Iowa Public Television

 

Gov. Bill Richardson

posted on March 2, 2007

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Yepsen: THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN OF 2008 CONTINUES TO RAMP UP IN ANTICIPATION OF THE FIRST-IN-THE-NATION IOWA CAUCUSES. WE DISCUSS THE CURRENT CAMPAIGN WITH DEMOCRATIC CONTENDER BILL RICHARDSON, GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO, ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.'

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.

ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, MARCH 2 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DAVID YEPSEN.

Yepsen: THE CAMPAIGNS TO REPRESENT BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES AT THE TOP OF THE TICKET ARE BEGINNING TO PICK UP MOMENTUM. CROWDED FIELDS FIND THE PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS INCREASING THEIR CAMPAIGN STOPS IN THE EARLY STATES: IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND NEVADA. GOVERNOR BILL RICHARDSON BRINGS TO THE CHASE A RESUME MOST CONTENDERS CAN ONLY DREAM ABOUT: FIFTEEN YEARS AS A U.S. CONGRESSMAN; FORMER CABINET MEMBER AS ENERGY SECRETARY; FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS; TWO-TERM GOVERNOR OF NEW MEXICO; AND NOW A CANDIDATE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. GOVERNOR, WELCOME TO IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION AND TO 'IOWA PRESS.' IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

Richardson: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Yepsen: AND WE ROLLED OUT A LITTLE NICE IOWA WEATHER FOR YOU.

Richardson: YES, YOU DID. A LITTLE INTENSE.

Yepsen: ALSO WITH US AT THE 'IOWA PRESS' TABLE ARE 'IOWA PUBLIC RADIO' CORRESPONDENT JENEANE BECK AND 'RADIO IOWA' NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON.

Henderson: GOVERNOR, WHY SHOULD IOWA CAUCUS GOERS VOTE FOR YOU?

Richardson: BECAUSE I BELIEVE I CAN BRING THIS COUNTRY TOGETHER. SECONDLY BECAUSE I BELIEVE I HAVE THE EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY IN FOREIGN POLICY. I KNOW HOW WE COULD GET OUT OF IRAQ. I KNOW HOW TO RESTORE AMERICA'S INTERNATIONAL STANDING. I'M A GOVERNOR. I HAVE CEO EXPERIENCE. THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN AMERICA IS A SQUEEZE ON AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS. I'VE INCREASED ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE IN NEW MEXICO. I'VE MADE SCHOOLS BETTER. I'VE CUT TAXES FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. I BELIEVE THAT I'M THE CANDIDATE WITH THE BEST EXPERIENCE. I ALSO BELIEVE I'M THE CANDIDATE THAT, WITH MY DIPLOMATIC EXPERIENCE IN BRINGING COUNTRIES TOGETHER, RESCUING HOSTAGES, I CAN RESTORE AMERICA'S INTERNATIONAL CREDIBILITY.

Henderson: FOR THOSE IOWANS WHO MAY BE MEETING YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THIS BROADCAST, WHO IS BILL RICHARDSON? WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU THAT YOU WOULD LIKE THEM TO KNOW?

Richardson: THAT BILL RICHARDSON IS NOT A ROCK STAR. THAT BILL RICHARDSON IS A GRASS-ROOTS CANDIDATE. I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE THE RESOURCES OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES. THAT I'M A CANDIDATE THAT BELIEVES VERY STRONGLY THAT AMERICA DESPERATELY NEEDS SOME LEADERSHIP, NOT JUST INTERNATIONALLY BUT THAT IS SOMEBODY THAT VALUES THE SCRUTINY THAT IOWANS GIVE THEIR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. I LIKE THE FACT THAT IOWA LIKES UNDERDOGS. I LIKE THE FACT THAT IOWA WANTS TO SEE CANDIDATES FACE TO FACE IN HOUSE PARTIES. I'M GOING TO BE COMING HERE NOT WITH BIG RALLIES IN GYMS. I'M STAYING FOR TWO DAYS. I'M GOING ALL AROUND THE STATE. I KNOW I'M STARTING EARLY. SO THE LAST MESSAGE I WANT TO GIVE IOWANS IS KEEP YOUR POWDER DRY. WAIT TILL YOU GET A CHANCE TO TALK TO ME AND SEE WHAT I'M ABOUT, THAT I CARE DEEPLY ABOUT DOING WELL HERE IN IOWA BECAUSE IT'S THE KIND OF STATE THAT I BELIEVE I CAN DO WELL IN BECAUSE YOU'RE A GRASS-ROOTS STATE THAT SCRUTINIZES CANDIDATES. THAT'S WHAT I WANT.

Beck: YOU MENTIONED AT THE TOP OF THE PROGRAM THAT YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR GETTING US OUT OF IRAQ. WHAT IS THAT?

