Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson argues the U.S. must be more aggressive in solving "insidious" international issues like climate change, poverty and disease. "There’s going to be a financial cost, but it’s good for America because then we build international support for our goals," Richardson told reporters during a news conference in Des Moines.
During a speech in downtown Des Moines over the noon hour on Thursday, Richardson — a former Ambassador to the United Nations — also attacked his rivals for their lack of international experience. "My colleagues in this race have my respect, but it is simple fact that the next international deal negotiated by any of them will be their first," Richardson said, as a few in the crowd laughed. "We also cannot afford another president who doesn’t understand that stubbornness is not strength."
Richardson was appointed U.N. Ambassador by former President Bill Clinton, who had no previous international experience when he became president in 1993. "We can’t afford to have a president that needs on-the-job training and we’re paying for this with President Bush," Richardson told reporters. "The main threats to America are international — Iraq, international terrorism, energy independence, Iran. We need a president that knows foreign policy, that’s negotiated with other countries."
Click on an audio link below to listen to Richardson’s speech.