Richardson to Help Clinton Ease Debt

ABC News' David Chalian Reports: Clinton ally James Carville may have called him "Judas" when he endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in March, but that isn't stopping Gov. Bill Richardson D-NM., from offering to raise money to help Sen. Clinton retire her significant campaign debt.

"We've been asked to help. So in principle we are going to help," Richardson told ABC News after addressing members of the Democratic Leadership Council in Chicago at the centrist group's annual gathering. "I think the party needs to come together," he added.

Richardson cautioned that the healing process inside the Democratic Party after its protracted nomination battle may not yet be complete. "Everybody's a human being. There still probably is a need to heal a little bit. It's not going to come back and be together right away. It may take a little time," Richardson told the crowd in his prepared remarks. "I mean, I hope not too much longer," he added to laughter in the audience. Gov. Richardson then mentioned that he has seen some hopeful signs of the party stitching itself back together and that he is "going to be involved in a debt event for Sen. Clinton in New Mexico." He later added that the event has yet to be scheduled.

President Clinton worked hard to woo his former cabinet secretary's support for his wife's candidacy after Gov. Richardson ended his own bid for the Democratic nomination. In January, Mr. Clinton flew to Santa Fe, New Mexico to watch the Super Bowl with Gov. Richardson as part of the outreach effort. Gov. Richardson ultimately decided to endorse Sen. Obama's candidacy in March which was received as a great affront inside the Clinton campaign at the time. Gov. Richardson noted today that his endorsement of Sen. Obama got more public attention than either his campaign announcement or withdrawal speeches.

In his remarks at the DLC, Gov. Richardson addressed six major foreign policy/national security challenges awaiting the next president including nuclear proliferation and the rapid rise of China and India. He said that before Barack Obama said a word at his inauguration, the image of a "young man with an internationalist background" would immediately work to restore the United States' reputation around the world.

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