Richardson Showcases Experience and Emphasizes Differences on Iraq War
"This is what I stand for: I believe we should bring all of the troops home in six months with no residual forces"
CHARLESTON, SC -- At the first DNC sanctioned Democratic Presidential debate in South Carolina Governor Bill Richardson proved yet again that he has the strongest position on getting all of our troops out of Iraq and again established that he is the most qualified candidate to be the next President of the United States.
"The lives of our men and women are more important than George Bush's legacy," said Governor Bill Richardson. "This war is a quagmire. We have to get all of our troops out now. No more politics."
The Governor was frustrated by the lack of time devoted to exploring the candidate's positions on the Iraq War, and other critical topics. "If we had more time we could have had a real discussion so people could see my plan is clearly different than the other candidates."
Governor Richardson's strong performance impressed a focus group of undecided voters in Nevada, who told CNN that the Governor was one of the winner's in tonight's debate. The group used dial technology that rates positive or negative input from users on a graph. The strongest positive reaction from the Nevada focus group, and the audience attending the debate in Charleston, came when Governor Richardson responded to a question about whether he would keep or do away with the Bush administration's No Child Left behind program.
"I would scrap it. It just doesn't work," said Governor Richardson. "The worst thing it does is it takes districts and schools that are not doing well, takes their funds away and penalizes them. If a school is not doing well, we help that school.
"The key to a good education in this country is a strong teacher. I would have a minimum wage for all our teachers, $40,000 per year, and I would emphasize science and math."
Governor Richardson also staked out his plan to restore US leadership around the world, helping to stop the genocide in Darfur, responding to homeland emergencies such as Hurricane Katrina, and providing universal health care to all Americans.
The questions for the debate were submitted on video by users of YouTube, a social networking Internet site. Many were presented in clever, unique ways.
"Governor Richardson clearly enjoyed hearing questions from people, not journalists or pundits and his strong performance reflected that," said Dave Contarino, Richardson's campaign manager.
Bill Richardson has spent more than 25 years in public service: as a seven-term Congressman, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Secretary of Energy, and as two-term Governor of New Mexico.