Richardson: MY PLAN IS THAT IF I WERE PRESIDENT TODAY, I'D GET OUT BY THE END OF THIS CALENDAR YEAR, BUT I WOULD NOT DO THAT WITHOUT TWO MAJOR DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES. ONE -- AND I KNOW IRAQ. I'VE BEEN A U.N. AMBASSADOR. I NEGOTIATED WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN. I WOULD HAVE A RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE OF ALL OF THE THREE RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC GROUPS, THE SHIITES, THE SUNNI, THE KURDS, GET THEM IN A ROOM AND SAY THERE'S GOING TO BE A COALITION GOVERNMENT, THE UNITED STATES IS GOING TO PUSH FOR THIS, WE'RE GOING TO DIVIDE OIL REVENUES, WE'RE GOING TO DIVIDE CABINET MINISTRIES, AND WE'RE GOING TO DIVIDE UP IRAQ INTO THREE TRIPARTITE ENTITIES, NOT STATES, BY AN IRAQI FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THEN I WOULD HAVE A GROUP OF NATIONS GUARANTEE SECURITY AND RECONSTRUCTION OF IRAQ. WHO WOULD THAT BE? IT WOULD BE SAUDI ARABIA THAT PROVIDE RECONSTRUCTION FUNDS, EGYPT, TURKEY, AND I WOULD BRING IRAN AND SYRIA THAT ARE MAJOR NEGATIVE FACTORS IN THE REGION BUT I BELIEVE WOULD WANT TO HAVE SOME KIND OF POSITIVE ROLE IN BRINGING STABILITY TO THE REGION. EVERYBODY WANTS STABILITY. YOU CAN'T WITHDRAW FROM IRAQ WITHOUT A DIPLOMATIC PLAN.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, DON'T YOU THINK THE UNITED STATES IS ALREADY TRYING MANY OF THOSE THINGS? DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE IRAN AND SYRIA ARED INTERESTED IN A PEACEABLE RESOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS?

Richardson: WELL, I DON'T BELIEVE WE'RE REALLY TRYING, DAVID. I BELIEVE THAT THE MALAKE GOVERNMENT IS MAKING AT BEST HALF-HEARTED EFFORTS AT RECONCILIATION OF NOT JUST THE ETHNIC GROUPS BUT IN TRYING TO GOVERN IN A BROAD-BASED WAY. AND SECONDLY, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DOESN'T EVEN TRY TO BRING IN IRAN AND SYRIA. THEY'VE CALLED THEM IN FOR A CONFERENCE, BUT I BELIEVE IRAN WANTS SOMETHING FROM US. THEY DON'T WANT SANCTIONS ON THEIR ENERGY PRODUCTION. IRAN WANTS TO BUILD A NUCLEAR WEAPON. THAT'S UNACCEPTABLE. SO YOU CAN'T JUST HAVE A FOREIGN POLICY OF SABER RATTLING. WE DON'T TALK TO NORTH KOREA. WE FINALLY DID; WE GOT SOMETHING. WE DON'T TALK TO SYRIA, LIKE THE IRAQ STUDY GROUP SAID. WE DON'T TALK TO IRAN WHO IS A MAJOR PLAYER. WE'VE GOT TO USE OUR DIPLOMATIC ENGAGEMENT TO MOVE FORWARD. BUT THIS WAR IS A CIVIL WAR. IT'S A SECTARIAN WAR AND THE BEST THING WE CAN DO IS TO GET OUT.

Beck: WELL, CAN YOU GET OUT -- YOU KNOW, YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT BY THE END OF THE CALENDAR YEAR. DOES THAT, THOUGH, MEAN THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME NATO TROOPS OR SOME, AT LEAST, SMALL CONTINGENCY OF U.S. TROOPS FOR PEACEKEEPING? I MEAN ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT DRAWING DOWN OR FULLY PULLING OUT?

Richardson: I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT FULLY PULLING OUT. I'M TALKING ABOUT A DRAWDOWN. YOU GET YOUR MILITARY TO TELL YOU HOW SOON CAN YOU DO THIS. BUT I BELIEVE THAT THERE'S GOT TO BE COUPLED WITH THE DRAWDOWN WOULD BE THESE TWO DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVES. YOU USE THE LEVERAGE OF THAT DRAWDOWN TO GET THESE INITIATIVES, TO GET THE MALAKE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE A COALITION GOVERNMENT LED BY THE UNITED STATES PUSHED BY THE U.S., AND A SECURITY CONFERENCE THAT WOULD GUARANTEE SECURITY, LIKE THE DAYTON ACCORDS. WE HAVE OUTSTANDING DIPLOMATS THAT COULD DO THIS. I WOULD SUGGEST TO PRESIDENT BUSH THAT HE THINK OF SECRETARY OF STATE -- FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES BAKER. BUT WHAT I WOULD ALSO DO WITH THOSE TROOPS THAT ARE IN IRAQ, I WOULD MOVE SOME OF THEM TO AFGHANISTAN WHERE WE REALLY HAVE THREATS FROM THE TALIBAN AND AL QUAEDA, WHERE THE SITUATION IS GETTING VERY TENUOUS, WHERE NATO TROOPS ARE NEEDED EVEN MORE.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, ANOTHER ISSUE THAT CONCERNS CAUCUS GOERS IS TERRORISM. HOW WOULD YOU FIGHT TERRORISM?

