Governor Richardson's strong and bold positions on key issues show the clear difference between real experience and political rhetoric
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE— At tonight's Democratic Presidential debate in New Hampshire, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson tonight firmly established himself as the candidate with the strongest positions on the key challenges facing this country and showed that he is the most qualified to be the next President of the United States.
"The other candidates have policy positions and Bill Richardson has real-world experience dealing with those challenges," said David Contarino, Governor Richardson's campaign manager. "Tonight he separated himself from the other candidates and showed voters in New Hampshire and across the country that he will be a strong and effective President that can bring this country together and restore America's standing in the world."
Bill Richardson has the strongest plan to get US forces out of Iraq without leaving residual troops. Congress should vote, before the summer recess, to de-authorize the Iraq War under Article I and the War Powers Act and to withdraw all US forces- with no residual troops – within six months after that vote.
On Energy and Global Warming
Governor Richardson is calling for a "man-on-the-moon" effort, a ten-year intensive plan to reduce our dependence on oil by 50% and our global warming pollution by at least 20%. He is proposing tough fuels mileage standards for vehicles and incentives to stimulate production of more efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. The Governor also believes that a mandatory carbon emission cap-and-trade program will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The League of Conservation Voters calls Governor Richardson's plan the "most aggressive of all the candidates", and the Sierra Club says Governor Richardson has "raised the bar."
Governor Richardson believes in universal health care to provide quality, affordable coverage for all Americans. His plan would give people the choice to keep their current coverage or obtain coverage through an existing, well-established program. The Richardson plan can be paid for without raising taxes and will not create a new bureaucracy. The plan will also ensure our Veterans have the quality health care they deserve by providing them with a Hero's Health Card, meaning they can get care at a provider of their choice instead of traveling long distances to the closest VA facility.
Governor Richardson was the only candidate to say he will make education a priority, including increasing teacher salaries (including a national minimum wage for teachers), access to pre-k for all four year olds, eliminating junk food from schools, mandating physical education in schools, and giving every American the chance to attend college or vocational school.
The Governor is very familiar with Sudan and the conflict in Darfur and believes the United States must lead the world in helping to stop the genocide that has already claimed more than 200,000 lives. The US must use every available diplomatic tool, including the possibility of the US boycotting the upcoming summer Olympics, to persuade China to pressure Sudan to allow UN peacekeeping forces into Darfur.
Governor Richardson believes in comprehensive immigration reform that includes dramatically improving border security, enforcing sanctions against employers that knowingly hire illegal workers, using diplomacy to engage Mexico, and creating an earned path to legalization for the 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, providing they meet strict requirements- passing a background check, learning English, paying fines and back taxes, and following a detailed application procedure. The Governor believes keeping families together must be a priority with any immigration plan, and he will not support any guest worker program that does not provide basic worker protections and could create a permanent underclass of immigrant worker.