Bill Richardson: Is it the President's job to solve moral issues?

Question: Is it the president's job to resolve moral issues?

Bill Richardson:

Well a president should lead. You know you can’t have individual states and individual movements deciding issues affecting the country. A president has to set a tone. And when it comes to abortion, I believe that . . . in a woman’s right to choose. But as president, I would do everything I can to stop unwanted pregnancies – to push for adoption, and sex education, and family planning. But at the same time, when it comes to gay rights, I think we should be a country that honors the fact that we shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation. As a governor in a red state, as I say, which is a conservative state, I had fought . . . I have fought against those that want to discriminate against gays. And I have got the most gay . . . pro-gay, lesbian record in the country. Not because it’s politically popular – actually it’s a very conservative state – but because it’s the right thing to do. I would try to lead in those areas as President. Not impose my will, but take strong moral stands. Those are value stands. You know we should be a nation of values. And values are not just religious values. Other values that we should emphasize is the right to have healthcare; the right for a child to be able to go to school; the right for anybody to pursue the American dream. So I would expand the definition of what constitutes a value.

Recorded on: 11/20/07

Expanding the definition of value.