March 31st, 2008
05:50 AM ET
15 years ago

Richardson: 'I'm not going to stoop to Carville's level'


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

soundoff (341 Responses)
  1. deb in az

    i dont think richardson is a friend to anyone . new mexico ought to give him the boot as well next time he is up for re election....but i suspect obama offered him a job.....but with friends like him you had better watch your back.....

    March 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. glhf

    Yes the Clinton campaign has been negative and you haven't helped. Richardson can endorse the empty suit who inspires people instead of your lady who is an empty suit without inspiration.

    March 30, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Allison Marie

    I agree with Carville. And as far as the Richardson supporting Obama, he is talking out of both sides of his mouth, he as a super-delegate should support the view of the people that elected him. Clinton won the state not Obama, I guess you could also call him a hypocrate too!

    Wonder what he was offered!

    March 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. meggy

    oh c'mon are idiot by saying so.and i tell you now,you wont get re-elected again.

    March 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Christina

    Kudos to Gov. Richardson. The big show: Obama/Richardson to win!!

    March 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. HH

    James Carville is a clown, who shares his secrets with Mary Matalin Dick Cheney's top aide. James Carville is the Judas not Bill Richardson. I wish CNN would take this guy off the air.

    March 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Heather Peterson

    The Clintons don't own Richardson; he is certainly free to endorse who he believes is the best candidate. It actually comes across as a very genuine edorsement, given the heat he took for it from Carville.

    March 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. C. Martin

    . . . Bill Richardson is a good example for the hispanic voters in showing that he is an individual and stands up for what is right, and
    not some stereotype to be used as a voting block.

    Obama / Richardson 08.

    March 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Pat Va

    Once again, portraying that Senator Obama, his campaign and supporters are more than a step above of those who continue to "throw the kitchen sink" at them. Says a lot about character (or lack thereof)...on both sides.

    Thank you Senator Obama and Gov. Richardson for bringing this presidential campaign back into some semblance of decorum!!

    March 30, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Mimi in TX

    Good job Richardson! I am so glad that you are not stooping to Carville's ignorant level.

    Keep up the good work!

    March 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. Garth

    Why did Hillary not demand that James Carville apologise to Gov. Richardson?

    March 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Jake

    What about loyalty to Politics? Richarson wants VP position.

    If you have any loyalty to country , then you should not be supporting Obama. He will be (another )disater to country after Bush.

    March 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. david

    clintons think that Richardson is their personal property. haha. so funny. clinotns are arrogant and undermine the power of American people. they are not only attacking Obama but attacking their one time friends. Clintons lost their credibility.

    March 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Jake, California

    True, he owes the Clinton nothing!

    The government of the United States is every citizen's government, it is not the private property of the Clintons why are they torturing this poor guy for supporting Obama?

    March 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Bryan

    Looks to me like that OBAMA does not really wan't to get his hands dirty!!!!
    """""Oh shucks""""" if it means getting to be President! well !!!!
    maybe once or twice or threefold or..or...or......................................

    March 30, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Kips

    CNN Please dont Delete this!!
    Great and wise words from a great patriot.Carville is seeking recognition.He is self centred desperate monger who worships Clintons.I cannt belief that he takes Clintons as "jesus". Gov. Bill Richardson is a great and respectable American.God Bless America.
    Go to hell with your hate you burstad bald headed Carville.
    Obama 08.

    March 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. JKan

    Richardson is NOTHING! He has no spine. What nonsense he is talking about?? How can he compare himself to a straight-talker like Carville?

    Richardson = Judas

    March 30, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. frank_steve NC

    Gov. should know that going to Carville's level is not 'stooping down' but is 'stepping up'.
    Carville at least knows to stand by Hillary through thick and thin..
    Richardosn is just 'seasonal'

    HILLARY / Anyone '08

    March 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Chad

    If Hillary is Jesus and Richardson in Judas, I wonder which disciple that would make Carville. Does this mean that Bill Clinton is Mary Magdalene?

    March 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Simone

    I feel the same way about the Clinton Campaign's maneuvers. Glad Richardson said so.

    March 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Scott in Boston

    You're either loyal or your not. Bill Richardson is not. You either vote with the majority of voters from the state you govern or you don't. Bill Richardson did not. Your either right or wrong. Bill Richardson is wrong.

    March 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. Kathy

    If Richardson truly wan't to stay nuetral and not "stoop to Carville's level" he would have said no comment.
    He is being a hypocrite as well as being disloyal. My opinion only.
    If he thinks the Obama camp doesn't or hasn't said negative things than he is deluding himself as well.

    March 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Pamela

    Thank you Governer Richardson for rising above the fray. The Clinton campaign (Carvel included) is suffering from the "You owe me syndrome." Thank you for busting through the Washinton good ole boy newtwork and standing for what is best for the nation versus personal gains and agendas. This speaks volumes about your integrity. Wish more politicians had it.

    March 30, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |

    Richardson just can't face the guilt of stabbing two of his most loyal supporters in the back.

    Without Bill and Hillary Clinton, there is no way Richardson has the experience to run for President this year.

    He let one speech by Obama erase 20 years of Clinton support, so to me, his endorsement means nothing.

    March 30, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. Jim

    New Mexico doesn't need Richardson and neither does the rest of the country.

    March 30, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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