Richardson: HOW I WOULD FIGHT TERRORISM IS I BELIEVE THAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE AFFECTING AMERICAN NATIONAL SECURITY. OUR OBSESSION WITH IRAQ HAS COST US MAKING A COALITION EFFORT TO FIGHT TERRORISM. WHAT I WOULD DO IS I WOULD BRING NOT JUST EUROPEAN NATIONS BUT MUSLIM NATIONS AND SAY THAT THIS IS AN EFFORT THAT AFFECTS ALL OF US. SECONDLY, I WOULD SPEND A LOT MORE -- AND MORE A CONCERTED PLAN ON HOMELAND SECURITY IN THIS COUNTRY. I DON'T BELIEVE WE'RE PROTECTED ADEQUATELY. OUR PORTS ARE NOT PROTECTED. OUR CARGO INSPECTIONS ARE NOT HAPPENING, NOT JUST IN OUR PORTS BUT ALL OVER AIRLINES. I BELIEVE THAT OUR SUBWAYS -- I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE TO BASE OUR HOMELAND SECURITY EFFORTS, ANTHRAX ATTACKS, BASED ON NEED AND NOT ON PORT. RIGHT NOW YOU'VE GOT AREAS IN THE WEST THAT GET AS MUCH PROPORTIONATELY AS NEW YORK CITY AS MAJOR THREATS AREA. SO THAT'S WHAT I WOULD DO. I WOULD JUST REBUILD THE COALITIONS THAT WE HAVE LOST WITH OUR ALLIES BY GOING IT ALONE, BY BEING UNILATERALS, TO FIGHT INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, BUT ALSO TO BRING THOSE MUSLIM COUNTRIES THAT IN THE PAST WERE ON AMERICA'S SIDE, THE MODERATE ARAB STATES, STRENGTHEN THEM AGAINST THESE MAJOR THREATS THAT WE HAVE THAT ARE REAL.

Henderson: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE WORLD'S OTHER HOT SPOTS. YOU MENTIONED IRAN AND NORTH KOREA. DOES THE NUCLEAR THREAT STILL HANG OVER TO A GREAT EXTENT?

Richardson: YES. AND I BELIEVE YOU HAVE MORE STATES PURCHASING NUCLEAR WEAPONS, DEVELOPING THEM, BUYING THEM ON THE BLACK MARKET.

Henderson: SO THE NORTH KOREA DEAL THAT WAS NEGOTIATED IS NOT RESOLVING THE ISSUE, IN YOUR MIND?

Richardson: WELL, I DO COMMEND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. YOU KNOW, FOR YEARS WE WOULDN'T TALK TO THE NORTH KOREANS DIRECTLY. I WAS INVOLVED IN SOME OF THOSE TALKS AS A GOVERNOR, BASICALLY, NOT AS A SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. BUT I THINK OUR OBJECTIVE HAS TO BE TO GET NORTH KOREA TO DISMANTLE THEIR NUCLEAR WEAPONS. NOW, TO THE CREDIT OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT, JUST LAST WEEK THE NORTH KOREANS WILL START DISMANTLING ONE OF THEIR NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ALLOWING IN INTERNATIONAL INSPECTORS. SO THAT IS A GOOD STEP FORWARD. NOW, IN EXCHANGE THEY'RE GOING TO GET FOOD, FUEL. IT'S ONE OF THE POOREST NATIONS ON EARTH. MY POINT IS THAT THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO LEAD AN OVERALL NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION EFFORT THAT INVOLVES INDIA, THAT INVOLVES PAKISTAN, THAT INVOLVES IRAN, THAT INVOLVES NORTH KOREA, BUT THE NEW SYSTEM OF VERIFYING THAT IN EFFECT YOU ARE DISMANTLING THOSE WEAPONS.

Henderson: WHAT ABOUT DARTFORD?

Richardson: I WENT TO DARTFORD. I GOT A CEASE FIRE THERE TWO MONTHS AGO. VERY FRAGILE. BUT WHY IS IT THAT AMERICA DOESN'T CARE ABOUT AFRICA? WE CARE ABOUT IRAQ. WE CARE ABOUT THE MIDDLE EAST. WE CARE ABOUT EUROPE. BUT YOU'VE GET 300,000 HUMAN BEINGS THAT HAVE BEEN SLAUGHTERED. YOU'VE GOT RAPES GOING ON. YOU HAVE THREE MILLION HUMAN BEINGS DISPLACED, YET THE WORLD JUST SORT OF SITS BACK AND LETS IT HAPPEN. WE'VE GOT TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE IN OUR POLICY THERE. AND I WAS ASKED BY A HUMANITARIAN GROUP TO SAVE DARTFORD COALITION BECAUSE I KNEW THE LEADER OF SUDAN. I'D GOTTEN AN AMERICAN JOURNALIST -- NOT AS GOOD AS YEPSEN. [ LAUGHER ] THOUGH HE DID GET A PULITZER PRIZE, WHICH YOU HAVE TOO.

