April 24th, 2008
10:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Richardson: Clinton supporters 'clinging to the throne'


Watch Carville and Richardson square off on Larry King Live.

(CNN) – After weeks of verbal brawling, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and James Carville spoke for the first time on CNN’s Larry King Live Wednesday night. Richardson – now a supporter of Barack Obama – called Hillary Clinton backers like Carville ‘a dynasty’ that is ‘clinging to the throne.’

The CNN contributor defended calling Richardson a ‘Judas’ in a New York Times interview after the governor announced his endorsement of Obama.

“I said it. I was quoted accurately. I was quoted in context. I thought it was an appropriate metaphor,” Carville told King. “If it would have been the Fourth of July, I would have said ‘Benedict Arnold,’” Carville said.

Richardson called Carville’s response “typical of the reaction of Clinton supporters.”

“They feel they’re a dynasty. They’re clinging to the throne,” Richardson added.

Watch Carville and Richardson clash over whether the results in the Florida and Michigan primaries should help determine the Democratic Party’s nominee, whether Obama should agree to more debates before Indiana and North Carolina vote May 6 - and whether the primary race has become so negative it’s hurting the party’s prospects in the general election.

soundoff (313 Responses)
  1. AMG

    Excellent points Carville. Richardson looked stupid and without valid arguments that is why he resorted to talk about "dynasties". He is truly a Judas.

    April 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. cc, Chicago

    This is alot of smoke. The negative campaigning was initiated by the Clinton camp and the Obama camp while being negative at times has been more reactionary in that they responded to negative attacks by Clinton. It's part of their stated strategy to trap Obama in his high road pledge.

    Frankly, right now all 3 candidates are disappointing. They had 6 weeks before the Pennsylvania primary to go to Washington and do some work. Don't tell us what you would do as President. You are a sitting senator. Why not prove it by proposing legislation? It's not like any of the candidates are state Governor's and therefore outside Washington's legislature and can only talk in theory. How bad would HRC look if Obama answered her negative attacks with legislation to deal with the economic issues we're facing? And how much would HRC enforce her "ready on Day 1" argument if she proposed legislation rather than negatively attacking Obama? For McCain, he's got a golden opportunity to be seen doing something by proposing legislation while the democrats beat each other up. They all talk about change. It's time they start walking the walk.

    April 24, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Fay (the Young Texan who voted for Obama)

    Richardson is only bitter against the Clintons because they threw him under the bus when he didn't bow down to King and Queen Clinton. Like I said the other day (and I still believe), you have to be smoking serious hash to vote for that woman. I'm 23 and all my friends agree on one thing. If she somehow nickels and dimes her way to the general election, she's lost most of the African American and young vote. Where will that leave her? Hmmmm....

    April 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Jen in PA

    “You think those parking spaces off the West Wing are yours, but they belong to the American people, and you have to earn the right to use them.”

    ~Bill Clinton, "My Life", in response to the Republicans telling him not to run in 1992.

    Oh, the irony...

    April 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Rebecca

    What does the United States call other countries who change their rules in the middle of an election to favor a particular canidate. Corrupt. That is exactly what Hillary Clinton and her team want to do. Change the rules in the middle of an election. According to the official rules this election is finished and Obama is the winner. Therefore, no more need for another debate so they can team up on Obama 3 to 1 again.

    I know Hillary won't quit until she is knocked out all the way, so Obama please knock her out. Give her a good solid knock out punch that lands her sprawling on the ground. Then give her a couple of good kicks to make sure she doesn't get back up. We're getting sick of her and her buddies nasty mouths.

    April 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Olga, CA


    Let everybody know what you think. Otherwise, the Clinton campaign is going to steal the nomination. Way to go, governor Richardson! One decent person!

    April 24, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Gloria

    My opinion of Governor Richardson has surely changed after hearing his remarks. Carville shouldn't have called him a Judas during the Easter season. We don't have Kings or Queens in our country, Governor although George Bush has been acting like a king during his administration. Does Richardson want to exclude Michigan and Florida from the General Election also? The people in these two states want their votes counted as they should be. Obama wasn't on the Ballot in Michigan by his own choice, he had his name removed, he didn't have to do that. I still believe in Government OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people. ALL the people, not just SOME of the people.

