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Ambassador Bill Richardson thank you for joining us for this Fox News Latino exclusive nice to be with you.
Governor I caught your ambassador but it's governor Richardson I can't keep -- job back.
Governor let's start by talking a little bit about the race for president.
Right now you have Latinos voting sixty plus percent for Barack Obama.
Do you expect that that could change is there anything that the Republicans can do.
To increase the number of Latinos willing to vote for them.
I believe that one that Republican parties in a terrible box they've taken some very extremist positions.
On immigration issues affecting Latinos the DREAM Act.
That it's gonna be too late even if they put somebody like Marco Rubio on the ticket.
Might help him a little bit but for a Republican to win the presidency.
He -- she has to get more than 35%.
As you mentioned.
The Democrat usually get 65%.
I don't see it and I think what's gonna hurt the Republicans enormously.
Is the extremist position of Mitt Romney on immigration issue in states like New Mexico states like Colorado Nevada.
And I think it's gonna be the margin of victory for President Obama very narrow victory.
Richardson I'm asking you about presidential politics because in terms.
The American Latino experience.
Other than a Manning Bob Fernandez in 1980.
You are of the most prominent Latino who's ever launched a significant race for president of the United States.
Why do you think you didn't succeed and secondly do you think you might succeed again well I didn't succeed because I sense when I was campaigning.
Voters wanted an Obama they wanted somebody inspired they that the nation's mood was such that they wanted.
Unity being uplifted I was.
I had a good resonate but but my message wasn't one like president Obama's.
It wasn't because of a lot I wasn't Latino.
-- I stayed longer in some primaries.
I would've probably done better in states like Nevada California New Mexico but I ran out of money.
After the second primary in New Hampshire.
Do you think that you might run again up.
I am now remember the private sector I'm happy I've got a little foundation.
You never say never but.
I may have had my last race and that was a presidential race I think you only get one shot.
-- do you see other Latinos -- you believe our top rank and poised.
To launch their own candidacy for president.
Well one I think they're up and coming right now they may be maybe 23 elections away the mayor of San Antonio.
I think the mayor of Los Angeles has that potential.
-- some Republicans may be candidates.
The -- the the governor of Nevada possibly senator rubio I don't know much about a -- intrigued by him.
But I do believe there is potential.
For a national candidate.
Hispanic origin -- -- because -- the fastest growing minority in the country.
We're 15% of the vote.
We're strong not just and southwestern states but around the country.
Now when I asked you about steps that Republicans could take.
To at least lessen the margin of defeat to.
Democrat in this case President Obama you did not mention putting a Latino on the ticket although that's been much discussed and the person of course -- gets discussed is -- What do you think.
Rubio would be an -- I believe that he would probably help in Florida.
He has very negative positions on immigration on the DREAM Act so that will hurt him in the southwest.
But nonetheless with the average Latino voters seeing a Latino.
He looks good -- speak Spanish.
Could be dangers I don't think it's going to be enough for President Obama to lose that 6535.
Split of the Latino vote.
But it's -- it it it it throws.
The mix completely off of the traditional Republican democratic ticket.
Now you endorse President Obama when you got out of the race in 08.
You had been.
UN ambassador under President Clinton energy secretary to President Clinton.
And now we see President Clinton.
Saying some things that trying to undercut the Obama message.
So you know both these men you you angered President Clinton he's still angry so what is going on here.
I believe the President Clinton is expressing his views he's a moderate on business issues I think he's making a point that.
President Obama on the campaign -- Being more pro economic growth more pro business but I think it's a legitimate debate within the party.
I still think my endorsement of President Obama I'm.
I'm very happy with -- that I saw something special in him.
I think that specialty that I saw of a new kind of candidate.
Is still there but I think Republicans have blocked some -- so many of the good things he wanted to do and so a second term is needed.
For that full potential to be fulfilled.
And do you think there he is unconsciously or consciously trying to undercut.
President Obama do you think he's looking or Hillary Clinton Campaign I don't things.
I think he.
Those are his views he he's always been a moderate on business issues and the deficit.
He's expressing internal views within the party that I think should be debated I don't think it should be viewed as disloyal.
What do you think President Obama needs to do with the Latino community.
Well he has -- Continue his good policies.
Because of President Obama.
Two million more Latinos won't get health care because -- President Obama 150000.
More Hispanic kids would get pell grants.
A two point 1%.
Increase in in and jobs for the Latino community.
He needs to keep pushing for comprehensive immigration reform even though it's going to be tough -- the congress he needs to keep pushing for the DREAM Act.
He needs to campaign in states with significant Latino populations.
Because that's going to be the margin of victory but what he also has to do -- show that.
Has extremist positions on immigration issues that he's way out there.
Somebody that doesn't want to see comprehensive.
Immigration reform he's for deporting people.
It's against education is what he says self deportation that's unrealistic.
To have realistic totally unrealistic.
I think what you need is comprehensive immigration reform.
Where those that are here the twelve million Hispanics -- are here legally.
Can stay if they fulfill certain requirements.
They pass a background test they don't have criminal backgrounds they speak English.
They have a job they embrace American values that's -- comprehensive immigration reform.
One that Senator McCain and Senator Kennedy had.