Yepsen: I'VE NOT DONE THAT.

Richardson: ANYWAY, I GOT HIM OUT BECAUSE I KNEW THE LEADER. SO MY POINT IS YOU HAVE TO ENGAGE IN DIPLOMACY. YOU'VE GOT TO TALK TO YOUR ENEMIES AND NEGOTIATE. YOU CAN'T JUST SAY --

Yepsen: I'M SORRY.

Richardson: NO, NO, NO.

Yepsen: WHEN YOU SAY GET MORE AGGRESSIVE IN DARTFORD, HOW DO WE DO THAT? I MEAN THE U.S. MILITARY IS SPREAD PRETTY THIN. ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT AIR COVER OR --

Richardson: NO, I MEAN DIPLOMATICALLY. YOU KNOW, MY KEY IS DIPLOMACY, TALKING TO PEOPLE, NEGOTIATION. THAT'S WHAT I'M GOOD AT. THAT'S WHAT I THINK WE NEED TO DO MORE. WE NEED TO BRING, FIRST OF ALL, U.N. TROOPS THERE. WE HAVE TO PUSH THE LEADER OF SUDAN TO HAVE U.N. PEACEKEEPING TROOPS -- THEY HAVE AFRICAN UNION TROOPS -- SO THAT'S OBJECTIVE ONE. BUT TO DO THAT YOU'VE GOT TO BUILD COALITIONS TO PUT PRESSURE ON THEM. YOU'VE GOT TO GET OTHER AFRICAN STATES. YOU'VE GOT TO GET NATO COUNTRIES. YOU'VE GOT TO GET CHINA, WHICH IS BUYING A HUGE AMOUNT OF SUDANESE OIL. YOU KNOW, WE KIND OF WERE SO OBSESSED WITH IRAQ, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, THAT WE'RE GOING TO PUT 20,000 MORE TROOPS THERE, THAT THESE OTHER TROUBLED SPOTS WHERE WE COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE, WE IGNORED.

Beck: WELL, AND WHEN DIPLOMACY ENDS IS WHEN THE MILITARY CONTINGENCY COMES IN. AND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT AFGHANISTAN. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT SUDAN. DO WE HAVE A MILITARY THAT CAN STEP UP TO THE PLATE? BECAUSE OF REDUCED FORCES, REDUCED RECRUITMENT, HOW DO WE REBUILD IT?

Richardson: WE'VE GOT TO REBUILD IT. WE'VE GOT TO FIND WAYS THAT OUR ARMY, OUR MARINES, OUR EQUIPMENT -- I MEAN THERE'S A REPORT TODAY THAT OUR NATIONAL GUARD, ITS EQUIPMENT, NOT JUST IN IRAQ BUT AROUND THE WORLD, IS SADLY INEFFICIENT. YET WE SPEND BILLIONS -- CLOSE TO $500 BILLION ON A DEFENSE BUDGET, A LOT OF IT THAT IS WASTED ON CONTRACTORS, ON NO-BID DEALS THAT I BELIEVE NEED TO BE CHANGED. NOW, WE DO NEED TO REFURBISH OUR MILITARY, OUR ARMED FORCES, BUT AT THE SAME TIME SOME OF THE WEAPON SYSTEMS WE HAVE, SOME OF THE CONTRACTING THAT NEEDS TO BE REFORMED. BUT WE HAVE TO FIND WAYS THAT OUR MILITARY CAN BE PROPERLY NOT JUST EQUIPPED BUT ALSO PROPERLY TRAINED FOR THE REAL CHALLENGES FACING AMERICA: INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM, NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION.

Beck: IS THAT HOW YOU SELL IT, THOUGH, I MEAN BECAUSE IN THE FACE OF AN UNPOPULAR WAR, YOU'VE GOT TO SELL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A NEED TO, YOU KNOW, BUILD UP THE MILITARY, AND THAT MAY BE A TOUGH SELL?

Richardson: WELL, YOU BUILD IT UP BUT YOU ALSO ELIMINATE A LOT OF THE WASTE THAT IS HAPPENING, WHICH IS CONTRACTORS, WHICH IS ALL KINDS OF WEAPON SYSTEMS THAT WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE. WE HAVE NOT HAD AN ARMS CONTROL AGREEMENT SINCE THE LAST -- THE EARLY DAYS OF THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, YET THIS ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO UPGRADE OUR EXISTING NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND BUILD MORE. FOR WHAT! LET'S FIND WAYS TO REDUCE THOSE WEAPONS, TO HAVE SYSTEMS OF VERIFICATION OF NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY THAT IS A REAL THREAT TO THE WORLD. THE REAL THREAT TO THE WORLD IS URANIUM OR PLUTONIUM BEING SOLD TO A TERRORIST AND COMING AT AN AMERICAN CITY. THAT'S THE REAL THREAT.

Yepsen: DO WE NEED TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE MILITARY?