    April 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. dabrain

    Richardson is not "bitter" towards the Clintons. That's a foolish comment. They appointed him because of his credentials. He is free to support whosoever he wants to support!!!! He is an American and enjoys the same rights as everyone else. Moreover, Barack Obama was responsible (and everyone knows that) for registering many new voters (especially in the African American community) in Illinois when he was a community organizer, so that Bill Clinton could go on to win the state. So would you say then, that the Clintons owe Obama as well? And “Roger,” no one is saying that the States that have not had their primary should not!! Each camp agrees on that. Carville was insinuating that the Obama camp doesn't want those primaries to happen! That was pure spin! - and you bought it because of your bias!!! And if you were paying close attention to the campaign you would realize that 90% of Obama's responses were to refute the negative attacks by the Clintons. The backlash that would happen if a black man (Obama) offends or is a bit rough with a white woman (Hillary) would cause some loss of the white vote (remember New Hampshire). I think that he has been pretty composed in the way he has responded even at debates. I don't know if I would have been the same since I have no patience for nonsense. I would have called it just that like I am calling your comments!! NONSENSE!

    April 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Voter for Hillary

    Um, young and educated–that wasn't Hhillary's campaign that put up that picture of obama in a turban–it was an independent group. Hillary actually condemmed it.

    Obama is the one that made the "bitter" and "clinging" to guns comments. It was not broke by the Clinton campaign, but by a person in the media who happened to be in the audience.

    April 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. Garret, Los Angeles

    We are not clinging to the throne. We are voting for the best candidate. We have had enough of change. We changed from paying $2.35 cents per gallon of gas to $3.97 cents. That's enough change for me.

    Hillary 2008 and 2012.

    April 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Eye Opener - Las Vegas

    I am baffled by the comments of Governor Richardson alluding to the Clintons with words like "Dynasty" and "Throne".

    In all seriousness, does the governor hate the Clintons so much that he denigrates Senator Clinton's quest for the presidency as monarchial and dynastic? While the governor is entitled to his opinion that Senator Obama is the better candidate for him, it is hypocritical for him that his decision to support Senator Obama was brought about by the negativity of the Clinton campaign. As a politician himself, he is well aware that political campaigning is a contact sport and negativity as well as distortion of facts are on both sides. ALL politician/candidates, Governor Richardson included, do what they must to earn votes and win – this is a fact.

    Governor Richardson should stick to his own advice that people should choose their next president based on facts and solutions being offered by the candidates and more importantly, who is best qualified to lead the country and steer it in the right direction – not on negative campaigning and accusing your opponent of monarchial and dynastic ambitions.

    April 24, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Ignore Carville 2008

    Why can't Jimmy just go off quietly into the sunset? His relevence card was played about 10 years ago. He doesn't have any others.

    April 24, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Dylan

    Well said, Gov. Richardson. So glad you picked the right candidate to represent your party.

    I have lost all respect for Mr. Carville.

    April 24, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. George

    Carville is a spin doctor, a good one, but those who spin the "truth" are what is wrong with our politcal system. Politicians usually don't say what they mean and rarely come out with a straight forward answer. I think Richardson won this round as he came over as being more sincere. I think the fact that Hillary's camp, Carville being the talking head for it, want Michigan and Florida to count only because they won. Obama wasn't even on the ballot and didn't campaign there. If Clinton had loss those states I think she would be speaking another tune. I think Obama should be the nominee with Hillary right there as VP. Then if she does a good job as VP, then she can be President as she would then have experience. Stop the phony talk and negative bashing and unite the country not just the Dem. party.

    April 24, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Robert in Albuquerque

    Being a voter in NM I have to say if it wasn't for that Clinton dynasty, you Mr. Richardson wouldn't be where you are today. You've lost my vote and more over, my respect.

