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Richardson Campaign Press Release - Bill Richardson Touts "Big Difference" in Iraq War Policy in New Online Video

September 24, 2007

"The Choice on Iraq" is first 2008 campaign video to feature bloggers, details Richardson's unequivocal stance to leave behind no residual forces

SANTA FE, NM-- The Presidential campaign of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson today released an online video entitled "The Choice on Iraq." The video highlights a key difference among the major Democratic Presidential candidates: how many troops they would leave behind in Iraq. Richardson is the only major Presidential candidate with a plan that removes every single soldier from Iraq, leaving no residual troops behind.

Although the mainstream media have overlooked this critical difference, leading online bloggers and activists have taken notice. Three prominent activists appear in "The Choice on Iraq" video: Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller from and Christina Siun O'Connell from

See the video and background materials at:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 25, the Richardson for President campaign will begin airing a new 30-second television advertisement in New Hampshire. The ad, featuring activists Bowers, Siun O'Connell, and Stoller, reiterates that Richardson is the only major Presidential candidate with a plan that removes every single soldier from Iraq, leaving no residual troops behind. This is the first ad by any 2008 Presidential candidate that includes members of the burgeoning netroots community.

Democratic Presidential candidate Richardson is opposed to the current strategy in Iraq, espoused by President Bush and supported by the leading Republican Presidential candidates. Richardson also disagrees with the major Democratic candidates.

"I believe we should bring all of the troops home with no residual forces left behind," Richardson says in the video. "This is critically important. This war is a quagmire, it is endless, and the time has come to bring the troops home."

The video cites chapter eight of the U.S. Army Field Manual, as noted in the Center for American Progress report "How to Redeploy: Implementing a Responsible Drawdown of U.S. Forces from Iraq," to support that "standard military procedure calls for non-combat troops to withdraw first, so they can be protected by combat forces."

"Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards would leave tens of thousands of non-combat troops behind in Iraq," campaign manager Dave Contarino said. "An estimated 97,000 American non-combat troops are in Iraq. Leaving behind up to 97,000 American troops does not end this war. As President, Bill Richardson will withdraw non-combat troops in tandem with combat troops to get them all out of Iraq safely."

To expedite reconciliation in Iraq and reunite America with the international community, Bill Richardson will enact policies that promote diplomacy.

"We need to hand over the security of Iraq to an all-Muslim peacekeeping force," Richardson says in the video. "We then would have a moral responsibility to do everything we can to bring the different factions together in a national reconciliation conference. We need to bring back diplomacy in our foreign policy."

Governor Richardson has garnered support for his stance on the Iraq war from a number of prominent progressive activists:

Chris Bowers, "Looking at withdrawal plans that Democrats have been proposing since 2005, many of them included gradual drawdowns and significant residual forces over that time period. I was disappointed that so many Democrats supported residual forces. Bill Richardson supports taking all of the troops out of Iraq, which is different from every other major Democratic candidate."

Christina Siun O'Connell, "I have been reading and watching the various candidates to see if somebody else would step up and take the same stance as the Governor, and no one has."

Matt Stoller, "I get the sense that Bill Richardson is secure in his foreign policy judgments. I think he has experience in actually getting things done in the diplomatic realm as U.N. Ambassador, with what he has done with North Korea, which has been enormously impressive work. He has done this stuff before, so he has an independent basis for judgment. He does not have to listen to the grand old wise men of Washington."

"For over four and a half years, President Bush has misled the American people about the war in Iraq," Contarino said. "In 2009, a Democrat will be President, and Bill Richardson is the only major candidate who has stated unequivocally that he will end the war in Iraq by removing all U.S. troops. The Governor is proud to stand with activists like Chris, Christina, and Matt in calling for a quick and complete withdrawal. Ending the war is vital to America's reconciliation efforts in the Middle East and to placing a renewed emphasis on domestic priorities. Without redirecting money and resources from Iraq, plans for universal health care, an improved educational system, and investment in renewable energy sources will never become reality."

This four-and-a-half minute online video, produced by Mark Putnam and Steve Murphy of Murphy Putnam Media, is designed to harness the power of the online community to spread Governor Richardson's message on the Iraq war to voters around the country. In recent months, Richardson has climbed in the polls in the important early states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Governor Richardson recently received double-digit support in both the ONE Campaign's Iowa poll and the WMUR-TV New Hampshire poll.

To view Governor Richardson's plan to end the war in Iraq, click here.

Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Bill Richardson Touts "Big Difference" in Iraq War Policy in New Online Video Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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