December 6th, 2007
09:36 AM ET
15 years ago

Richardson talks Iran

Watch Richardson in The Situation Room Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson gives his assessment of the NIE report on Iran in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    He is stupendously niaive!! Diplomacy doesn't work unless you have a foreign government who cares to dialogue with you rationally( have we seen any evidence the leadership in Iran is rational?). The Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG)is not a equipped or led by the Iranian government. It is equipped and led by islamist mullahs w/ a reputation of supporting terrorists all over the middle east, as well as, Iraq. The IRG is responsible for hundreds of American lives in Iraq, and thousands of Iraqi civilian lives due to their infiltration of personnel, weapons, and explosives into Iraq for the Shiate insurgents. You are stupid if you do not believe that along with the troop surge...our congress needed to send a statement to the IRG (not necessarily the Iranian government) that we're serious about pursuing terrorists–our nation is serious about pursuing terrorists...and declaring the IRG just what they organization supporting terrorism, and terrorists themselves. The timed resolution by our congress was delivered precisely at the right time–to ensure that the IRG knows the "heat" will stay on from the U.S. as long as they have any part, of any kind, on attacks against our military personnel, civilian/contract personnel in Iraq, or the Iraqi's themselves. Whether right or wrong–we are engaged in a war–and the time for diplomacy is over. Any further diplomatic discussions–must be with ALL the instruments of foreign policy at our disposal–including the military. Clearly Mr. have no aptitude–nor stomach to be the Commander-In-Chief. I admire Senator Clinton for having the courage to understand the necessity for the resolution–and it's timing, as well as, her courage making a stand...knowing some Democratic "weenies" like yourself would immediately accuse her of being a sabre rattling "hawk". Bravo Hillary! Wish the other candidates had your credibility and guts!!! Keep on showing them what being the most powerful leader on earth requires!!

    December 6, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Jose Card

    This is the best opportunity for all candidates to talk about Iran and China. We really like to know their principles for foreign policy.

    Governor Richardson's experience in foreign services and policy-making will outshine all other Dem candidates.

    December 6, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. La'Kitgum, NH

    Hillary just addressed the mortgage crisis. Excellent. Thanks Hillary for talking issues that matter to America wearing your own skirt unlike Obama who is hiding under Oprah's skirt. Talking issues that matter is the reason Clinton will be elected. Hillary cares more about America than simply winning.

    Democrats will regret the next 4 years if they elect Obama to stand against Guliani or Romney. These 2 Republicans have resumes that only Clinton's and all other Democratic candidates except Obama's can withstand. Guiliani and Romney will will hit Obama with a type of experience that he will not resist.

    Some Democrats simply want to see Obama beat Clinton for the wrong reasons. But let them wait for an Obama slap by Guliani or Romney. Republican know they can get back the Whitehouse if any of the 2 candidates stood against Obama because Obama has nothing to show for experience which will be the cornerstone of Republican assault. Then Democrats will be biting their fingers having first thought the next Prez would be Democrat by hook or crook after the Bush debacles.

    December 6, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Governor Richardson has proven that he is Clintons whipping boy...he won't defend himself against her – another yes man that will pander for the latino vote...and "La'Kitgum" – posting the same "I'm dopey enough to believe Clintons non-positions" – re-posting the same rhetoric....I'm a Republican who will vote for Obama (if Giuliani isn't selected....) – there are many Republicans....and we will NEVER vote for Hillary...well..because we are literate

    December 6, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Big deal–go ahead and waste your vote on Huckleberry. If enough people feel disinfranchised by the GOP (as I believe they will). This time around not only will we win the popular vote–but also the electoral college. Go Dem's in O8!!!!

    December 6, 2007 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Chris Hassel, Saint Paul, Minnesota

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guard is probably equipped by the mullahs...I agree. This is also, by the way, why I agree with Governor Richardson–we need to engage the moderate elements in Iran right now and we need to do it with consistency, and we need to push the Iraqis toward a series of internal political settlements by removing our troops over the course of one year, which would give them and us both time and reason to set in motion the mechanics necessary to eventually get through this morass. It would be tricky and very difficult, but in a few years the benefits would be worthwhile–and sticking with the current policy like we are now is intellectually vapid and does not take the long-view into account.

    Isn't it extraordinary that the Democratic candidates who have the most foreign policy experience–Bill Richardson and Joe Biden–are pushing for a radical change of policy regarding our relationship with the Middle East (though their plans sometimes differ), while the candidates who are inexplicably leading in the polls but have very little foreign policy experience (Hillary "Triangulation" Clinton and Barack "Good Feelings" Obama) are pushing for a continuation of the status quo?

    I know that we Americans have an odd tendency to hate to deal with the complexities of the international world, but it's time we get a bit more sophisticated about this and related issues. But I suppose that makes me a "snob." Yeah, yeah, I've heard that accusation before, and it's getting very, very old and increasingly embarrassing.

    Bill Richardson for President / Joe Biden for Secretary of State in '08!

    December 6, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I would say to Richardson or any other candidate whether republican or democrat, let Bush cleanup his own mess but focus on stopping his madness.

    December 6, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. Joe, Detroit MI

    I didn't know George Lopez was running for president.

    December 6, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. AJ, IL

    Posted By La’Kitgum, NH : December 6, 2007 12:37 pm

    La'Kitgum, please stop posting the exact same crap on different tickers. If extensive prior political experience were the true halmark of presidential selection all of the following presidents had guys in their own parties with more elected public experience than them: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. Bush, Ronald Regan, Jimmy Carter.

