Profile: Bill Richardson

January 3, 2008 6:20:58 PM PST
Political profile of candidate Bill RichardsonBILL RICHARDSON, Democrat
Governor of New Mexico
Age 60

EXPERIENCE: New Mexico governor since 2003; senior managing director, Kissinger McLarty Associates, 2001-2002; lecturer, Armand Hammer United World College of the American West, 2001-2002; adjunct professor, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, 2001; U.S. energy secretary, 1998-2000; U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, 1997-98; member U.S. House, 1983-97; international trade consultant, 1978-82; head of Bernalillo (N.M.) County Democratic Party, 1978-80; executive director, New Mexico Democratic Party 1978; U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff member, 1976-78; State Department congressional liaison, 1974-76; U.S. House staff member, 1971-73.

EDUCATION: Master's degree, international affairs, Tufts University, 1971; bachelor's degree, political science and French, Tufts, 1970.

FAMILY: Wife, Barbara Flavin Richardson.


  • Favors abortion rights.

  • Favors universal preschool and full-day kindergarten.
  • Wants to hire 100,000 science and math teachers.
  • Wants to scrap No Child Left Behind law.
  • Favors starting salary of $40,000 for teachers.
  • Supports two years' government-paid tuition for one year of national service.

  • Supports recognition of same-sex civil unions short of marriage.
  • Does not support same-sex marriage.

  • Favors going "well beyond" requirements of the Kyoto treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions, boosting fuel economy standards and undertaking massive spending on renewable energy to slash oil imports from 65 percent of fossil fuel use to 10 percent in 15 years.

  • Signed into law a bill allowing residents to carry concealed handguns.

  • Favors tax breaks for businesses and for people who pay for their own coverage.
  • Wants to lower the eligibility age for Medicare to 55 and expand programs for the poor and children. Package could cost up to $110 billion a year.
  • Claims savings from expanded spending on preventive care would help achieve mandatory universal coverage without tax increases.

  • Favors conditional path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
  • Opposes border fence.
  • As governor, signed law allowing illegal immigrants to get licenses, saying it enhanced public safety.

  • IRAQ:
  • Wants "All troops out within a year. No residual forces."

  • Opposes raising the income cap for Social Security taxes.

  • TAXES:
  • Would let some of Bush's tax cuts expire in 2010 as scheduled, in effect raising taxes on wealthier people to help pay for programs.
  • Has supported cuts in income and capital gains taxes as governor.
  • Had 6 percent in Dec. 31st Des Moines Register Iowa Poll