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. Neal

    I'm sure Bill Richardson's choice to endorse Obama was purely a political one. If Hillary was in the lead he would have endorsed her. Richardson's endoresment doesn't carry much weight anyway, especially since his state went unanimously for Clinton.

    April 3, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. LAC


    April 3, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Colie Brice

    Bill Clinton lied? Say it ain't so! Oh dear.. Unbelieveable..

    April 3, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. lke

    Stop the Lies Hillary
    Lets see two stories, one truth. OK I believe Richardson. Since Ickes has confirmed they are trying this same desperate story on other delegates, it is pretty clear Hillary is a liar. Nothing uglier than a lying desperate pol trying to win the already lost.

    April 3, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. PhillyinKY

    Obama probably told him that he wanted him to run for VP along side of him. That's why he switched.

    April 3, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. hemnebob

    i agree.

    get over it already.

    the clinton's should know by now that living in the past is more of the republican's bag-o-waste and not the democrats.

    time to get over it.

    April 3, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Skipper

    Better hurry, the jobs in the Obama administration are going fast!!!

    April 3, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. Bert

    Bill Richardson is a good man an would himself made an excellent President. The fact that a Clinton has been miffed, is just too bad.

    April 3, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Brian, Tampa, fl

    Bravo, Bravo, BRAVO................

    The Cilntons need to get over this, Their bid for the White House

    Good Job Gov Richardson and thanks for say what most people
    would like to say.

    April 3, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. deborah

    I just wonder if the "super-delegate" who supposedly reported this "outburst" might just be an "OBAMA supporter" who has blown this entire thing out of context. As far as I know there has been no confirmation of this comment. Since Obama supporters are so incapable of spewing mis-information right?

    Uncommited to foolishness 08

    April 3, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Janet

    i think Richards is lying. Some many deligates switched and the Clinton's nade no big deal. Richards did this for his own gain. I am an Obama voter , but Richards is a lair and a snake. Sure wouldn't want
    him as a friend. There is no way Bill Clinton would have said Richards
    told him he would not endorse Obama unless he told him.

    April 3, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. ia voter

    Wayne, they're one of the largest news outlets in the world with connections to most elected officials and party leaders. I'm pretty sure their supedelegate count is right. Stop trifling with the details.

    The fact that the Clintons thinking they're ENTITLED to a superdelegate is enough for me to not vote for them.

    April 3, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  13. MV, Texas

    Aw, Richardson is trying to stay politically relevant. How cute. I guess once he realized that Clinton wasn't going to give him the VP nomination that he was gunning for, he switched sides.

    It's a shame, because Richardson does have integrity... just not at the moment.

    April 3, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  14. Sean an Obamacan

    Richardson knows this is how politics is done in modern history. Clinton's distasteful comments and especially the comments they voice through their surrogates like Carville, show they exact reason Richardson endorsed Obama. I've never forget after the Iowa caucus the "would-be" General Counsel for Hillary was furious that Obama had won, stating "how dare he" and "wait your turn." People, that is not democracy, that is oligarchy.

    April 3, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. Matthew

    It seems like CNN is twisting this to make the Clintons look bad...again. The way I read Bill Clinton's statement is that Richardson promised he would not endorse – as in NEITHER Hillary NOR Obama – and not that he would endorse Hillary. I took Bill's statement as reflecting a promise from Richardson to remain neutral. There's a difference between the two and the media seems to be going out of its way to distort what Bill said.

    April 3, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. elaine

    All the nasty stuff of this campaign has come from the Clinton side.
    How the Clinton supporters think that Hilliary is getting picked on is beyond me. It was Hilliary that said let the fun begin...after that she shed a few phony tears while her pit bull of a husband went after Obama...he even said he wasn't sure who he was running against..Hilliary or Bill. They circulated the picture of Obama and didn't see what was so wrong with it....ha...do they think we all our stupid. Hilliary campaign even said that they would throw even the kitchen sink at him.....Obama has the right to rebuke these attacks...if he really wanted to get nasty he could bring out the trial that is going to take place at the end of the year about the biggest fraud campaign contribution in history...and of course...their is Hilliary...once again somehow connected again...their is a list of dirt he could bring up on her so the Clinton supporters should quit crying about their girl getting picked on her....I think the press cottles Hilliary not Obama....

    go obama

    April 3, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  17. tj

    Richardson was well within his rights to do what he wants. I say this as a HRC supporter. That said, if Obama is the nominee and picks him for VP ... I'll be one disappointed Democrat. Obama needs someone that can reach out to the blue collar/rural voters. Richardson hasn't shown that ability. Heck, I've even heard Latino activists question if Richardson could carry the Latino vote.

    April 3, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    The Clintons don't need to 'Get Over It.' They need to 'Get Out Of It'.... the race that is. We're all getting pretty sick and tired of their vitriol and the entitlement they express towards the presidency. Obama '08!

    April 3, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  19. ELM

    It is troubling to learn that Mr. Clinton tries to destroy Mr. Richardson’s reputation. This angry behavior seems to be surfacing way too often in Clinton’s campaign.

    Equally troubling is the fact that the Clinton's campaign cannot even manage $20 mil per month many good people donated to them.

    Nor, do they hear ‘our voices’ when we repeatedly ask for releasing their records on ear marks, Presidential library donors and tax returns.

    Do they think that these matters are ‘none of our business’?

    April 3, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. dmw

    He was a nothing until Bill Clinton gave him a chance to be a national figure. Richardson then became a turncoat and disloyal. If a person cannot be loyal, how can they be trusted.

    I say good to Bill Clinton; most of us would be going off if someone we considered a friend told us one thing and did another.

    So, stop hating on Bill Clinton, he is speaking from where he sits.

    April 3, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. MJC

    This is such a shame. Why do the Clinton's still think it's all about Them. I am so disappointed in Bill Clinton because as a former President, I don't think he should be campaigning this hard for his wife. The best interest of the party should be his MAIN concern. He is going around acting like the "Godfather" instead by insinuating Superdelegates "Owe" him something. The Superdelegates concern should be what's best for the American people not their "loyalty" to the Clintons!!!!

    April 3, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. jim, minneapolis

    the clintons need to get over A LOT of things... namely, this election. the sooner hillary drops out, the better the november election will go. with the mathematical impossibility of her catching obama, i see no point in her continuing this race. she reminds me a lot of huckabee in the final weeks of his campaign. delusional is what i would call it.

    April 3, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  23. paul

    The Clintons are liars? I'm shocked!

    April 3, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. German citizen

    That's politic.
    I just hope for America that the right candidate will take the White House.

    April 3, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Judas followed Jesus, but he sold Jesus. Bill Richardson, you have nothing to say even you have one hundreds lips, you will live your rest of life with betrayer's title no matter what you say to us. I believe Bill Clinton than you, President is loyal, you are as fickle as a reed. But sorry for you, Obama will never be elected, your judgement is wrong as Obama's, JUDAS RICHARDSON.

    April 3, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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