June 18th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Richardson: 'We don't have to be like' terrorists

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/20/art.billbarack0520.gi.jpg caption="Gov. Richardson endorsed Sen. Obama in March."]
(CNN) – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, backed the Democratic Party’s new standard-bearer in a growing dust-up between the McCain and Obama camps over how to wage the war on terrorism.

Asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether al Qaeda suspects should be given the same rights that American citizens enjoy in U.S. courts, Richardson said he “totally” disagrees with the Bush administration’s policy of treating terrorism detainees as enemy combatants and treating them differently than defendants in typical criminal cases. “We have to protect our country from terrorists but we don’t have to be like them by abridging our own freedoms,” Richardson added.

WATCH Bill Richardson's interview from The Situation Room

The former presidential candidate, who served as Energy Secretary under President Clinton, also waded into a second dispute between the two presumptive nominees over energy policy. “In the Clinton administration, we pushed for renewable energy, for fuel efficiency. We should have pushed harder,” Richardson said. “I’m the first to say that both Republican and Democratic administrations have not come forth with a sustainable, long term energy policy,” he added.

soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. circus

    circus. political circus. who is the clown? figure it on your own.

    June 18, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Richardson

    Richardson you are a slivery snake. You must be sniffing for the VP spot hey. Good – if you are on the ticke even more of Hillary supporters will stay home or vote McCain. Now go and spend those thirty pieces of silver. Maybe you can buy Obama to be the VP with it!!

    June 18, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Michele, Oregon

    Catty: Take a step back. Is it retribution you want? That is the kind of response that this administration fed into to get us into the war in the first place. We have a standard here in this country which states innocent until proven guilty. If they are guilty, let the courts sentence them. Otherwise, think about your hypothetical innocent brother in the wrong place at the wrong time who might be in a foreign jail detained and tortured because he looked like a suspect. Wouldn't you fight for a legal system that had the capacity to free and exhonerate him? You know you would! Tnank God we live in a free, even though flawed, society.

    And Richardson was including himself in his analysis of what did not get done in the past. I admire him for that.

    Not on the blogs yet, Obama apologizes to the Muslim community. So glad he did because in the end it will be the moderate, progressive Muslims around the world who will be the best able to speak back to the extremists. Enough of the "them" vs "us" mentality. We need to seek areas that may prove to be part of the solution. Obama, even at risk of people furthering the misnomer that you are a Muslim instead of the truth of your Christianity, you spoke out. We need you for president!

    And,no, I am not Muslim. I am Catholic and white.

    June 18, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Carol, San Luis Obispo, CA

    The United States has a Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and laws which we uphold. Our values are not in synch with everyone, but these are the values, laws and rules of our country. Terrorists are measured by the same rules, laws and provisions in our Constitution when answering to our system. Because they have no regard for life and a moral compass that is not the same as out country's does not give us license to throw away our Constitution and stoop to their level. The best country in the world did not become the best out of convenience. It may be frustrating to extend due process to others, but it is the way we do things and for that we can hold our head higher.

    June 18, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. TheTruthHurts

    He won't get the nod, but on paper he makes a good vp choice.

    June 18, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. V

    First off, you have to do something very wrong to get detained. We don't just pick up innocent by-standers and detain them. I know from experience. Second, this is a slap in the face to the members of our armed forces who risk their lives to maintain the security that our nation just tosses away like so much trash.

    You know, if they are just so innocent then why don't we take it a step further and just release them back into our society after they are acquitted so that they won't have to endure the hardships of Iraq? I mean, they are just innocent people, right? Better yet, all those who support this decision can set up little halfway houses in their own communities. That way they can be sure to have direct contact with these nice, good natured people.

    Our nation has lost its stomach for war or anything else that is more difficult than a trip to the mall or longer than a thirty minute sitcom. You attempt to quote the words of great men, but those men would cry if they knew what has come of us. It is a sad state of affairs when the people of our nation care more about their enemies than they do their fellow citizens.

    June 18, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Kenneth M


    June 18, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. Just Me

    Richardson is a flake. He needs to go back into his hole.

    June 18, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Fishers, Indiana

    Attention Obama Supporters: keep booing Clinton so McCain wins!