Richardson: YES, YES. ARMY, MARINES, YES. MORE TROOPS, YEAH. THE PRESIDENT WANTS TO HAVE MORE TROOPS GO TO AFGHANISTAN. HE WANTS TO HAVE MORE TROOPS GO TO IRAQ. I DON'T KNOW WHERE HE'S GETTING THEM. FROM OUR NATIONAL GUARD? MY NATIONAL GUARD IN NEW MEXICO, I NEED THEM FOREST FIRES. I NEED THEM FOR SNOW, FOR EMERGENCIES, FOR EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS. AND I BELIEVE A BUNCH OF OTHER GOVERNORS HAVE THE SAME ISSUES. OUR RESERVE TOO. THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT; WE NEED TO UPGRADE OUR FORCES.

Henderson: YOU ARE THE GOVERNOR OF A BORDER STATE. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON IMMIGRATION AND CONTROL OF THAT BORDER?

Richardson: I LIVE WITH THAT ISSUE EVERY DAY. I WAS THE FIRST GOVERNOR TO SAY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING ITS JOB AND I'M GOING TO DECLARE A BORDER EMERGENCY ALONG THE NEW MEXICO/ MEXICO BORDER, NOT JUST THE FLOW OF PEOPLE FOR DRUGS. I THINK WE'VE GOT TO DO FOUR THINGS. ONE, WE'VE GOT TO TIGHTEN THE BORDER, DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF BORDER PATROL AGENTS, MORE TECHNOLOGY, BUT NOT THIS DUMB BORDER FENCE THAT THE CONGRESS PASSED. NUMBER TWO, I THINK WE NEED TO SAY TO MEXICO, YOU'RE OUR FRIEND, MEXICO, BUT YOU'VE GOT TO DO MORE TO KEEP THE FLOW OF YOUR PEOPLE COMING INTO AMERICA WITH JOBS. NUMBER THREE, WE'VE GOT TO ENFORCE A LAW THAT SAYS THAT THOSE THAT KNOWINGLY HIRE ILLEGAL WORKERS SHOULD BE PUNISHED. AND THEN FOUR, THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE POPULAR, BUT I THINK YOU NEED A LEGALIZATION PLAN FOR THE TWELVE MILLIONS. IF THEY SPEAK ENGLISH, IF THEY PAY BACK TAXES, PASS BACKGROUND CHECKS THAT SHOW THAT THEY'RE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AND EMBRACE AMERICAN VALUES, THEY CAN STAY, BUT NOT AS CITIZENS, NOT IN AMNESTY. YOU KNOW, THEY CAN STAY, GUEST WORKER PASSES, WAYS THAT THEY GET A GREEN CARD. BUT WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO? WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE, TO DEPORT THEM? IT'S NOT GOING TO WORK. I KNOW THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE POPULAR, BUT YOU'VE GOT TO BE REALISTIC.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, HOW DO YOU -- HOW DOES THE UNITED STATES HELP BOLSTER THE MEXICAN ECONOMY SO PEOPLE WON'T WANT TO COME HERE WHILE AT THE SAME TIME NOT TAKING MORE JOBS OUT OF THE UNITED STATES AND SHIPPING THEM TO MEXICO?

Richardson: YOU KNOW, THAT'S AN EXCELLENT QUESTION. NAFTA WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE CARE OF REDUCING IMMIGRATION. IT DIDN'T. SO THERE'S GOT TO BE WAYS THAT -- I KNOW THE NEW PRESIDENT OF MEXICO, PRESIDENT CALDERON. HE HAS GOT TO FIND WAYS AT THE BORDER AND IN CENTRAL MEXICO TO CREATE MORE JOBS FOR HIS PEOPLE BECAUSE HE'S LOSING A WORK FORCE THAT IS IMPORTANT TO HIS ECONOMY. BUT IF WE CAN WORK WITH MEXICO TO CREATE JOBS ON THE BORDER -- BECAUSE YOU'RE RIGHT, WE ARE LOSING JOBS. AND I THINK ANY NEW TRADE AGREEMENT THAT WE HAVE, WE'VE GOT TO IMPOSE VERY STRONG -- VERY STRONG REQUIREMENTS ON ISSUES RELATING TO JOB DISPARITY, TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, TO WORKER RIGHTS. I WOULD NOT NEGOTIATE A NEW TRADE AGREEMENT THAT DIDN'T HAVE THOSE STRONG COMPONENTS. BUT ANOTHER THING I WOULD DO IS WE SHOULD HELP AMERICAN COMPANIES THAT ARE THINKING OF EXPORTING JOBS OVERSEAS AND SAY WE WILL GIVE YOU INCENTIVES TO KEEP THE JOBS IN AMERICA BUT ALSO TAKE AWAY THE TAX BREAKS FOR THESE COMPANIES THAT ARE EXPORTING JOBS, THAT THEY GO TO CHINA AND THEY GET A TAX CREDIT. WE SHOULD ELIMINATE THAT. THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

Beck: ANOTHER ISSUE FACING THE COUNTRY IS ENERGY AND HOW WE BECOME INDEPENDENT FROM FOREIGN ENERGY SOURCES. CAN WE DO THAT AND HOW DO WE DO IT?

