July 30th, 2008
04:40 PM ET
15 years ago

Richardson to help Clinton retire campaign debt

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/30/art.richardson0730.gi.jpg caption="Sens. Obama and Clinton appeared with Gov. Richardson at a New Hampshire debate in January."]
(CNN) – Is Bill Richardson about to kiss and make up with the Clintons? It certainly looks that way.

The New Mexico governor announced Wednesday that he will host two fundraisers to help Sen. Hillary Clinton retire more than $20 million in outstanding campaign debt accumulated during her failed White House bid.

"Governor Richardson's efforts reinforce Senator Obama's commitment to unifying the Democratic Party and assisting Senator Clinton's effort to retire her campaign debt," Bill Burton, a spokesman for Barack Obama’s campaign, said in a statement released by Richardson.

Richardson, who served as secretary of energy in Bill Clinton’s administration, decided to endorse the Illinois senator, now the presumptive Democratic nominee. The move was viewed as an act of betrayal by some longtime supporters of the Clintons. CNN Political Analyst James Carville, who has long and deep ties to both Clintons, even likened Richardson’s endorsement to Judas’s betrayal of Christ.

In late April, Richardson responded to Carville’s criticisms by saying that Carville and other Clinton supporters believe they are a “dynasty” and that they were “clinging to the throne.”

WATCH: Carville, Richardson on Larry King Live

Since announcing his support for Obama, Richardson has made numerous television and campaign appearances on Obama’s behalf. He is also mentioned as a potential pick for vice president.

In the statement from Richardson, Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said, "Senator Clinton is grateful for Governor Richardson's and Senator Obama's efforts to assist with retiring her campaign debt and she is looking forward to continuing to campaign for Senator Obama and help ensure victory for Democrats throughout the country this fall."

Senator Clinton will attend both invitation-only events in New Mexico in mid-August.

soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. E.C.Coleman

    Richardson is disgusting, as is Barack Hussein Obama. Both Liars.
    If I were Hillary Clinton:
    #1) I would NOT campaign for Obama,
    #2) I would forsake the Democratic Party and stand ALONE, become an Independent.
    #3) Richardson would never be allowed to 'pander' to me!
    #4) Both Richardson and Obama are 'Judas'

    July 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Nick, NY

    Richardson might just be showing some maturity and team-spirit that hopefully will serve as a lesson to others in this country.

    July 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Steve

    This is politics at it's best or worst, depending upon how you look at it.
    This kind of split-then-kiss-and-make-up stuff happens all the time.
    Politicians are opportunists. They will use or lose each other depending upon whether they need each other or not. Hillary is no exception (neither is Obama for that matter). If Richardson can retire her debt, they'll be great old friends again. Politics isn't personal. It's business. Business can be rough as heck.

    Remember, kids, this is about getting the most electable person into position to retake the White House. Who is most electable is a matter of opinion, but Richardson did what he thought was right for the Democratic Party. And he's still doing what he thinks is right.

    July 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. 100 yrs in Iraq

    ========democrats Unite===========

    =====do NOT let CNN=Pro mcCain harm us======

    ----CNN = mcCain Supporter----

    July 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. mayahh


    July 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Jim, Green Bay

    After Carville called Richardson "Judas," he appeared on Good Morning America, where Diane Sawyer confronted him about it. When she asked why he would say something so extreme about Richardson, Carville responded, "I thought he needed to be properly branded." The man just keeps digging himself deeper.

    July 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. AdamW

    What's with the Judas remarks? We are supposed to live in a free country but a man makes a choice he feels is best and he is labeled a Judas. Is he supposed to do whatever the Clintons want just because?

    This country has lost all sense of reality.

    They should be kissing his butt for helping them at all. Hillary should spend her own money to retire debt instead of asking hard working Americans to bail her out. She's filthy rich....she should write a book about how she failed and got in debt.

    July 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Sal in Phoenix

    All you folks are acting like this is something unusual!..candidates have been helping to retire debt of other candidates in the same party for years...what's the big deal?

    July 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Rachel

    Let the haters begin, any ways why is he doing this? Does he want something from Clinton or is Obama not all he thought he was going to be and maybe he has realized that not only should have been loyal to his state who voted for Clinton in the primaries but also to the people who have him a job in the last democratic white house.

    July 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Jan Illinois

    As usual Carville was right on. Richardson stabbed her in the back after they helped him when he needed it. Judas is light, in my book. Hillary drop him like a bad habit girl, kick him to the curb, bury him politically he's got it coming!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. Jackie - NYC

    There is truly something wrong with our election system and how it is financed. If a candidate ignores every indication that they have lost the primary and continues to spend money they don't have they should be responsible for paying off their own debt. I find it incredible that Richardson as been called upon to do this after how the Clinton's treated him.

    July 30, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Thank you Kevin from NC!! Well said. The childish stupid talk needs to stop and we need to focus on being united. For those of you that think otherwise, you are not true Dems, just narrow minded fools!! GROW UP!!

    July 30, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. pam Eugene OR

    Hillary started all the negative things now being said by the McCain campaign about Obama. She is the one who said he was naive, started rumors about him not being a Christian, not covering his heart for the national anthem, not wearing a flag pin and everything else McCain is now using against Obama.
    No Democrat should give this dirty politician a dime.
    Hillary is done in the political world unless Obama throws her a bone. There are 18 million Barack supporters who will never vote for her. She set the party back 8 years and I can not forgive her.

    July 30, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Craig a Texas Democrat


    July 30, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. ReaganDem84

    Be very careful Hillary.

    Make sure to have a tasttester before taking the kool-aid from Judas!!

    July 30, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. AB

    I guess that "lunch with Hillary" thing ain't working out too well...

    Really – who is going to give her money? The only thing people want is to NOT hear the "Clinton" name mentioned every other day.

    July 30, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. ALEX

    The democratic party does not need the support of people who will betray the party because the can't have their way. Even with all the Hillary supporters who will vote for McCain, Obama will still win.

    It's a new day.

    July 30, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. mwm

    it's a nice gesture ,that she doesnt deserve.

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Paul

    Well, well, Mr. Richardson, doing a little PR for 2012???? Hit the road Judas, you're through!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. Rick in Chicago

    A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square,

    You're not "aghast" .. just a whining, crybaby, PUMA idiot!

    Hillary lost because she 1) ran a sub-par campaign, 2) didn't have enough delegate VOTES to win in the end, and 3) couldn't change the rules in the bottom of the ninth inning no matter how hard she tried.

    And the GREAT thing about it is, the rules she lost by were the very same rules that SHE PERSONALLY AGREED to back in Sept of 07.

    Now keep crying so we can keep laughing .... all the way to President Obama's win in November!

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. Mike from L.A.

    Why can't this candidate pay her own debt. Seriously, this is ridiculous. I like Hilliary, but all this constant hand out talk is driving me nuts! What's worse is if this was Obama needing help, everyone would be in an uproar.

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. Harvey in Va

    If Clinton is not the VP Obama will never never never get by vote, my wifes vote, or anyone else I can convice to vote for McCain..


    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. Angel Long

    Thank You Judas!! Hooray for Obama, Obama The Symbol!! Wait, I shouldn't be worshiping an Idol God. Is Obama an Idol God now?

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. Zac in Austin

    Pay your own debt back.

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. NPT

    Hey, Obamabots,
    No, he did NOT win the nomination! Why should she be graciously bowing out and accepting help from people like Richardson?? It is an Obamination indeed! You gave the party, you pay for it! If the correct person is not nominated, we won't fall in line. Country before Party. PUMA! I'll be donating to McCain.

    July 30, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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