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. Sherry, Atlanta

    Your a good man...

    July 30, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Linda Sandy Springs GA

    Bill Richardson is a true Democratic Gentleman and James Carville with that comment was a "hillbilly" he has always been.

    July 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Bob

    If all of you Hillary supporters care about her so much, why don't you help her pay off her debt? It's incredible that people want to elect someone so fiscally irresponsible that they cannot even keep a couple month campaign solvent, let alone a country with several hundred crooks in the legislature.

    July 30, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Marie in California

    Richardson is still a Judas......and Obama is still incompetent to be president. Nothing has changed.

    Was for Hillary, now for McCain!


    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. AC

    Or perhaps we should just let the Greatest Woman in Human History retire her own debt........

    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. glen

    Keep your money trader the pumas will pay off her debt …we don’t want you and we don’t need you.

    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. M.S. Indiana

    A Puma moment... Wh yare you 18 millions not giving her a dime ??

    But good leadership from Richardson to help the Clinton's.

    July 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. anonymous

    What an act to play to get Hillary to help Obama to get Hispanic vote. I hope that Hispanics will see through this and will avoid Obama at all costs. A proverb says: Friends are not bought. No matter how hard Gov. Richardson will try American people understand that he is doing this for two reasons:

    1. To make sure that he will be re-elected when he runs for office again.
    2. To help Obama get vote of Hispanic population.

    I say "dream on".

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Mary Lou

    She can retire her own campaign debt. She doesn't need the help of someone who treated her and Bill like they were dirt under his shoes. He's nothing but an opportunist.
    And I have a sneaking suspicion she's not going to get over it quite so easily.... and why on earth should she? Her star is rising, while his crashing down...
    PUMA 2008 Justsaynodeal.com

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Sally, Corvallis Oregon

    These messages... these acts of unity among and between Dems make me truly proud...

    July 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. Annoy the Media, say NO to Obama

    Us Hillary (anti-Obama) supporters are busy helping McCain...

    So we let the non-Hillary democrats pay her bill.

    Its a brilliant strategy.

    July 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Debby

    Nothing like being on a guilt trip. LOL

    July 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Carol-Illinois

    Isn't it interesting that Hillary expects others to pay her debt. What about the other candidates who didn't win and are taking care of their own debts? I guess when you have been paid by the taxpayers most of you adult life, you don't expect to take responsibility for money.
    Let Bill go out and make a few speeches.

    July 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. No way

    If you think Slick Willy is gonna let this by your sadly mistaken, they will get 2 faced Richardsons money, and in a few months Richardson will slowly disappear from politics, probably dog catcher, or maby not. He earned it.

    July 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Nance

    McCain has real values? Give me a break! He will keep us in a pointless war and continue to crash the American Economy. Realize that when Republicans are in office the only ones who benefit are Corporate America and the wealthiest one percent.
    If someone called me a Judas ( even CNN) I'm not sure I could be so gracious.
    I'm not saying that Obama would be the one to turn this country around, because after the damage done by the Bush Administration, it will take years to get us out of debt.
    Personally, I think McCain is too old, and I think he would continue the wrong policies that have hurt America.

    July 30, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. Lynn

    Judas Richardson should crawl back into his hole. The Clinton's don't need him. Hillary's debt is either retired or close to being so. Richardson isn't going to be VP so he wants to cover his bases for 2012. Too late, he showed his true colors.

    July 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Michele Hussein, Oregon

    You who would call Richardson a "Judas", by what standard do you use that term. The Clinton's are not Jesus, and by defecting from her campaign, Richardson used his constitutional right to choose who he thought would be best for our nation. The fact that he is helping Hillary now shows me that he is a better man in the long run. Even if there are political implications, he is doing something admirable.

    July 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. TREP

    I do not see how anyone can claim that McCain will protect American values. What values are you talking about? He has not held a firm position on anything except the surge. (We'll ignore that he has tacitly accepted Obama's 16 month time table, or is it a time horizon.) He has flipped on taxes and only recently embraced the Environment. He used to be against torture, but now is not. He talks about responsibility, but has not cast a vote since April 6th. He has promised to run an honorable campaign, but has not done so yet. I do not know what he stands for, except the surge in an ill-advised war. I want someone to defend McCain's ideas and show why they are superior to Obama's not just tear down a man whom you do not like.

    July 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. California Girl

    Mike, TX:
    I do believe you got something going there. You could be definitely Right On point!

    July 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Anthony

    God, Democrats are SOOOOOOO Pathetic!!!!

    July 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Eli

    JUDAS is JUDAS no matter how you look at it. I may overlook it but I will never forget it.

    July 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Darryl

    Despite John McCain’s presidential campaign pledge forbidding official favors for top donors, the Arizona senator has introduced legislation and heavily intervened to acquire lucrative deals for a wealthy longtime friend who has raised a quarter of a million dollars for him so far.

    A major U.S. newspaper has documented in a lengthy piece the decades-long relationship between the 2008 Republican presidential candidate and a powerful Arizona developer who has made millions of dollars thanks to the senator’s efforts on behalf of the deals.

    Without McCain’s aggressive intervention, millionaire Donald Diamond could not have made the deals which, in a few instances involved beneficial public-for-private land swaps and the actual remapping of public lands. McCain helped his friend acquire the valuable properties by introducing legislation in 1991 and 1994 on his behalf. The senator’s efforts led to multi million-dollar profits and the acquisition of thousands of acres in Arizona. McCain has sponsored a third similar bill that currently sits before the U.S. Senate.

    In 1999 McCain helped Diamond purchase highly-sought yet forbidden California land owned by the Army, which he immediately sold for a $20 million profit. Then McCain got his buddy a lucrative contract to develop a resort hotel and luxury housing in 2005. These efforts certainly contradict McCain’s vows not to intercede with the government on behalf of a donor or take any action on their behalf that doesn’t serve the public’s interest.

    July 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Chuck

    Another sign that Obama's star is wanning. His arrogance is taking it's toll.

    July 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. J. S.

    If he truly wants to kiss and make up, he should "throw her" name out at the DNC to be nominated for the office of President of the United States...

    July 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Jay Elle

    "Judas" is absolutely right!! What a traitor!

    July 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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