Richardson: WE CAN DO IT. I'VE BEEN SECRETARY OF ENERGY -- THIS IS WHAT I WOULD DO. YOU DON'T DO IT BY LITTLE ENERGY BILLS HERE AND THERE. YOU HAVE A MASSIVE MAN-ON-THE-MOON PROJECT THAT GOES FROM 65-PERCENT DEPENDENCE ON IMPORTED OIL, WHICH WE HAVE TODAY, TO 10 PERCENT IN TEN YEARS, JUST LIKE JOHN F. KENNEDY DID. AND WE'RE GOING TO DO IT BY PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INVESTMENT IN SOLAR, WIND, BIOMASS, ETHANOL, BIOFUELS, FUEL EFFICIENCY. AND THEN WHAT I WOULD ALSO SAY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IS WE HAVE TO CONSERVE. THERE HAS TO BE A MAJOR CONSERVATION EFFORT: GREEN BUILDINGS; GREEN SCHOOLS; SOLAR ROOFS ON SCHOOLS; GIVE INCENTIVES FOR REFRIGERATION AND HEATING. BUT I WOULD SAY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE YOU MAY HAVE TO SACRIFICE A LITTLE BIT.

Beck: WHAT ABOUT IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY AND IN OUR OWN DESIRE FOR LARGE CARS? DO WE HAVE TO SACRIFICE THERE TOO?

Richardson: WHAT WE HAVE TO SACRIFICE IS -- WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY FOR YOU TO HAVE AN SUV WITH A CLEAN ENGINE. WE HAVE NOT INVESTED PROPERLY. BUT, YEAH, I WOULD SAY FUEL EFFICIENCY, 40 MILES PER GALLON AT THE MINIMUM, YEAH. I THINK DETROIT NEEDS TO BE MORE COMPETITIVE, AND A WAY TO DO THAT IS TO BE ENERGY EFFICIENT AND COMPETITIVE TOO.

Yepsen: WHAT OTHER SACRIFICES DO YOU WANT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO MAKE IN THE INTEREST OF ENERGY SECURITY?

Richardson: WELL, I WOULD NOT CALL IT DIRECTLY A SACRIFICE, ALTHOUGH I JUST DID. WHAT I WOULD DO, DAVID, IS I WOULD SAY, LOOK, WHEN IT COMES TO HEATING, WHEN IT COMES TO AIR CONDITIONING, WASHING MACHINES, LET'S BE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT. LET'S FIND WAYS TO PURCHASE MORE BIODIESEL, MORE ETHANOL. LET'S ALL DO IT TOGETHER BECAUSE THIS IS IMPORTANT TO NOT JUST OUR ENERGY SECURITY BUT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. WHAT'S THE ALTERNATIVE? HERE'S WHO WE DEPEND ON IN TERMS OF ENERGY SECURITY. WE DEPEND ON SAUDI ARABIA, IRAQ, IRAN, VENEZUELA, NIGERIA, OPEC. I WENT HEAD TO HEAD WITH THOSE GUYS WHEN I WAS ENERGY SECRETARY TO TRY TO GET THEM TO LOWER PRICES AND HAVE A STABLE WORLD PRICE. SO IT'S ALSO A MATTER OF AVOIDING A POTENTIAL OIL SHOCK WHERE WE COULD PAY, YOU KNOW, $10 PER GALLON.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, WHAT DO YOU DO, THOUGH -- IN THE QUEST FOR ENERGY SECURITY, WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT? I MEAN SOME PEOPLE SAY WE CAN BE ENERGY INDEPENDENT BY BURNING MORE COAL OR BUILDING MORE NUKES. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THOSE THINGS?

Richardson: WELL, I BELIEVE THAT OUR ENERGY POLICY TODAY IS GEARED -- THE LAST ENERGY BILL, BIG SUBSIDIES FOR COAL, FOR NUCLEAR, FOR OIL AND GAS. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT'S WARRANTED. WHAT I WOULD DO -- I THINK THE FUTURE IS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY, IN SOLAR, WIND, BIO. I'VE SEEN IT IN NEW MEXICO. I'VE DONE IT IN NEW MEXICO. IN BIOFUELS AND BIODIESEL AND ETHANOL, I THINK THAT'S THE FUTURE. SO I WOULD HAVE AN EQUAL PLAYING FIELD. BUT IF I'M GOING TO HAVE MASSIVE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE INVESTMENT, I THINK WE HAVE TO HAVE THAT EMPHASIS ON THE NONFOSSIL FUEL. AND, LOOK, I'VE PROBABLY GOT -- I AM GOING TO SAY HERE I BELIEVE I HAVE GOT THE STRONGEST ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD OF ALL THE CANDIDATES. I'VE SUED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NOT TO DRILL IN ECHO SYSTEMS IN NEW MEXICO, OTERO MESA. I DON'T THINK YOU DRILL OUT IN ANWAR. I THINK THERE ARE PRECIOUS AREAS WHERE YOU HAVE TO STRIKE A BALANCE, BUT THERE'S PLENTY OF AREAS IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN AREA WHERE YOU HAVE MORE SUSTAINABLE DRILLING OF OIL AND NATIONAL GAS. I'M NOT AGAINST DRILLING. I JUST SAY DO IT IN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE WAY, BUT EMPHASIZE THE RENEWABLE ENERGY, THE RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGY. I THINK THAT'S THE FUTURE. THAT WILL CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS, AND WHEN YOU RETROFIT HOMES, YOU'RE ALSO CREATING NEW JOBS.

