April 3rd, 2008
10:38 AM ET
15 years ago

Richardson: I never promised Clintons


Watch Bill Richardson's comments.

(CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Wednesday sharply disputed Bill Clinton's reported claim that Richardson promised not to endorse Barack Obama's bid for the White House.

"I never did," Richardson told CNN. "I never saw [President Clinton] five times. I saw him when he watched the Super Bowl with me. We made it very clear to him that he shouldn't expect an endorsement after that meeting."

Bill Clinton's comments reportedly came during a recent meeting with some California superdelegates. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the former president got "red faced" when the subject of Richardson came up and said, "Five times to my face (Richardson) said that he would never do that."

In the interview Wednesday, Richardson acknowledged he was "very close to endorsing" Clinton, but decided not to after the campaign got "nasty."

"I held back. I waited. I felt the campaign got nasty. I heard Senator Obama; he would talk to me continuously," Richardson said.

"The Clintons should get over this," he added.

Richardson, a former U.N. Ambassador and Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration, endorsed Obama late last month.

Read more: Richardson denies promise to Clintons

Related: Watch Bill Richardson's interview on The Situation Room.

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (433 Responses)
  1. Gina

    From Mike Allen @ Politico.com:

    "THE ARGUMENT — George Stephanopoulos on "World News": "Sources with direct knowledge of the conversation between Sen. Clinton and Gov. Bill Richardson … prior to the governor's endorsement of Obama, say she told him flatly, 'He cannot win, Bill. He cannot win.' "

    It gets a Drudge banner and is the cover of the N.Y. Post: " 'Obama can't win' – Hill made brazen claim to sway Barack backer."

    ***PLAYBOOK EXCLUSIVE – PAUL HARVEY'S THE REST OF THE STORY: It turns out it was Governor Richardson who told the Clintons that he did not think Obama could win when he promised them he would not endorse Obama. According to a source with knowledge of the conversation, the governor said then that Obama was too inexperienced. "

    April 3, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  2. Peter

    Get over it dude. You don't owe Clintons any explanation why you endorsed Obama. It looks like it is Clintons first,Americans last. I am just fed up with Clintons power hunger and a sense of entittlement. Enough!

    April 3, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |


    April 3, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. cindy barba

    Obama probably promised Richardson a big job either as a vice-president or a cabinet position and the guy jumped at it.
    You can't trust politicians Besides Obama wants the Latino vote and will do anything to get it. He is a sleazy politician from Chicago. If you look at the facts he's ahead of popular vote because he received 400,000 from Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. I wish some media would take a peek at it. But of course he is the media's Favorite Son None of them will give the public the correct information regarding Obama

    April 3, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. Darrell Stevens Sr

    I stand behind Gov Richardson in his decision. How pompus can the Clintons get. They act like a bunch of 3rd graders standing in line at a candy shop. I am so tired of hearing Bill Clinton speaking how Gov Richardson endorsed Obama, and not Hillary. The Clintons are not intitled to the presidency. It's time Bill Clinton just shuts up and sit down for awhile. While everyone else is acting like adults, the Clintons are acting like 3rd graders, GROW UP!!!!

    April 3, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. PA

    We beleive you Mr. Richardson!! Thank you for standing up for what is right and thinking about the American people!

    Obama 2008!!

    April 3, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. Bob, Bridgeport, Connecticut

    I'm a democrat and have been following the race. According to the Clinton campaign, when this endorsement hit the news, it was of no effect. Why is Bill Clinton still on this? Let it go and move on. This is the type of sidetracking/distraction we don't need. Let it go and move on. Richardson is not going to chnage his mind. Let it go and move on.

    April 3, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. James

    Bill Clinton has proven to be another dictator who won't get over Power. I have lost respect of the Clintons!

    April 3, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Rod

    Since Bill Richardson is not saying he ducked sniper rifle fire to endorse Obama I have to say I would believe him over the Clintons on pretty much anything he would say.

    Regardless you have to support the person you feel should be President. That is not Hillary for Bill Richardson and they should stop crying and complaining about it.

    April 3, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  10. Cathie G.

    "Five time to my face (Richardson) said he would never do that" sounds a little like "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" .
    Richardson is right "GET OVER IT".

    April 3, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. Chris, PENN

    Richardson is an opportunist who waited to get the best offer. Richardson would not be where he is with out the Clintons that should mean something even in today's society. He stabbed people who helped him in the past in order to secure a cabinet position with someone who he thought is ahead and will win. Carville was right. Richardson will never be trusted by anyone again. No one respects a back stabber and a man who is not good with his words. Also, he couldn't bring himself to support a woman, that would be too open minded and Richardson is one that is fromt he old boys school of thinking. Someone should give him the Newsflash that women are just as great behind the wheel of politics as men.

    April 3, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  12. Michael Matson

    Just like his wife, Bill Clinton can't tell the truth.

    April 3, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  13. Yes, DM again Arlington, TX

    Our Former President Bill Clinton, he still feel that he has authority to tell people what to do in this case who to support. Bill "BULLY" Clinton needs to take his own advise and just "Chillout".

    Now. if Bill Clinton can help Senator Clinton find her tax returns that would be something he could do.

    April 3, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  14. wyoming dem

    Bill Richardson is one of the honest ones. Why is he the only one under fire for his choice? Bill needs to chill out.

    April 3, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. mj

    Richardson had alot of courage and other super delegates should follow. I would hate to feel the wrath of the Clintons but he put his country first. And why should he have to feel loyalty to Hillary when it was Bill who advanced his position in the government?

    April 3, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  16. BHO

    Is the Democtatic Party of USA owned by Clintons?
    Is Richardson a SLAVE of Clintons? Dont he has any FREEDOM to express his opinions?

    April 3, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  17. mike

    How does a man that big walk around with a backbone made of jello? Come on, Bill, jump on board and help us put rotten Clintonism on the ash heap of history.

    April 3, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Patricia

    Richardson , don't worry.. we all know Bill is a liar. He's like a wart, he keeps coming back.. not this time though. Not now. The Clinton's won't get back into the WH, they are the two most dishonest people to ever be there, and America knows it. If someone hadn't fixed the NH primary.... they would of been gone loooong ago.

    April 3, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. Roderick

    I am not surprised that Bill Richardson version of events don't match the Clinton's. Who would you believe? someone that has a history of lying? someone who's wife hears gun fire over her head and has to run for cover when the T.V. cameras show something quite different? or a man that has a history of honesty, integrity and high moral character?

    I think Richardson is telling the truth and the Clinton's are up to what they alway's do, lie, cheat, missrepresent, anything to win. Good for you Bill Richardson for helping to protect America from 4 more years of the Clinton's.

    April 3, 2008 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. The Perpetual Student

    Hmmmmmm I thought people in Hilary's camp was saying his endorsement meant nothing? Then why all the fuss over it?

    April 3, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |

    we can do without clintons

    richardson is not a fool

    April 3, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Wayne

    Richardson is a liar and a traitor, no wonder he is lined up with Obama. Like the bigot Pastor Wright- BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER! A nest of vipers.

    April 3, 2008 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  23. Tony, Mocksville NC

    I would wager that Obama offered Richardson the VP spot. Otherwise he would have endorsed Hillary. But, such is politics.

    April 3, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  24. Louise

    Hillary Clinton keeps saying that superdelegates are free to change their minds – I guess not so much! Apparently depends on the direction of change.

    April 3, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  25. Sharon Minnesota

    Me thinks the gentleman protests too much. Richardson sounds like a liar to me.

    April 3, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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