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Democratic Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson on New Hampshire Primary

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," January 7, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST, "HANNITY & COLMES": Less than three hours before the New Hampshire primary begins, and the candidates are making their final rounds before voting starts.

Joining us now live from the Granite State, presidential hopeful Bill Richardson. Governor, where are you right now? What are you doing?

GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We just had our final rally, 300 people, a lot of enthusiasm. I think since that debate I've picked up a lot. A lot of people say they liked me in the debate, I was substantive. I was funny and I finally got recognized. So I feel a good buzz. And you know, I'm just trying to be in the top three here. I'm not greedy. I need the move to the West, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona. That's where I'll be strong.

COLMES: You've got an ad running, which is you doing a job interview, and you're saying, look, I've been an energy secretary, U.N. Ambassador, Congressman, Governor. Is it frustrating to you that those who don't have that on their resume are the ones getting the media attention and the the poll numbers?

RICHARDSON: Sometimes it's frustrating. We've got 50 states to go, and I feel confident that my message will finally get across. I know that I don't have the most money of the candidates. I know I'm not the most glamorous. I know I'm not the one with the biggest political pedigree, but I've got the experience. You know, in order to have change, which is the new buzz word, you've got to have experience. I believe I've had that.

You cited these jobs, but I've delivered in these jobs. I've faced the North Koreans. I've been a governor. I've cut taxes. I've balanced budgets. That's why I think I'm going to have a good shot.

COLMES: There are a lot of people who are saying, well, you know, it's not likely that Bill Richardson gets the nomination but he would be a great vice-president, and that you might be doing this to kind of secure a vice-presidential post.

RICHARDSON: No, I'm going to be the nominee. If I don't make it, I'm going to go back being governor of New Mexico in a great beautiful state dealing with foreign policy, also. I don't need to be vice-president. I want to be president. This is a long haul. This is going to go all the way to the summer. I feel I'm going to get a good little bump here tomorrow, maybe be third, if not a strong fourth, and then head into the West.

I've campaigned very hard. And I feel that eventually the field is going to narrow down. There are four of us now. And I feel excitement. I've got big crowds everywhere. There must be a reason.

COLMES: Is it true that in Iowa you asked your supporters — where you didn't get 15 percent in those caucuses— to throw their support to Barack Obama? Was that an accurate report?

RICHARDSON: No, it's totally inaccurate. And, you know, a lot of people keep talking about it. Iowa voters, they're the most sophisticated in the country. You can't tell them what to do. I barely can get them to support me. I can't just tell them go shift to somebody else. You know and it's a lot of the Clinton people that are putting this out, and I really resent it. It's wrong.

I believe very strongly that this was a big vote for Obama because he brought a lot of new people in. That's why he won, and those people should stop trying to get scapegoats.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST, "HANNITY & COLMES": Governor, it's Sean Hannity, good to see you. Thank you being on the program, governor.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

HANNITY: Let me ask this, why is Hillary Clinton — she'd been leading up until recently. Now she's got a very tight race with Barack Obama. Why do 50 percent of people in just about every poll find her either divisive or not likable? Why do you think that is?

RICHARDSON: Well, you know, Sean, I'm positive — you know, I'm not going to get into this criticism. You know, I said at the debate to Obama, to Clinton, to Edwards, several times, stop being negative, stop attacking each other, talk about the issues, policy differences, yes. But trust and whether you're acceptable or not, no.

I'm just running my campaign, Sean. And, you know, I'm positive about this country. People want positive solutions. I think we need experience to change this country, and that's my message. I love this country. I think that the American people don't want to get into this negative stuff.

HANNITY: You know, Governor, you and I, we have many, many differences, but you've always been willing to come on the program and debate the issues, unlike a lot of your opponents. But one area where I do find agreement with you is you did cut taxes as governor. It did result in an increase in revenues for your state, which allowed you to do a lot more things that you wanted to do. But every one of your Democratic opponents are on record, they want to raise taxes and raise them significantly. Isn't that something that is going to be a hard sell if they win the nomination?

RICHARDSON: Well, I like to tell people I'm an endangered species. I'm a tax cutting Democrat, a governor. I'll continue to do that because it will incentivize the working class. I've cut taxes to bring industries in that pay over the prevailing wage, like renewable energy, like high tech. You know, I remember the Democratic party as being the pro-growth party, the party of John F. Kennedy that cut personal income taxes, but also incentivized jobs.

We should be the party of jobs and innovation and entrepreneurship. This is what I've done in New Mexico. I've got a balanced budget. You know, I'm the only candidate that's balanced five budgets.

HANNITY: I guess one of the biggest areas of disagreement — we may agree on the border issue. I'm not really sure. Are you for the border fence?

RICHARDSON: No. But I'm for more border security.

HANNITY: Why not?

RICHARDSON: It's not going to work.

HANNITY: Oh, it will work.

RICHARDSON: You build a 12 foot fence, you know what will happen next, 13 foot ladders. It's not going to work, Sean.

HANNITY: Well, I've been down there.

RICHARDSON: And it's a bad symbol.

HANNITY: When you have that double fence and you use the new technologies, the predator drones; you hire more agents — I've worked and I've been out on patrol with the border agents, and whenever they decide to cordon off a particular area, they've been successful in that mission, if we just provide them the resources. And it's been effective where they've tried it.

RICHARDSON: Well, you know, Sean, the Congress only funded half of the fence, so I don't know if it's ever going to be completed. I just believe a better way is more border patrol agents, keep the National Guard detection equipment, double the number of border patrol agents. We do have to control our borders.

HANNITY: All right. Well, governor, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule here in New Hampshire. We appreciate it.

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