Bill Richardson: Break with Bill Clinton 'Permanent'

Friday, 10 Oct 2008 12:03 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Former Clinton administration official Bill Richardson was called a “Judas” for backing Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, and now he says Bill Clinton continues to hold a grudge against him.

“It could be pretty much a permanent fissure,” the New Mexico governor said about his break with Clinton in an interview with National Public Radio on Thursday.

“But that’s politics, that’s O.K.

“I did what I thought was best for the country. I’m still very fond of the Clintons. I’ve reconciled with [Hillary]. But with him — he wants to keep a grudge, that’s fine with me. I move on. I’m governor of New Mexico. I’m happy where I am.”

President Clinton appointed Richardson as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 1997, and as secretary of Energy the following year.

Richardson launched his own campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination but dropped out in January. Two months later he endorsed Obama, a move called “an act of betrayal” by Clinton backer James Carville, who compared the endorsement to Jesus’ betrayal by Judas Iscariot.

Bill Clinton was said to be “especially incensed,” Politico reported.

Richardson told NPR he held a fundraiser two months ago that raised nearly $250,000 to help Hillary pay back her campaign debt.

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