Governor Bill Richardson Officially Declares Candidacy for Democratic Presidential Nomination
Governor launches new phase of campaign in Los Angeles, receives the endorsement of California political and community leaders
For Immediate Release
May 21, 2007
LOS ANGELES, CA--New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today announced he is ending the exploratory phase of his campaign and is officially seeking the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination. With his wife Barbara by his side, the Governor made the announcement this morning during a news conference at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
"The United States faces huge challenges, but also huge opportunities. I am running for President because these times call for a leader with a proven track record, and a demonstrated ability to bring people together to tackle our problems at home and abroad," said Governor Richardson. "I am that person, not because I say so, but because of what I have done, and what I can do for the American people."
Governor Richardson has devoted more than 25 years to public service, including 7 terms as a US Congressman, as US Ambassador to the United Nations, as Secretary of Energy, and is now in his second term as Governor of New Mexico.
"This Presidential election is unlike any other we've ever seen. From day 1, we have to repair the damage done here at home and to our reputation abroad. And that all starts with restoring diplomacy as the primary instrument of our foreign policy ... and basic fairness as the primary means for problem solving in Washington," said the Governor. "There are a lot of candidates in this race with good ideas. But coming up with a good idea is only half the job. The other half is bringing people together to get it done. I'm proud of my record of getting things done. And I'll put that record up against anyone's."
The Governor announced the formation of his Presidential Exploratory Committee on January 22, 2007. As he began his campaign, Governor Richardson was fully engaged in the 60-day session of the New Mexico Legislature, where he passed approximately 90% of his initiatives.
Governor Richardson today also received the endorsement of more than two dozen California political and community leaders, including many from the Latino community. A complete list of endorsements is below.
Here is the complete text of the Governor's remarks from today's news conference, as prepared for delivery:
"I'd like to thank all of you for joining us here today. It means so much to me to officially announce my candidacy in California, the state I was born in and the state whose primary I plan on winning on my way to becoming the next President of the United States.
The United States faces huge challenges, but also huge opportunities. I am running for President because these times call for a leader with a proven track record, and a demonstrated ability to bring people together to tackle our problems at home and abroad.
I am that person, not because I say so, but because of what I have done, and what I can do for the American people. The challenge of the campaign I am launching today is to get that message heard.
Running for this office is the ultimate job interview. It's not just about the positions you've held but the job you've done and your ability to lead on day one at a very critical time in our nation's history.
This Presidential election is unlike any other we've ever seen. From day one, we have to repair the damage done here at home and to our reputation abroad. And that all starts with restoring diplomacy as the primary instrument of our foreign policy ... and basic fairness as the primary means for problem solving in Washington.
There are a lot of candidates in this race with good ideas. But coming up with a good idea is only half the job. The other half is bringing people together to get it done. I'm proud of my record of getting things done. And I'll put that record up against anyone's.
Some of the critical questions to ask every candidate in this race are: how will you solve the crisis in Iraq and bring our troops home? How will you deal with global warming? How will you address the health care crisis in this country? And what will you do about illegal immigration? How will you grow the middle class again?
I cannot address all these in one short statement, and I urge everyone to check my website, www.Richardsonforpresident.com, for a more complete explanation, but let us discuss several:
Some will tell you that we only have two options: either stay in Iraq and try to referee a civil war or leave and collapse into chaos. I've spent a lot of time in this part of the world and let me tell this: that is a false choice.
Removing all of our troops and healing Iraq are one and the same. Only when it is clear that the US will leave Iraq can the hard diplomatic work have a chance for success. A negotiated political settlement, involving the warring parties and interested neighbors is how to prevent a regional war.
And we have a strategic interest in organizing a regional conference, with all of Iraq's neighbors including Syria and Iran, to help stabilize Iraq.
But I would leave no troops behind in Iraq. No air bases. No security patrols. No embedded soldiers training Iraqi forces ... because we all know what that means. It means our troops would still be out on the streets with targets on their backs.
We need a president who is not dismissive of diplomacy, but someone who embraces it as the primary instrument of foreign policy because he has practiced it, and knows how to get results.
Being stubborn is not a foreign policy and being President means working with both parties. As Lee Iacocca has said: "Courage in the 21st Century doesn't mean posturing and bravado. Courage means a commitment to sitting down at the negotiating table and talk." I agree.
It was tough, face-to-face talks that helped secure the release of journalist Paul Salopek, and two colleagues from a jail in Darfur. I am so proud that his wife, Linda Lynch, is here today. You know, when I visited Darfur in January and negotiated a cease fire, I saw thousands of widows and fatherless children trying to escape the genocide ... waiting in line in oppressive heat for a month. They wanted to know why it was taking the United States so long to do something. I didn't have a good answer. As President, I will make sure the US leads the world in saying no more- the violence must end.