Henderson: GOVERNOR, AMERICANS ARE ANTSY ABOUT THE ECONOMY OF THE STOCK MARKET AS A MEASURE. WHAT WOULD YOU DO AS PRESIDENT TO MANAGE THE U.S. ECONOMY, PARTICULARLY IN TAX POLICY?

Richardson: I'M A TAX CUTTER. DEMOCRATS -- EVERY TIME THEY WANT TO START A NEW PROGRAM, THEY EITHER WANT TO SPEND MORE -- I'M NOT SAYING ALL DEMOCRATS -- OR THEY WANT TO INCREASE TAXES. THAT'S NOT ME. I WOULD GROW OUR ECONOMY. BUT IF WE ARE GOING TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT, WHICH WE MUST DO, I WOULD MAKE SURE THAT: ONE, WE HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO BALANCE THE BUDGET; WE HAVE LINE-ITEM AUTHORITY FOR THE PRESIDENT, JUST LIKE I DO AS A GOVERNOR; I WOULD GET RID OF ALL THOSE EARMARKS. THAT'S BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. THERE'S THOUSANDS IN CORPORATE WELFARE TAX BREAKS. COLLECTING TAXES THAT NEED TO BE COLLECTED, THAT IS GROWING. WE DON'T DO WELL ENOUGH. THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER MEASURES I WOULD TAKE, BUT I WOULD BE AN AMERICAN GLOBAL LEADER. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED, THE CHINESE STOCK MARKET IN SHANGHAI -- WE USED TO BE THE AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL LEADERS. THAT DIDN'T YOU'D USED TO AFFECT US, BUT WE'VE ABDICATED THAT LEADERSHIP, BECAUSE OF OUR HUGE DEBT, TO THE CHINESE. I WOULD SAY TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, LET'S FIND WAYS THAT OUR ECONOMY AND THE DOLLAR CAN BE SUSTAINABLE. BUT IT TAKES AMERICAN ENGAGEMENT. OUR OBSESSION WITH IRAQ, WHICH I ALWAYS GO TO, HAS COST US DEARLY IN TERMS OF WHERE AMERICAN LEADERSHIP NEEDS TO COME FORWARD.

Beck: AMERICANS ARE ALSO, SOME OF THEM, ANTSY ABOUT HEALTH CARE BECAUSE MANY OF THEM DON'T HAVE COVERAGE FOR IT. WHAT KIND OF PROPOSAL WILL YOU OFFER AS A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TO DEAL WITH THAT.

Richardson: I'M FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

Beck: HOW DO WE GET THERE?

Richardson: HOW DO WE GET THERE? I LIKE THE PLANS THAT MASSACHUSETTS AND CALIFORNIA HAVE. IN MY STATE I'VE INCREASED ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE, NOT JUST BY INCREASING MEDICAID BUT BY FINDING WAYS TO BRING SERIOUS PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN COMMUNITIES AND HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS, NURSES, AND THE STATE. I WOULD LOOK AT WHAT MASSACHUSETTS HAS DONE, AND THIS IS WHAT IT'S DONE; BASICALLY IT SAYS TO ALL EMPLOYERS AND ALL WORKERS, WE WILL FIND WAYS TO GET YOU INTO COVERAGE, BUT IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE, IN YOU NEED INCENTIVES, WE WILL GIVE THEM TO YOU. I THINK THAT'S A VERY SENSIBLE WAY TO DO IT. BUT I WOULD FOCUS ON PREVENTION. WE'VE GOT TO DO MORE EARLY -- ANTI-OBESITY PROGRAMS. I WOULD GIVE INCENTIVES TO ESTABLISHMENTS LIKE PUBLIC TV HERE, ALL THEIR EMPLOYEES, EXERCISE, GO TO GYMS, GIVE THEM TAX INCENTIVES TO DO THAT. WE'VE GOT TO BE MORE PREVENTIVE IN TERMS OF OUR HEALTH CARE.

Beck: WELL, THIS IS AN INSURANCE STATE. WILL THEY STILL PLAY A ROLE IN WHATEVER PLAN YOU WOULD PUT OUT?

Richardson: WELL, SURE, YEAH.

