January 6th, 2008
05:31 PM ET
15 years ago

Richardson denies sending Iowa voters to Obama

(CNN) - In a CNN interview Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson denied reports that his Iowa supporters were told to support rival Barack Obama if the New Mexico governor fared poorly in the first round of caucus voting.

“That is totally untrue. I don't know where that came out of,” Richardson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Iowa’s Democratic caucus rules allow supporters of candidates receiving less than 15 percent of the vote in each precinct – which means those names are eliminated from later consideration - to vote for any of the remaining presidential contenders.

Some Clinton supporters had claimed there was a deal that would send the governor’s supporters to back Obama in later voting rounds.

Barack Obama emerged as the clear winner of the Iowa’s Democratic caucuses Thursday night, garnering 38 percent of the vote. Sen. John Edwards took second with 30 percent, and Hillary Clinton came in third at 29 percent. Richardson rounded out the top four with 2 percent of the delegate vote.

On CNN’s Late Edition, the New Mexico governor dismissed claims of a deal with Obama, crediting first-time caucus voters with the Illinois senator’s win “He got a huge amount of voters participating that had never participated before. Hardly anyone anticipated that, at least the huge numbers that he brought forth. So that's why, you know, there are all of these rumors,” he said.

–CNN’s Peter Lanier and Jessica Rummel contributed to this report

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Mike-Albuquerque

    This whole thing is stupid. At 51, I've never set foot in a ballot box.

    January 7, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Does it really matter if there was something organized? I doubt that it would be done by the national campaign. There might have been local supporters that saw that there was little chance in their region and had friends who were Obama supporters. Why is this continuing problem?

    I think that it is growing less and less likely that Richardson will make it much farther. We will see Tuesday night or Wednesday after the primary. If Richardson wins the nomination, then Edwards might be a good V.P. among others. On the other hand, if Obama wins, then Richardson would be a good V.P. because of the wide foreign policy and diplomatic background.

    January 7, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. IndependentAmerica

    Obama is the candidate that will bring back the UNITED States of America. It was amazing... watching the debate on Saturday night. When you really think about it Hillary Clinton does not have any more experience than Edwards or Obama. It actually became abundantly clear when Richardson was rattling off his resume for the umpteenth time. Hillary is trying to win on the tail of her husband's experience. One thing that we must understand and I'm also talking to Black America also is that Hillary is not Bill. They are different people. Look at her for her, don't have glazed over eyes, don't believe the hype.

    I believe that Obama brings all people together, regardless of race, class, or party. I agree with the person a president does not have to have a particular type of experience. Obama was in the Illinois legislature for 7 years before he became a senator, is a bestselling author, graduated from the top universities in our nation, taught constiutional law for 10 years. How is that a lack of experienceto lead a nation? For one thing, if he had been president we would not have been at war in Iraq. Good judgement is key. He is honest, straight forward and just the type of person we need.

    Once again, being in Washington D.C. for many years is not a negative. I think it is a positive for you haven't had time to be bought out. It is truly hilarious for me to watch the large media conglomerates struggle with admitting that he is beating Ms. Clinton. Obama is the one! He has been raised up for such a time as this. Vote Obama in the primaries and in 08!

    January 7, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Les

    Obama won in Iowa because of "second chance vote". He also hauled college students from Illinois attending college in Iowa to caucus for him. He also offered to pay for gas of anyone who had to drive a great distance to caucus for him. This is a different kind of vote buying, this is corruption. People should cast their vote because they wanted to not because of bribery. I thought that only exist in third world countries, USA now is tainted by it.

    Richardson have lost his credibility, I called his office in NM when I heard about it in the news asking his supporters to vote for Obama if after the first round he's not viable. My first call, the gal in charge of their office told me right away "that's not true," I called again after three hours, this time the answer I've received was different, the person said " we can't comment on that."

    I don't know what to think of Richardson anymore, but I knew he alienated a lot of his supporters around the US that hasn't yet cast their vote.

    Will Obama be the nominee for the democratic party? He won't be due to the fact other states of the Union don't allow independent voters to participate in their primary who they wanted to represent their party. Iowa and New Hampshire allow independent voters in their primary, in fact 40% of NH voters are independent.

    Bill Clinton lost in Iowa and NH, he became President twice. I know a some republicans in Iowa and NH and other state of the Union will vote for Obama, they wanted him to be the nominee for the democratic party, a win for Obama is a win win situation for the Republican Party from the Whitehouse all the way to Congress.

    Behind the scene work of Karl and his closest aide propping up Obama is working like magic. Ask yourself why neoconservative like Karl released an OPEN MEMO advising Obama how to defeat Hillary.

