Richardson said he's fine with celebrities stumping for candidates and added that he'll soon have some of his own.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) – As ‘Oprahbama’ fever sweeps Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Gov. Bill Richardson told reporters in Nevada on Saturday, “Of course celebrities play a role in American culture, and I don’t see any problem in trotting out people that are outside of politics that support your candidacy.”
The announcement that Oprah Winfrey would stump for Sen. Barack Obama ignited a debate over the role of celebrity endorsements in presidential politics. A South Carolina legislator who supports Sen. John Edwards called the Oprah events “publicity stunts,” perhaps unaware that celebrities have hit the trail for her candidate as well.
In Iowa, Sen. Hillary Clinton danced around a direct Oprah question but argued, “At the end of the day it’s a choice among those of us who are running. And I think that most voters understand that.”
Richardson agreed with Clinton, saying, “I think the voters should make up their minds on the qualifications of the candidates,” but admitted to CNN, “I’m going to have a few [celebrities] of my own too.”
- CNN Nevada Producer Alexander Marquardt