We also need a President who is not dismissive of energy independence and global warming. This is no longer a choice---it is a moral imperative for our planet and a matter of survival of our country.
I'm proud that I made New Mexico the clean energy state. We're already requiring utility companies to produce energy from renewable sources. We've already invested directly in energy efficiency, we're promoting renewable energy with tax credits for using wind, solar, and biofuels, and we've eliminated taxes on hybrid cars.
I have the most aggressive plan of anyone running for President. Within twelve years, my plan would reduce greenhouse emissions by 20 percent, lower demand for oil by fifty percent, and push fuel economy standards to 50 miles per gallon.
By the year 2040, my plan would require that 50 percent of our electricity be generated from renewable sources and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent.
The League of Conservation Voters rated mine the most aggressive plan with the highest goals of any candidate.
I'm also ambitious on health care.
Every political candidate says that all Americans should have access to affordable health care. But how do we achieve that? .
In New Mexico, we have made a start by expanding our state health insurance to cover every child under five, we have tackled childhood obesity, we've insured more working New Mexicans and we're looking to expand it even more.
But states shouldn't have to struggle to solve this problem on their own.
My plan as President is simple: Every employer must provide health insurance for their employees or pay an equivalent fee to the federal government, and every individual must have health insurance.
Employers and individuals will have their choice of options-- if they like the coverage they have, they can keep it. My plan creates no new federal bureaucracies.
Next, the middle class. They have been under attack for the last 6 years. As President, I am going to reverse that and pursue polices like those we have in New Mexico. We gave tax credits to companies that create jobs paying above the prevailing wage, we helped start up high tech companies and we invested in technical training
And, while Washington DC could not do anything, we passed a $7.50/hour minimum wage
And finally, immigration. As the Governor of a border state, I deal with this issue every day.
The proposal moving forward in the Senate is a step in the right direction toward establishing a path to legalization. But at the same time it's a step in the wrong direction because it separates parents from children and loved ones from their families.
The touchback provision is ill conceived, and any guest worker program mustrequire available jobs to be first posted for American citizens and legal residents.
We can address the illegal immigration problem by taking three realistic steps.
First, we have to recognize that no fence ever built has stopped history. And a border fence wouldn't either. If you build a ten foot fence, someone will use an 11 foot ladder.
Instead, use that money to secure the border with more Border Patrol officers. We need to at least double the number of Border Patrol agents. That would secure the border.
Second, we need a path to legalization requiring those living in the United States illegally to pay a realistic fine, pass a background check, and pay any back taxes.
And third, we have to work closely with the Mexican government. Mexico needs to do more to stem the flow. But if we create a reasonable guest worker program and provide a path to legalization for illegal immigrants already here, there is every reason to expect Mexico to do its part with economic reforms and to help us with border security.
You can go to my website, www.Richardsonforpresident.com, to find my complete plans on each of these issues. These will be some of the defining issues of the campaign.
This is a pivotal time in our nation's history. The challenges we face are not acts of God or accidents of fate. They were man-made and deliberate.
Whether it was willful ignorance or an ignorant will, we are left with the ravages of an administration that will take years to rectify.
We cannot expect the world to readily trust us as before. But we can try. We can negotiate with honor, defend with integrity, and reach out with conciliation. We have many fences to mend ... and I'm ready to get started."
