Richardson Promotes Obama Energy Plan in Democrats' Radio Address

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a former energy secretary from a swing state in the presidential race, promoted Barack Obama's energy and economic policies Saturday in a national radio address that he was picked to deliver by Obama's campaign.

"Sen. Obama will push for a second stimulus package that will send out another round of rebate checks to the American people," Richardson said in the Democrats' weekly radio speech. "He'll tax the record profits of oil companies and use the money to help struggling families pay their energy bills."

It was the first time the Obama campaign had selected who would make the radio address since the Illinois senator clinched the presidential nomination this month. Richardson is among several governors frequently mentioned in political circles as a possible vice presidential running mate.

Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said Richardson was chosen for the speech because of his experience as New Mexico's governor and energy secretary in the Clinton administration.

The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic-controlled House and Senate traditionally rotate in deciding who gives the party's radio address. This week it was the DNC's turn and the Obama campaign worked with the party in picking Richardson, Earnest said.

Richardson said proposals by President Bush and Republican presidential candidate John McCain to allow offshore oil drilling "will do nothing to provide immediate relief for families struggling with the high cost of gas."

"We're not against responsible drilling," said Richardson, who dropped out of the presidential race in January and endorsed Obama two months later. "We believe the oil companies should drill on some of the millions of acres of land they already have but aren't using, instead of snapping up new land and putting our natural resources at risk."