Bill Richardson: What is this election's most dangerous idea?
Bill Richardson is the Governor of New Mexico and former candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Of Hispanic descent, Richardson was born in Pasadena, California, but spent most of his childhood in Mexico City. Richardson graduated from Tufts University, from which he also received a Masters in International Affairs. In 1982, Richardson was elected to the United States House of Representatives. During his time in the House, Richardson focused on foreign affairs as well as on issues of importance to the Native American community. In 1997, Bill Clinton appointed Richardson United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Richardson left that post in 1998 to become Secretary of Energy. Richardson is known for his "shuttle diplomacy" and has been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Richardson was first elected the Governor of New Mexico in 2003; he was reelected in 2007 in a landslide, earning 69% of the vote. Richardson is the author of two recent books: the campaign autobiography Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life, and Leading by Example: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution.
Question: What is this election's most dangerous idea?
The most dangerous idea is continuing to have a surge in Iraq; continuing to use the military option and not use diplomacy, and not recognize that American troops are dying, and that American prestige is waning because of our continued involvement in this war. This is why I’ve said I would bring all the troops back within a year, but use that withdrawal – the leverage of the withdrawal – to bring a political solution, to bring a compromise. My point is that the most dangerous ideas I hear from the President is that first we have to have a military solution, like saber rattling with Iran; like excluding countries like Iran and Syria from the peace process in Iraq; like for years saying to North Korea – and I was involved in this – that we’re not gonna talk to you ‘cause you’re bad guys. The absence of dialogue, and negotiation, and diplomacy is the most dangerous idea that I hear from Republicans. And it’s almost an intolerant view that they are so right. The problem with the Republican party is they’ve been in power too long. They’ve created a bubble. They’ve liked their power and they’ve lost touch with the American people. This is why I believe Democrats are gonna win the presidential elections. Recorded on:11/20/07
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