hispanic politicians in the nation. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary.
While Richardson served in President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet, he chose to endorse Obama over Hillary Clinton in late March. Hillary Clinton has performed better than Obama with Hispanic voters, although the latest Gallup tracking poll suggests that the Illinois senator has erased his disadvantage with that key voting bloc.
Richardson will visit the Commonwealth on Thursday.
Fifty-five pledged delegates are at stake June 1 when Puerto Rico Democrats head to the polls.
CNN will have exclusive poll data from the Puerto Rico primary.
(CNN) – After weeks of verbal brawling, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and James Carville spoke for the first time on CNN’s Larry King Live Wednesday night. Richardson – now a supporter of Barack Obama – called Hillary Clinton backers like Carville ‘a dynasty’ that is ‘clinging to the throne.’
The CNN contributor defended calling Richardson a ‘Judas’ in a New York Times interview after the governor announced his endorsement of Obama.
“I said it. I was quoted accurately. I was quoted in context. I thought it was an appropriate metaphor,” Carville told King. “If it would have been the Fourth of July, I would have said ‘Benedict Arnold,’” Carville said.
Richardson called Carville’s response “typical of the reaction of Clinton supporters.”
“They feel they’re a dynasty. They’re clinging to the throne,” Richardson added.
Watch Carville and Richardson clash over whether the results in the Florida and Michigan primaries should help determine the Democratic Party’s nominee, whether Obama should agree to more debates before Indiana and North Carolina vote May 6 - and whether the primary race has become so negative it’s hurting the party’s prospects in the general election.
(CNN) - Shortly after Hillary Clinton claimed a decisive victory in Pennsylvania Tuesday night, staffers for Barack Obama’s campaign sent reporters a memo in which they tried to argue once again that her win in the state had left the status quo fundamentally unchanged.
“Tonight, Hillary Clinton lost her last, best chance to make significant inroads in the pledged delegate count,” they wrote. “The only surprising result from Pennsylvania is that in a state considered tailor-made for Hillary Clinton that she was expected to win, Barack Obama was able to improve his standing among key voter groups since the Ohio primary.”
They said that Clinton’s lead over Obama with white voters had narrowed slightly, and her advantage among seniors had shrunk by nearly half - but that gap remained significant, at 24 percent. They pointed to Obama’s strength with Independent voters, a group that did not participate in Tuesday’s primary vote.
“The bottom line is that the Pennsylvania outcome does not change dynamic of this lengthy primary,” they wrote. “While there were 158 delegates at stake there, there are fully 157 up for grabs in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries on May 6.”
The Obama team had made similar arguments in the days leading up to Pennsylvania's primary, in which Clinton was favored despite being significantly outspent by the Illinois senator's campaign.
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton on Thursday disputed a report that she once told Bill Richardson she didn't think Barack Obama could win in a general election.
"I have consistently made the case that I can win because I believe I can win, and you know sometimes people draw the conclusion I'm saying somebody else can't win," she said at a Burbank, California press conference.
Pressed further if she had said Obama can't win, Clinton said, "That's a no."
Earlier Thursday, citing sources with “direct knowledge of the conversation,” ABC News reported Clinton once told Richardson, "He [Obama] cannot win, Bill. He cannot win."
UPDATE: A Hillary Clinton staffer tells reporters covering her campaign that the New York senator did not correctly hear the follow up question about whether or not she once told Bill Richardson she didn't think Barack Obama could win in a general election. The aide said Clinton thought she was being asked if she would divulge the private conversation that she had with Richardson and answered no.
(CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Wednesday sharply disputed Bill Clinton's reported claim that Richardson promised not to endorse Barack Obama's bid for the White House.
"I never did," Richardson told CNN. "I never saw [President Clinton] five times. I saw him when he watched the Super Bowl with me. We made it very clear to him that he shouldn't expect an endorsement after that meeting."
Bill Clinton's comments reportedly came during a recent meeting with some California superdelegates. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the former president got "red faced" when the subject of Richardson came up and said, "Five times to my face (Richardson) said that he would never do that."
In the interview Wednesday, Richardson acknowledged he was "very close to endorsing" Clinton, but decided not to after the campaign got "nasty."
"I held back. I waited. I felt the campaign got nasty. I heard Senator Obama; he would talk to me continuously," Richardson said.
"The Clintons should get over this," he added.
Richardson, a former U.N. Ambassador and Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration, endorsed Obama late last month.
Read more: Richardson denies promise to Clintons
Related: Watch Bill Richardson's interview on The Situation Room.
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."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - This week, the spirited back-and-forth between the camps of Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama led some in the Democratic Party to suggest that Clinton bow out of the race in order to unify Democrats against Sen. John McCain in the general election. The debate over whether it was time for Clinton to exit the race dominated the Sunday morning political talk show circuit.
CNN’s “Late Edition” featured a showdown between two Democratic strategists, Clinton supporter James Carville and Jamal Simmons, who backs Obama. Carville quickly downplayed any suggestion that Clinton drop out.
“The Clinton campaign has not had one one-second meeting about getting out of the race,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Calling on her to get out of the race is…going to hurt him in terms of getting votes. And it is going to make it more difficult to reconcile the party.”
Simmons responded that it’s the negativity coming from the Clinton campaign that’s tearing the Democratic Party apart. He said that Democrats “feel like Senator Clinton is fighting Barack Obama like he's a Republican and not fighting him like he's a fellow Democrat.”
(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
Watch Bill Richardson endorse Obama. (AP Photo)
(CNN) - Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic race for president Friday.
"Barack Obama will make a great and historic president," Richardson told a rally in Portland, Oregon, with Obama standing at his side.
Richardson said Obama's recent speech on race in America, saying he "understands clearly that only by bringing people together, only by bridging our differences can we all succeed together as Americans."
"He appealed to the best in us ... as a Hispanic American I was particularly touched by his words," Richardson added.