Beck: OKAY. SO YOU'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE PLAN. YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT --

Richardson: NO, BUT I THINK THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO DO MORE, PROVIDE MORE LEADERSHIP, MORE INCENTIVES. BUT A STATE-RUN HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN, I'M NOT SURE FOR -- ON A NATIONAL BASIS, I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT IT.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, WE ALWAYS LIKE TO -- WE'VE ONLY GOT A COUPLE MINUTES LEFT, AND WE ALWAYS LIKE TO TALK SOME POLITICS ON THIS PROGRAM WITH OUR GUESTS. GOVERNOR VILSACK IS OUT OF THE RACE. TWO-PART QUESTION. ONE IS WHAT EFFECT DOES THAT DO TO THIS PRESIDENTIAL RACE HERE IN IOWA? DOES IT HELP YOU OR HURT YOU? AND SECONDLY, ONE OF THE REASONS HE GOT OUT IS HE RAN OUT OF MONEY. ARE YOU AS A GOVERNOR GOING TO HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM THAT TOM VILSACK CONFRONTED, WHICH IS YOU CAN'T RAISE MONEY AT THE SAME RATE THAT SENATORS CAN?

Richardson: THE VOTERS DECIDE THIS RACE. THERE'S THIS EMPHASIS OUT OF WASHINGTON, D.C., THAT THE WAY YOU BECOME PRESIDENT IS YOU RAISE A LOT OF MONEY OR YOU'RE A ROCK STAR. I'M NEITHER. BUT I'M GOING TO BE RESPECTABLE IN RAISING MONEY, AND I'M GOING TO GO TO THE PEOPLE DIRECTLY ON ISSUES. GOVERNOR VILSACK WAS A GREAT GOVERNOR. HE'S ALSO A NATIONAL LEADER AMONG GOVERNORS. YOU KNOW, HE HAD DIFFICULTY RAISING MONEY. IT IS HARD. IN MY CASE, I BELIEVE I'M GOING TO BE RESPECTABLE. I WAS CHAIR OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNORS. I'VE BEEN AROUND A WHILE, SO I KNOW PEOPLE AROUND THE COUNTRY. BUT THIS ELECTION IS NOT GOING TO BE DECIDED BY HOW MUCH MONEY YOU RAISE OR WHETHER YOU'RE GOING TO COME IN FOR A GYM APPEARANCE AND LEAVE. I'M HERE FOR TWO DAYS. I WANT THE VOTERS TO SCRUTINIZE ME, TO TALK ABOUT WHAT I STAND FOR. I BELIEVE I CAN BRING THIS COUNTRY TOGETHER. AND ULTIMATELY, IOWA ALWAYS MAKES THE RIGHT CHOICE.

Henderson: WHAT ROLE DO YOU THINK HISPANIC VOTERS WILL HAVE NATIONWIDE IN THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, AND ARE THERE ENOUGH LATINO VOTERS IN IOWA TO BUOY YOU IN THE CAUCUSES?

Richardson: WELL, THERE ARE LATINO VOTERS HERE. IT'S A COMMUNITY THAT IS REALLY GROWING, AND I'M GOING TO TRY TO GO AFTER THEM. BUT I'M NOT RUNNING AS A LATINO CANDIDATE. I'M VERY PROUD TO BE LATINO, HISPANIC. I'M VERY PROUD THAT MY MOTHER, WHO I CALLED THE OTHER DAY -- I'M VERY PROUD OF THIS. SHE SAID, 'YOU'RE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?' I SAID, 'YES, MOTHER.' 'PRESIDENT OF WHAT'? SHE DID ASK ME THAT. [ LAUGHTER ] SHE KIND OF BROUGHT ME DOWN. BUT I JUST BELIEVE THAT IT IS AN ASSET BECAUSE I'M PROUD OF IT, BECAUSE HISPANICS ARE GROWING IN EVERY PART OF THE COUNTRY. YOU KNOW, IT COULD BE IN A GENERAL ELECTION THAT SOMEBODY WILL SAY, OH, YOU KNOW, HE'S HISPANIC SO HE'S GOING TO OPEN UP THE BORDERS. HOPEFULLY THAT ARGUMENT -- THAT WEDGE ISSUE WON'T STICK.

Yepsen: GOVERNOR, I HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. WE'RE OUT OF TIME.

Richardson: THANK YOU.

Yepsen: THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING OUR GUEST TODAY. PLEASE COME BACK SOMETIME.

Richardson: THANK YOU.

Yepsen: NOW, ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS,' WE'LL DISCUSS THE CAMPAIGN OF 2008 WITH A FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FORMER GOVERNOR TOM VILSACK. THE GOVERNOR, OF COURSE, WAS THE FIRST TO OFFICIALLY DECLARE HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION AND, AS WE JUST MENTIONED, HE WAS THE FIRST TO REMOVE HIMSELF FROM THE FIELD, CITING THAT LACK OF CAMPAIGN CASH. GOVERNOR VILSACK, WE'LL DISCUSS HIS RUN AND HIS FUTURE NEXT FRIDAY AT 6:30 P.M. NOW, NOTE THAT EARLIER-THAN-USUAL AIRTIME WITHIN OUR SPECIAL FESTIVAL PROGRAMMING: 6:30 P.M. NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT. I'M DAVID YEPSEN OF 'THE DES MOINES REGISTER.' THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; BY THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.


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