March 7, 2016

Richardson: Trump could beat Clinton

Center for American Progress

Bill Richardson Flickr cc

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson doesn’t think a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump general election would be a cakewalk for the Democratic candidate, though he says she would still win.

Photo Credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund cc

Center for American Progress

Photo Credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund cc

Richardson, who supports Clinton, made the comments while on CNBC late last week.

He said that is the “traditional view” that a Clinton-Trump race would be a landslide for Clinton, comparing it to the 1964 election when Lyndon B. Johnson received over 60 percent of the vote against Barry Goldwater.

“There are others like myself who think that Hillary Clinton will be our nominee and will win, but we’ve got to be very careful because Trump has tapped into a negativity, a populism that is out there,” Richardson said.

Richardson said that Democrats must turn out the base, mentioning young voters as well as African-Americans and Hispanic voters.

Richardson appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” with former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg.

Richardson also said that Clinton’s team must find a way to beat Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary while keeping together the coalition who supports Sanders.

“So she has a little balancing to do, but I think she has the skills to do it,” he said.

Clinton currently has a lead in delegates over Sanders and appears on her way to essentially clinching the Democratic nomination in the next few weeks.

“My view is that Trump’s really headed towards the nomination, we’re just going to have to figure out how to deal with that as a party,” Gregg said on CNBC.

Richardson also weighed in on the Republican presidential debate that took place last Thursday, which was more notable for Trump talking about the size of his genitals than any debate on policy.

“It was the most incredibly negative yet entertaining debate that I’ve ever seen and I think I’ve seen every one,” Richardson said.

Richardson is a former two-term governor of New Mexico who ran for president in 2008. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton.

However, after Richardson endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary, he was on the outs with the Clintons.

Richardson recently patched things up with the powerful political couple and endorsed Clinton for president.

Richardson and Gregg have something in common: Both were choices by Obama to serve as his Secretary of Commerce—but then both withdrew their names before a Senate confirmation could take place.

Richardson withdrew his name because of a pending FBI investigation (he was never charged). Gregg withdrew his name because of differences with the Obama administration over the stimulus bill and the handling of the U.S. Census Bureau.