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. Caroline

    Who needs friends like Bill Richardson? The chickens always come home to roost. Right on, Carville!

    March 30, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Harry, Michigan

    The crime here was for Carville to take himself so seriously as to use biblical comparisons.....

    March 30, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. LennyInDelaware

    Yes, Richardson is what Carville has described. He cannot respond and give a convincing explanation cause any way you look at it he is indeed the person who sold his master. SHAME ON YOU!!!

    March 30, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. Tony

    Carville's a cranky, fussy mess...

    March 30, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Bill

    But he will stoop to going back on his own words to vote as the people of his state have voted. I loved how the interviewer on CNN was chuckling all through the interview as Richardson explained how his word means nothing.

    March 30, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  6. meadowlands

    Its too bad that Richardson dropped out – he's got common sense. As for Carville, he's a scary person – he's just a nut that runs off at the mouth. He doesn't think for himself – he's just a Clinton puppet

    March 30, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  7. Barry

    atta boy Bill. Carville just looks like an idiot now.

    March 30, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. KGW

    Oh please, Richardson is a back stabber. I would nt trust him any farther than I could throw him.

    What did Obama promise you Richardson?

    March 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  9. Ronaldo

    Carville clearly smokes rocks with "Tyrone Biggums". His argument makes no sense at all, what is this "La cosa nostra"???!!

    March 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. luther campbell

    Bill Richardson is a traitor. And he knows it.

    March 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  11. mike

    I put an American flag on my lawn (snow) for the first time. However this race turns out Barack Obama has inspired in me a new sense of patriotism. The Flag is not just for republicans anymore.

    March 30, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  12. A. Harrison, Atlanta Georgia

    You don't need to stoop because you did the "two step" Richardson, along with Kennedy and Kerry, your states were won by Clinton, you say Superdelegates should honor the will of the people, and so says your candidate, yet you endorse otherwise.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton for President!

    March 30, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  13. Helen, NY

    Bill, get a life... Do not try to justify yourself. You are wrong. You are experienced person and you want to support inexperienced candidate. You want American people to go back to learn things from Obama.

    March 30, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  14. Augustine

    James Carville is VERY UGLY and Richardson does not have to dignify Carville's pettyness with a response.

    March 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  15. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Judas speaks...

    And says nothing...

    March 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. Donna

    Bill Richardson would be NO where today if Bill Clintin had not helped him..He is a back stabber...Also, his state of New Mexico voted for Hillary, Richardson as a Super Delegate should be voting for who his State voted for. GO HILLARY GO HILLARY GO HILLARY

    March 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. John

    He is a super delegate, he should vote for his district's will. Hillary has won the NM. If he does not wan to vote according to his district's will, then other super delegates should not follow either

    March 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. virginia worthy

    making this short, you don't want a woman in the whitehouse,
    you want to keep it the good old boys club..
    Virginia worthy

    March 30, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Tim

    I think the two of them, Obama & Richardson, would be an AWESOME ticket. He has the foreign policy experience that truthfully, no one else still in the race has.

    March 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. USMarine


    Richardson says nothing, because there is nothing he can say.

    Carville is right!

    Why would anyone want Richardson on his or her team?

    March 30, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. jimmy velman

    Thanks CNN for posting my comment about Richardson.
    James Carville does not need to speak further nor defend himself.
    Richardson GOT tagged, labeled and branded by Carville , period.

    March 30, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. Mary

    he already did the stooping

    March 30, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. mario


    March 30, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Obama Supporter

    Of couse, Richardson is absolutely right. Just because he served on Clinton's cabinet doesnt mean he has to stand by them forever. I dont understand this loyalty nonsense. Carville should keep his "preachy" nonsense out of this. Richardson made a good choice.

    March 30, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. karen

    Well, CNN does. It still has Carville on and appears to like him while nobody listens.

    March 30, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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