LIST OF SUPPORTERS WHO JOINED GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON ON THE STAGE
Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina
Senator Sandra Kennedy
Ambassador Edward Romero
Lt. Governor Diane Denish
California State Senator Gilbert Cedillo
West Hollywood City Councilman Jeffry Prang
Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chaves
Former California Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer
President of the New Mexico AFL-CIO Christine Trujillo
DNC Western States Vice Chairwoman Mary Gail Gwaltney
NM Deputy Secretary of Aging and Long Term Care Patsy Trujillo
Majority Whip NM State House of Representatives Sheryl Williams-Stapleton
Dr. Martha Burk
New Mexico State Treasurer James Lewis
Los Angeles County Insurance Commission Chairman Scott Svonkin
Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos
Sana and Ahmad Assad
Tennessee State Senator Tommy Kilby
GloriaMolina, LA County Supervisor
LouCorrea, State Senator 34th district
Gilbert Cedillo, State Senator Dist. 22
Jeffrey Prang, Mayor Pro Tempore, West Hollywood
Marsha Ramos, Mayor of Burbank,
Sal Tiuajero, City Councilman, Santa Clara
John Hanna, Trustee, Rancho Santiago Community College
Michele Martinez, Councilwoman, Santa Ana
Martha M. Escutia, former State Senator, Chair of Latino Caucus
Denise Moreno-Ducheny, State Senator, San Diego
Cathleen Galgiani, Assembly Member, Merced County
Lori Saldana, Assembly Member, San Diego
Luis Aguinaga, Councilman, Aguinaga El Monte
William "Bill" Molinari, City Councilman, Montebello
Robert Fuentes, Basset School Board
Ron Beilke, Mayor of Pico Rivera
Felipe E. Agredano (MTS), President Garvey Board of Education
Robert Bagwell, City Councilman, Montebello
Irene Redondo-Churchward, Executive Director Spiritt Family Services
Frank Gurule, Mayor Cudahy
Vickey Gurule, wife of Mayor Gurule
Christopher Robles, CDP Executive Board Member Region 6 Vice Chair
David M. Barron, City Clerk, Monterey Park
Vincent F. Sarmiento,
Claudia C. Alvarez
Claudia A. Torres,
Dolly Chavez Lucero,
Marta R. Escaruelas
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to Officially Announce Presidential Bid on Monday, May 21st in Los Angeles, California
Event location changed to Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Governor Bill Richardson will be in Los Angeles, California on Monday, May 21st where he will officially announce that he is seeking the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination at the Los Angeles Press Club.
"I am running for President of the United States because I can bring together a country that is divided and partisan," said Governor Bill Richardson. "My background, experience and record as Governor of New Mexico, UN Ambassador, Secretary of Energy and Congressman, enable me to bridge gaps, achieve political solutions, heal partisan divisions and solve problems.
"I believe in America - the greatest nation in the world - but we must restore our leadership. We have lost our moral compass at home and abroad. I am optimistic about the future. America should not be afraid. We have to be bold, patriotic and confident that we can resolve problems and bring peace by working together. We need hope, faith, and optimism. Qualities that have always represented and defined the American spirit. We need experienced and accomplished leadership now more than ever. I believe I can best provide this leadership for our nation and help move American forward."
Monday, May 21- Pacific Time
WHEN: 10:00 am
WHAT: Press Conference - Presidential Bid Official Announcement
WHERE: Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, The Gold Room
Courtesy: Bill Richardson For President
For Immediate Release
January 21, 2007
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson Announces Presidential Campaign Exploratory Committee
Richardson has unparalleled experience and proven record of success as a Congressman, UN Ambassador, Energy Secretary, and Governor
SANTA FE, NM--New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today announced the formation of a Presidential campaign exploratory committee, with the clear intention of seeking the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.
"I am taking this step because we have to repair the damage that's been done to our country over the last six years," said Richardson. "Our reputation in the world is diminished, our economy has languished, and civility and common decency in government has perished."
"The next president of the United States must get our troops out of Iraq without delay. Before I became Governor of New Mexico, I served as Ambassador to the United Nations and as Secretary of Energy. I know the Middle East well and it's clear that our presence in Iraq isn't helping any longer," said Richardson.
"Our next President must be able to bring a country together that is divided and partisan," said Richardson. "It is clear that Washington is broken and it's going to take a return to bipartisanship and simple respect for each other's views to get it fixed. Most public policy solutions these days are coming from Governors and state government. On issues like the environment, jobs, and health care, state governments are leading the way. And that's because we can't be partisan or we won't get our jobs done. That's a lesson I've learned as Governor and that's what I'll do as President."
When New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson speaks about embracing diversity, the American dream, and public service, he speaks from unparalleled experience. Born November 15, 1947 in Pasadena, California to an American father and Mexican mother, Governor Richardson grew up in Mexico City before moving to New England, where he attended high school and college. He has dedicated his life to public service, as a United States Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of Energy, and now as Governor of New Mexico.
This past November, Richardson won re-election to his second term as Governor of New Mexico with a resounding 69% of the vote, the largest margin of victory in state history. He was supported by Democrats, Republicans and Independents, winning in both urban and rural counties. New Mexicans overwhelmingly endorsed Governor Richardson's aggressive efforts to improve education, cut taxes, build a high-wage economy, expand health care access, invest in renewable energy and make New Mexico safer.
Bill Richardson's fiscally responsible governing style has allowed New Mexico to tackle important priorities, while maintaining a balanced budget and the highest reserves in state history. He cut $230 million in bureaucratic waste, invested in new opportunities for New Mexico's children and returned more than $1 billion dollars in taxes to working families. His innovative policies have turned New Mexico's economy around, with 84,000 new jobs, rising personal income and a growing high tech sector that includes manufacturing, aviation, and renewable energy.