    April 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. Very Disappointing

    I used to like this guy....he seems backwards. Funny how he says he will support him, but calls his supporters names. Weird and contrasting. Just polarizing at the best with much spin.

    April 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. GloriafromPA

    I watched the entire show last night and found Richardson to be on point, while Carville was clearly desperate for Hillary. Seems, now, the person who wins IN should be the nominee. I thought we were just going to disenfranchise all the caucus states from the popular count, and include the two states who lost the privelege to be counted in the process. Yes, that sound fair, in a Clintoneque sort of way. We will be a strong party after Hillary has finally given her concesion speach. We will hear from all the states – then it's buh-bye Hillary.

    April 24, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. RichardC

    roger- the voters do have a choice, its called Obama vs McCain in the fall. Hillary can't win, under any circumstances, except coup by superdelegates, or Obama falls under a bus. Her campaign is trying to rationalize their continued existence, but they're just helping McCain too much. Is she an (R) now?

    People are eager to get rid of Bush, but don't confuse that with with a need to vote in this primary. The primary is over, Obama won. Now people need to accept that, get behind him, and take out McCain.

    Since we are where we are, I say let them vote in 2 weeks at Indiana and SC, but the superdelegates should step in after that and end it. Since Obama will only be about 180 delegates short and Clinton about 350 short, they should give it to Obama and lets be done with this.

    April 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. kayla

    i don't think Obama should have anymore debates with Hillary. all she wants to do is attack him like a pitbull like she is

    April 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. Geri

    I thought Richardson was obnoxious and maybe a little bitter that he didn't make it. I was hoping for him or Biden but am very happy now that he dropped out..

    April 24, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. Jeanne

    Clinton backers are free to make up their own minds. Richardson made his decision. Others are free to do the same. No one should be criticized for who they support.

    They still need to figure out how they're going to handle Michigan & Florida. It's pretty clear that there's going to be no decisive victory for either candidate and Michigan & Florida have to be represented somehow. McCain is already using it as fodder for his campaign.

    It's doubtful the DNC will ever get organized enough to make a responsible decision and the Democrats are likely to be fighting about it all the way through to the convention & beyond.

    April 24, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. CW4Barak

    Bottom line is the only candidate running now who is fresh and new and offering something different, real change–is Obama. Clinton is not only running on her husband's record, but also for his 3rd term....McCain is running for Bushes 3rd. By the way Jeremiah Wright is a better man and American than a lot of the people who are judging him. Bill Ayers wasn't convicted of anything. Obama did nothing illegal with Rezko. Michelle Obama has a right to her feelings and comments...if its the 1st time she is proud of her country, then that's how she feels, doesn't mean that's how Obama feels....even though they are married they don't share the same brain or mind, had separate up bringings and exposure. Clinton & McCain are the real elistist...they are just great pretenders!

    April 24, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Andrew from PA

    Richardson has no leg to stand on. He and the Clintons go way back and for him to betray them for his own personal gain was just a back stabbing move. If he had waited to endorse, he'd be picking Hillary right now because she's making the big news. Now he's trying to get his guy back into the race, because suddenly that cabinent seat is starting to look out of reach.

    Its all politics, and he's just the guy trying to get left overs from the king / queen.

    April 24, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  24. Mike in Virginia

    "The Young & Educated for Obama",


    Please, please, PLEASE tell me where you received your education. With sentence structure like yours, I would like to ensure that I do not send my children there.

    Thanking you in advance,


    April 24, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. leicheco

    How can anyone be upset because Richardson backed Obama?
    Just because he worked with the Clintons at one time does not entitle the Clintons to his support. He admits that the Clintons have done alot for him, but he does not own them his pledge! Come on people this is the future of America we are talking about, maybe he knows something about the Clintons that we don't, and he just does not want the dynasty to go on. We have already had to many years of the Clintons and the Bushs. I hope that we can end it now.....has anyone noticed that HRC showes signs of being a female Bush?

    April 24, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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