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Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson is the Governor of New Mexico and former candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Of Hispanic descent, Richardson was born in Pasadena, California, but spent most of his[…]

Expanding the definition of value.

Question: Is it the president's job to resolve moral issues?

Bill Richardson:

Well a president should lead. You know you can’t have individual states and individual movements deciding issues affecting the country. A president has to set a tone. And when it comes to abortion, I believe that . . . in a woman’s right to choose. But as president, I would do everything I can to stop unwanted pregnancies – to push for adoption, and sex education, and family planning. But at the same time, when it comes to gay rights, I think we should be a country that honors the fact that we shouldn’t discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation. As a governor in a red state, as I say, which is a conservative state, I had fought . . . I have fought against those that want to discriminate against gays. And I have got the most gay . . . pro-gay, lesbian record in the country. Not because it’s politically popular – actually it’s a very conservative state – but because it’s the right thing to do. I would try to lead in those areas as President. Not impose my will, but take strong moral stands. Those are value stands. You know we should be a nation of values. And values are not just religious values. Other values that we should emphasize is the right to have healthcare; the right for a child to be able to go to school; the right for anybody to pursue the American dream. So I would expand the definition of what constitutes a value.

Recorded on: 11/20/07