As Secretary of Energy to President Bill Clinton, Bill Richardson implemented tough efficiency standards to save energy. And as Governor, he has made New Mexico the Clean Energy State by requiring utility companies to produce energy through renewable resources and reduce carbon emissions.
Before becoming Governor, Bill Richardson served in Congress for 15 years and helped President Clinton pass the economic plan that created millions of jobs and led America to its first balanced budget in 30 years.
Appointed by President Clinton as the Ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson worked with world leaders to build alliances and help prevent the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea. Bill Richardson has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the release of hostages, American servicemen and political prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, and Cuba. Governor Richardson recently negotiated a 60-day cease fire in war-torn Darfur following direct talks with rebel leaders and the President of Sudan.
As Chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association, Governor Richardson raised more than $28 million for gubernatorial candidates and helped elect the first Democratic majority of governors since 1994. Governor Richardson also served as Chair of the Western Governors Association, Border Governor's Conference and the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Bill Richardson has been married to his high school sweetheart, Barbara, for 33 years. Richardson received a BA from Tufts in 1970 and a MA from Tuft's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971.
The Bill Richardson for President Exploratory Committee will be headquartered in New Mexico. To view Governor Bill Richardson's video statement in both English and Spanish please go to: www.richardsonforpresident.com
Bill Richardson Presidential Exploratory Committee Announcement Video Transcript:
Hello. This Is Governor Bill Richardson. Today, I'm announcing the formation of a presidential campaign exploratory committee … with the clear intention of declaring my candidacy for president in the very near future.
I am taking this step because we have to repair the damage that's been done to our country over the last six years. Our reputation in the world is diminished, our economy has languished, and civility and common decency in government have perished.
The next president of the United States must get our troops out of Iraq without delay. Before I became Governor of New Mexico, I served as Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations and as Secretary of Energy. I know the Middle East well … and it's clear that our presence in Iraq isn't helping any longer.
Our next president must also be able to help create jobs here at home.
In New Mexico, one of the poorest states in the nation, we've created 84,000 new jobs, many of them in high tech industries like renewable energy, aerospace, and manufacturing. We've done that with innovative approaches like a tax credit for companies that create good paying jobs, tax incentives for start up high tech businesses, targeting job creation in rural areas.
We've made substantial investments in public education and health care, and we've done it while balancing the budget and cutting taxes. Fiscal discipline is a big part of sustained economic growth … the kind of growth that creates good jobs and actually reduces poverty.
Our next President must be able to start reversing Global warming and make real progress on energy independence and that means making a real commitment to renewable sources of energy and conservation. As Energy Secretary, I increased efficiency standards and saved billions in energy costs. As Governor of New Mexico, we are requiring 10 percent of all energy come from renewable sources--and we are moving to 20 percent. We have provided incentives for solar, wind, biofuels and other renewables . Everybody talks about these issues. I have actually done it.
Our next President must be able to restore our standing in the world. With my diplomatic and foreign policy experience, I am the best candidate to make America a respected international leader again. I just returned from Darfur in the Sudan where we made progress in that troubled region of the world.
America must again become the international leader in fighting poverty and promoting democracy and human rights across the world. Our national security depends on it.
And finally, our next President must be able to bring together a country that is divided and partisan. It's clear that Washington is broken and it's going to take a return to bipartisanship and simple respect for each other's views to get it fixed. Most public policy solutions these days are coming from Governors and state government. On issues like the environment, jobs, and health care, governors are leading the way. And that's because we can't be partisan or we won't get our jobs done. That's a lesson I've learned as Governor and that's what I'll do as President.
There are many more issues to talk about in the coming weeks and months … I can't do them all justice with a short statement. But let me say this - I'm not new to the challenges that face our country and our world, but I know we need a new dedication to Democratic principles and values … and we need a president with the experience to start the healing both here and abroad.
Here in New Mexico, we are in the middle of our Legislative session, working to raise the minimum wage, expand health care, crack down on sexual offenders and cut taxes for working families. I am committed to seeing these efforts through.
However, the national debate about the future of our country has begun and I believe I have a different perspective to offer.
I know I am not a favorite in this race.
As an underdog and Governor of a small, western state I will not have the money that other candidates will have.
However, I believe these serious times demand serious people who have real world experience in solving the challenges we face. I humbly believe I am the best equipped candidate to meet these challenges.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States.