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Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Richardson at Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner: "I Will Get All of Our Troops Out by the End of 2009, Not 2013"

November 10, 2007

Richardson calls for an end to negative, personal attacks; pledges prosecution of those responsible for torture

DES MOINES, IA-- At the Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Dinner tonight, supporters of New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson lowered banners which read "2013," emphasizing the refusal of Senators Clinton and Obama and John Edwards to end the Iraq war by the year 2013. Richardson again advocated getting every American troop out of Iraq quickly and safely without leaving behind any residual forces.

"The Iraq war is one of the real policy differences in this campaign," Richardson said. "Let me be clear before I start: I believe in every Democrat here tonight. I believe that they all have the character to lead this nation. This difference is not about character-- it is about whether and how we are going to end this war. Barack, Hillary, and John were asked to pledge to have all of our troops out of Iraq by 2013, and they refused to do so. I have made that pledge.

"Barack, Hillary, and John are saying that it will take them longer to end the war in Iraq than it took FDR to win World War II. We can get out faster. The experts know it, I know it, and the American people know it. Now let us do it."

To view Governor Richardson's Iraq plan, click here or visit

Governor Richardson also asked for an end to negative, personal attacks and proposed a positive vision for America.

"You cannot build up America by tearing other Democrats down," Richardson said. "At the beginning of this campaign, I offered a pledge to campaign positively. I stand by that pledge. I believe in every Democrat here tonight. However, that does not mean that we do not have policy differences-- those are what we should be talking about. We should be talking about our different visions for bringing peace to Iraq, improving our education system, and preventing a war with Iran.

"I am going to win because Americans do not want personal attacks and negativity. They want a positive vision for America. Winning an election is not worth sacrificing our principles. It is time for a new vision. I have a vision of America in ascendancy. It is a vision that all of our people, whether they live in a blue, red, or purple state, can share."

During his speech, Governor Richardson recognized John Early, an American pilot he rescued from Sudan, and said that he would have rejected the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey as Attorney General of the United States. Richardson also pledged that, as President, he would prosecute anyone responsible for torture.

"Here in the audience is a man named John Early," Richardson said. "He was a Red Cross pilot who was captured and held for ransom in Sudan. After 40 days in captivity, I was able to bring him home. Whenever I negotiate to free a hostage, I need up-front assurances: Is he or she being cared for? Is he or she sick or injured? Has he or she been tortured?

"The United States will possess no moral authority if our Attorney General cannot say whether or not waterboarding is torture. I never would have allowed Judge Mukasey to become Attorney General-- I would have filibustered the nomination. As President, I always will show up and fight against torture. I never will compromise. I will find out who is responsible for torture, and if laws were broken, there will be prosecutions. No one is above the law."

Bill Richardson, Richardson Campaign Press Release - Governor Richardson at Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner: "I Will Get All of Our Troops Out by the End of 2009, Not 2013" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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