    December 6, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Eric, long beach, ca

    This is in response to La’Kitgum,

    are you serious in thinking that giuliani has any experience as a leader? I mean, I know that a noun, a verb, and 9/11 count for a lot, at least for being the mayor of the largest city in america, but for the country? I think not. Romney isn't much better either. I agree with you when you say that Obama is perhaps not the most qualified democrat, but stating that Guiliani is better? Sorry, dont see it.

    December 6, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. therealist

    Bill is the governor of a Mexican border state AND is OK with sancuary cities, nuf said..

    December 6, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Jose Card

    "Hillary cares more about America than simply winning." – Posted By La’Kitgum, NH

    "Hillary Clinton for President. ... And I'm in to win. Today I am announcing that I will form an exploratory committee to run for president."

    Hillary said she is in to win herself.
    Why would anybody want to challenge her rare honesty?

    We cannot verify Hillary's resume with Bill's WH documents till 2012. Don't you have to verify candidates' resumes before you hire them? Based on available public records, Hillary is the least qualified candidate in the Dem league.

    December 6, 2007 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  13. Kevin A, Ames IA

    Anyone who bothers to look at Richardson's resume will see that he has the most foreign policy experience BY FAR. Even the media accepts and admits this.

    We all have our own opinions, but with this much experience and success, I would say that Richardson is VERY trustworthy.

    I do not care if we agree with him or not. He has too much experience to write off, even if his ideas do not seem right to us, his experience must be considered. He knows A LOT more about foreign policy than ANY of us.

    December 6, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. Adam, CA


    We have plenty of evidence there is rational leadership in Iran. One should not confuse the rhetoric of ahmadinijad which also serves their purposes.

    The first evidence of rational leadership in Iran was immediately after 9/11 the anti-US prayers in the mosques were stopped.

    They then co-opted their allies the Northern Alliance to aid us in overtrhowing the taliban.

    That concluded rather than insist that their ally the Northern alliance be given the leadership of afganistan they acceeded to US desires for Karzai.

    Further evidence surfaced when we reoffered the nuke power deal to N. korea essentially what richardson outlines here iran indicated they wanted such a deal. Bush wouldn't talk.

    THat's short term signs. Long term despite having the technical capacity to build their own refineries(THey build jets modeled off our f-16's, stinger missile copies and submarines and many other weapons) they have not making themselves dependent on their neighbors goodwill. A smart move for a shia persian nation in a sunni arab middle east. It gives their neighbors and even us power over them.

    They have rational leaders but they do engage in brinkmanship diplomacy and they do have interests not necessary compatible with our desires. They also have some hardcore fanatics who we can only strengthen by talking loudly.

    The harsher reality is they could make our life in Iraq far harder than they likely currently are. They could be providing not only IED's but Shoulder launched SAM missiles based off our stingers that would effectively ground all helicopters and criple our military presence there. Again showing wisdom they realize that might be to much and haven't went that far.

    Are they playing hardball and ensuring they become a regional power. Absolutely, but then when we decided to remove Saddam we ensured they would become that.

    They want to negotiate, they want their nuclear energy and in all likelyhood they want security guarantees from pakistan and israel secured by us. They are rational enough to know a shia persian nation needs friends outside a sunni dominated islam. Putin is playing on it we should as well.

    Is negotiating there dificult absolutely but there are people to talk to and possible deals to be cut.

    In the end they know peace is in their interest. Diplomacy tells us if the price for that peace is worth paying.

    Richardson and Biden are completley correct in wanting to talk to them much like in the cold war we talked to the USSR. They are also correct in wanting to tone down the rhetoric. It's not like doing so makes us weaker.

    You lose nothing by talking. Republicans used to know that. reagan did, eisenhower and of course Teddy Roosevelt who spoke softly and carried a big stick. That's far more effective than talking loudly and carrying a big stick which seems our current strategy.

    The stick has to be there but brandishing it kicks in national machismo pride. We have a big stick so lets act like it and talk softly.

    In the end worst comes to worst we use that stick but talking softly makes that less likely. Not talking eventually ensures it.

    December 7, 2007 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  15. Roger, Aurora Illinois

    Surrealist, you couldn't be more wrong. How can you say the time for diplomacy is over? This president has seemed to have forgotten diplomacy even exists. Between the fear mongering despite the details the NIE be clear to him and the overall shambles of our national credibility, diplomacy just isn't on Bush's agenda. The time for diplomacy is over, Surrealist? Your president never even made time for diplomacy! Frankly sir, your politics would only serve to further isolate the USA. No stomach to be President? You're talking about a man who toed of with Saddam Hussein in his own backyard. You have no place saying such things.

    Middletown Chris, you consistently forget that Gov. Richardson has loads of respect for the Clintons. Ms. Clinton really is qualified to be President, weather or not I believe she would be a good one. If she wins the nomination, you can be sure every other democratic candidate will endorse her, so why contradict yourself down the line? Iowans appreciate it when candidates refuse to engage in inter-party attacks.

    And to the Realist – Please research Mr. Richardson. You'll find he's as much against allowing don't ask don't tell policies on immigrants as anyone. Your own state, wherever you might be from, probably has these cities too, they're difficult to manage in a PR friendly way. But the Gov. SUPPORTS stricter more enforced laws against companies who hire them, these companies are at the core of what turn communities into immigrant communities. So please, drop the buzz words and research this. There is a sensitive way to handle a sensitive matters that doesn't demonize average people, and it's worth your consideration.

    Richardson '08

    December 7, 2007 01:26 am at 1:26 am |