    June 18, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Our constitutional law is very important. Wonder what the ForeFathers are thinking as they are turning over in their graves.

    McCain is still bitter about him being a POW, but unlike Obama he has not majored are taught Constitutional Law.

    CNN I sure would like to see some positive articles on Obama, those women with the scarves were probably Republican planters. I have worked for the Obama Campaign and the people working for him do not discriminate against people like that.

    Michelle did a great job on the view today. They have invited her and Obama back on the show.

    June 18, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. Ralph

    Concerning the title, yes we do, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Ask any right-winger. They don't realize that with such stupidity you get a world of blind toothless people.

    June 18, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. JohnInOhio

    In addtion to Franklin's quote, "Those who give a little bit of liberty for a little bit of security will get neither and don't deserve either (apologies to Ben Franklin for the incorrect quotation). We were set up as country of laws, and we need to stick to them."

    I would add:

    Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. – Oscar Wilde

    June 18, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Angela Frazier, Memphis TN

    My question is this: How would these people who oppose the Supreme Court decision feel if they had loves held captive for YEARS without due process? They would be screaming it's unconstitutional!

    June 18, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Marc PDX

    Likening how America has treated the prisoners at Guatanamo Bay to how the terrorists have treated American prisoners (torture, amputations, beheadings, booby trapping corpses, publicly abusing corpses) is WAY out of line. It's even hard to write what the terrorists have done to Americans. So please don't make that comparison, Mr. Richardson.

    NObama N'08!

    June 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  15. Susan, PA

    You are bitter? Why not you should be, gas prices are oomph, jobs phissssss, iraq in shambles and economy whew !!!

    June 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. Uncle Sam

    John McCain was a "self chosen prisoner of war"???
    Because he forfeited his release from repeated torture and solitary confinement so as not to abandon his fellow captives? Now that I think about, it was his choice. And so I choose him to be my president.

    June 18, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Saad from NJ

    Likes and dislikes aside, Bill Richardson and Obama are not soft on terrorism…. they happens to know that there are fundamental reasons and policy that set us apart from the rest of the world and eventually make us the greatest nation on this planet called 'earth'.

    Juliani and all others alike on the other hand are not any tougher on terrorism than Richardson and Obama…. they just happen to think that we became the greatest nation on earth by winning the lotto….. hummmmh!

    June 18, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Patty

    I just heard Richarson on CNN saying we all have basically change our ways and use less. Who is he kidding and what planet does he live on that he doesn't hear how people are hurting. Only people with a lot of money are using and not caring how much they use, The majority of people who are hurting have cut back a long time ago and are trying to cut back more and do without. This goes to show how out of touch politicians are. What a joke. He infuriates me.

    June 18, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Nice to see Judas there with Obumus


    June 18, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. From Rush

    If terrorists get constitutional rights under this latest Supreme Court decision, and if Obama's advisors say Bin Laden is innocent until proven guilty, why are we trying to kill terrorists? Why aren't we trying to arrest Osama Bin Laden, read him his Miranda rights, and give him a lawyer?

    "Somebody ought to ask Obama: 'If we capture Bin Laden and we put him on trial, do you believe, sir, he should be presumed innocent? And if he's found not guilty in a court of law, do we just let him go after the trial?'

    June 18, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. Marc PDX

    We are not "like them" in any way, shape or form! This statement by Mr. Richardson was way out of bounds!

    June 18, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. shelly

    Secretary of Energy, Ambassador, and the next VP Obama/ Richardson '08

    June 18, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. Matt, Manchester, CT

    "Richardson said he “totally” disagrees with the Bush administration’s policy of treating terrorism detainees as enemy combatants and treating them differently than defendants in typical criminal cases." - Hey Richardson, thanks for reminding me why you never really mattered in the presidential race anyways.

    June 18, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. Rosa

    Please...............................give me a break! He's just another bean in the chile. Next year he'll be kissing up to the Taliban and dogging Obama..........

    June 18, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Janis

    I would like to know why you interrupt the people you are asking questions? i have seen you do this numerous of times. Why bother having people on when you are not interisted in their answers. I have seen this with a number of CNN reporters. I realize that you are not interrested in listening only in your opinion. It really is all about your opinion and not your guests. Interrupting people does mean that you are not listening to them.

    June 18, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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