    That doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

    I've already made up my mind when Obama said he'll attack Pakistan if he finds out they have Al Qeada in their country. That is PRE-EMPTIVE strike that Bush did that took this country in deep trouble right now in Iraq. We are heading towards recession, FEEL GOOD WORDS offered by Obama will not solve the problems we have right now. Words does not make changes, it is action. Obama is lacking on that department, he has been neglectful of his Subcomittee chairmanship duty with European and Foreign Relations.

    January 7, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. James

    Jimmy...If your teenager is using Obama as an excuse to say drugs are good than he was probably too stupid enough to make an intelligent choice anyway.

    I'd rather have a president with integrity than one that lies.

    "I tried it...but didn't inhale?" -bill clinton

    what kind of crock is that?

    January 7, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. James

    To the poster "Me of Course":

    Yes, you are completely right. (Not)....Republicans and Independents are voting for Obama because they think he will be easy to tear down.

    This isn't some kind of grassroots conspiracy!

    Republicans and Independents are voting for the man because he says he will reach across the aisle and work with all politicians to get things done....unlike the decisiveness that is Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush

    i am an independent.

    January 7, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Chris

    tombay....why must you preface your comment with "i'm a black guy"

    i didn't preface mine with "im a white guy and not voting for edwards"

    January 7, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Chris


    you posted:
    "I've already made up my mind when Obama said he'll attack Pakistan if he finds out they have Al Qeada in their country. "

    That is a misinterpretation

    Obama said if President Musharraf does not act...we will.... if we have intelligence that tells us that Osama bin Laden is in the country.

    Edwards just reiterated that he would do the same thing during Saturday's debate.

    I am sure any reasonable president would do so.

    That is not preemptive warfare (because he- bin laden- attacked us first) and it IS CERTAINLY NOT "attacking Pakistan

    some people are incredibly ignorant;
    I do not find it suprising that most of Hillary's supporters are those without a collegiate education.

    January 7, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Adam, Sacramento

    "I don't understand the constant negative comments (especially Hillary) on politicians "flip-flopping". Mrs. Clinton took a stance in the direction that she believed her constituents (including future ones as President) wanted her to take and when she realized that the majority of these people wanted something else, she changed her stance. This is a sign of strength and maturity, not weakness." Alan

    Speaking for myself I don't want politicians that tell me what polls say I want to hear. I want politicians that tell me what "THEY" believe in, what "they" want to fight for. I then select the one that wants to fight for the majority of things I want fought for.

    If a politician doesn't believe in my cause but only chooses to advocate it because it's popular I have no faith they will truly work to get it done.

    I want politicians confident enough in their own beliefs and intellectual capacity to determine the right course of what should happen that they stand to be elected to fight for "THEIR" beliefs. If I want a politician to fight for everything I believe "I'll" run for office.

    Triangulating just tells me they will fight for whatever will get them elected. That means they will become beholden to donors that give them money because money is a key aspect of getting elected. Tell me what you want to do and I'll decide if I agree with enough of it to vote for you.

    For me democracy isn't about chasing polls, it's about choosing those who believe in what I believe, not mouth the words.

    January 7, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Rob

    The torch is being passed as we speak. Those who continue to play old politics, MOVE OR GET OUT OF THE WAY!

    For the Billary supporters, how can she stand for change when she voted for the Iraq war? Seems like she is simply towing the company line. That's not change, not even close.

    January 7, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. tina lee

    It is important to remember the only politicians who realistically effect change of any degree or fashion usually possess a viable foundation already established.

    When one looks at the failed or failing policies and institutions in the present day United States - it is quite clear improvement or at least the first step to curbing any of the disrepair can only come from someone who both the Senate and the House of Representatives will cooperate with regarding new policies (I will refrain from including lobbyists). We as individuals, as well, should take note of our own personal responsibilites which may assist with bringing forth a more positive outcome for our country.

    In an ideal situation there would be a choice between a diplomat and a politician. Yet, this is not the case. For better or worse: Authentic diplomacy has long been replaced by lobbyists and economic power on the domestic and international scene. Since reality only offers a few viable options - it is extremely significant for voters to base their "choice" for both the Democratic and Republican primaries on the candidate's public record (as in laws they endorsed, policies implemented and supported by them - not just giving an elegant speech).

    Some people choose not to vote due to corruption, the power of the electoral college etc. The inaccuracies of our election process is but another reflection that we have a long road to go as a nation. If realistic, positive, effective change is desired, it is imperative to vote intelligently and informatively. Only when our elected officials realize their constituency is informed and is willing to work with them in improving this nation will genuine change for the better occur.

    January 11, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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