Monday, March 24, 2008

"Richardson has harsh advice for HRC"

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, fresh off his endorsement of Barack Obama this week, suggested Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton should consider dropping out of the race if she trails in the delegate count and popular vote at the end of the primary process.
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Richardson also decried the negativity in the Democratic primary, adding that John McCain is coalescing his support as the Republican presidential nominee while Obama and Clinton continue to attack each other.

Richardson, who served under President Bill Clinton as energy secretary and as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, also took what appeared to be a shot at his political patron. When asked about Clinton confidante James Carville’s comment that his endorsement was an “act of betrayal,” Richardson offered his own tough talk.

“I’m not going to get in the gutter like that, and that’s symbolic of many of the people around Sen. Clinton. They think they’re entitled to the presidency,” said Richardson. “It shouldn’t just be Bush-Clinton, Bush-Clinton, you know, what about the rest of us...It’s important we bring in a new generation of leadership.”

Richardson’s sharp criticism of the Clintons is especially striking because he often defended Hillary Clinton while he was still in the race — even in the face of sharp attacks from the other presidential contenders.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a leading Clinton surrogate, responded with his own questions about Obama’s electability against McCain in the general election.

Rendell cited statewide polling from automated pollsters Rasmussen and SurveyUSA that shows Obama trailing McCain in New Jersey, Ohio, Florida and Missouri — and only running even in Massachusetts.

“Our job is to nominate the candidate with the best chance to win,” said Rendell. “Bill, does it bother you that Sen. Obama is behind in New Jersey and even in Massachusetts?” Rendell asked Richardson.

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