Press Release - Governor Richardson Gives Strong Debate Performance at PBS Debate in Washington, DC
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- At tonight's Democratic Presidential debate moderated by Tavis Smiley, Governor Bill Richardson showed again that he is the candidate with the boldest vision and the strongest record to lead America forward.
This was the first Democratic Presidential debate that the important issue of education was specifically discussed by each of the Presidential candidates and in Richardson's response he made it clear that as President he would make it a priority.
"This is the first time we've talked about education at any debate," said Governor Bill Richardson. "The first thing you hear is -- how are we going to pay for it? No one asks how we're going to pay for the war. I just want to state for the record - I am for a minimum wage for every teacher. And we have to make sure that we deal with the achievement gap we have in our country. One out of two minorities drops out, or doesn't make it -- we need more parental involvement, universal pre-school, access to health insurance for children, we have done it in New Mexico and we can do it across America."
In response to a question about race relations in America Richardson responded "Leading on the issues of race is about being authentic, about speaking honestly. Race is a major issue in this country and the next President has got to talk about it. Race is not just passing new laws. It's not just appointing supreme court justices... it is also dealing with bigotry and racism that exists in this country and I believe very strongly that the next President will not just have to pass laws to protect affirmative action, but will have to lead and speak passionately, dialogue among all the peoples. Issues of diversity for me -- as a Latino candidate aren't a talking point. They're a reality."
The Governor believes that the United States must take the lead on international humanitarian efforts to fight genocide and injustices in Darfur and Sudan. He believes that 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.
On Economic Disparity:
Governor Richardson believes that to close the economic divide we must start with education. As President he will build math and science academies around the country -- especially in underserved urban and rural areas -- so that everyone has a chance to gain the skills that they need to thrive in the modern economy. He will make sure that everyone has access to a college education and he will make sure that our technical and vocational community colleges excel at preparing our students for high-paying jobs.
Governor Richardson believes our next President must restore this nation's focus on middle- and low-income Americans. Families in this country are struggling in an economy that is increasingly harmful to the middle class. Over the past several years, middle class incomes have declined and although worker productivity has increased, most of the gains have gone into profits at the top, not toward workers' wages. Real earnings, pensions and health insurance benefits are dropping, while the costs of living are rising.
Governor Richardson believes our foreign policy in Africa should focus on directly confronting that continent's problems, starting with making sure every HIV positive African receives the full measure of life saving drugs, and women, the fastest growing group with AIDS, are empowered to protect themselves against exposure to HIV.Richardson supports distributing condoms and clean needles to at-risk populations and as President his administration will work to make sure that everybody in the world who is HIV positive has access to the medication they need. And he will encourage the formation of public-private partnerships to reduce costs and enhance access to AIDS medicine and treatment.
Bill Richardson, Press Release - Governor Richardson Gives Strong Debate Performance at PBS Debate in Washington, DC Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/295503