But which Republicans today have abandoned a moderate position.
There is some criticism of president of on the Latino community with regard to the high rate of deportation.
Now taking place.
Do you think the president is making a mistake by being aggressive and enforcement of immigration laws.
Why I think the president has said he wants to focus on criminals to be deported.
What he has also said is that he is done an executive order allowing kids and families that are in the process.
Review not to be deported.
But I think his agency's.
This is something that I learned as a cabinet room you don't want can't always control your agencies are overdoing it -- terms of deportations.
But I think the president as long as he says we're gonna do it on criminals.
That we're gonna focus on not going after those that are legally trying to be here that we're not gonna split families up family reunification.
He's going to be okay but it but there's a little vulnerability on the part of his agencies on.
Let's talk foreign policy because you have such a tremendous tremendous background in foreign affairs.
At the moment there's great concern over Russia.
Arming the Syrians in the midst of their conflict what should the US do.
Well if the Russians do -- Syrians.
In my judgment.
The Obama administration should.
Consider arming the rebels that would be.
A defining point for me I have opposed military intervention in Syria.
Because the Syrian opposition to Syrian people don't want it.
But I think -- -- it takes that step NATO countries should consider.
Training and consider.
Arming the rebels not getting engaged directly ourselves.
This is a humanitarian crisis going on in Syria and and President Obama rightly intervene in Libya.
He has taken the right positions on the Arab Spring and so far -- support what he's doing not having armed intervention.
In Syria but if the -- -- in there.
And there's evidence of that I think that would be the defining step to move forward with arming -- rebels.
With regard to Syria as he patron.
Or I should say acolytes to the -- which would be Iran.
What do you think about the US and Israel and their dealings with Iran at this moment over the nuclear arms -- issue.
Well in my view the the fuhrer about Israel bombing Iran has subsided.
I think Syria and the region realize that's not gonna work.
Sanctions on Iran are working I would continue the intensive pressure.
On Iran with sanctions with food sanctions fuel sanctions banking sanctions.
Get more countries involved in that.
I think the policy is working and you're seeing for the first time Iran.
Sending messages that they're ready to negotiate I don't think they're serious.
But at least they're showing weakness I would also take a step and arm the Iranian opposition murder take him off of terrorist list a group called the MEK.
Not not arm them but take a -- of curious terrorist lists make it.
Difficult for Iran to continue.
Just continue their terrorist policies.
You think that the Iranians are not serious about negotiations you don't think the sanctions are having an effect and driving them to that talks no life.
I do think sanctions -- having an effect I think the sanctions are working.
And what I would do is intensify continue the sanctions.
Continue pressuring them to get rid of their nuclear enrichment policies.
I don't believe there are serious about cutting down on there.
And so what I would do is continue and that.
And economic pressure that I believe is working.
Very quickly is there a timetable do you think that something happens -- this summer in Iran yeah.
No I think it's gonna be.
Iran is is having a rough year -- their economic troubles their political troubles.
Their main supporter of Syria in the region is is hurting badly.
I would continue this policy of intense pressure and sanctions on Iran.
By the way there is a ongoing.
Scandal in this town over leaks coming from somewhere.
With regard to.
The cyber warfare.
Weaponry being used by the United States against countries like Iran.
Even some of the steps we've taken in to discover.
Al-Qaeda terrorist threats.
Do you see this as a major scandal rethink its reporters talking to sources what do you think this amounts to.
I I have great confidence in attorney general holder I think it's more beltway political election issue.
Because I believe that.
You know this is sort of an inside the beltway issue I I don't see any national dramatic national security secrets.
I don't have all the information I live in Santa -- -- a private system.
So I don't get -- intelligence they always used.
Speaking a foreign affairs you just got back from a trip to Cuba where you try to fit to free an American businessman and thought that you had to deal with the Cubans but they sent you home empty -- what.
Well what I believe happened is that the Cubans have decided that they want to trade the one American.
Alan gross who I believe is innocent and and hurting and should come home.
For five -- Cuban political prisoners and it had serious crimes.
And unfortunately that decision was -- -- when I was heading to Cuba I thought maybe I would have some negotiating room.
My hope is that negotiations on this issue can continue.
I wasn't going on behalf of the administration I've tried in the past -- Secure the release of American servicemen political prisoners and many countries like Cuba and North Korea.
But I think it's in our interest want to.
Of the embargo isn't working.
I think to travel policies of the president and relax and travel makes sense but keeping Cubans have to respond they got a you know lighten up and some -- good democracy.
Issues that a cushion and release this gross guy and you know have some more democratic freedoms there.
One last question on politics having to do with the immigration the border.
One of your success is -- Susanna Martinez as governor of New Mexico a Republican.
She supports the Arizona law she's been hard line on immigration.
How do you view her work as a Republican.
Well I'm not gonna comment on her I decided not to comment my -- simply say that I think this immigration law that passed.
In Arizona is nonsensical.
When I was governor I.
Had an immigration policy that -- -- made sense an agreement.
I was one of the few states it said.
We're gonna have driver's licenses for illegal aliens you know that worked you know were they are.
It reduces traffic fatalities and increase safety.
Law enforcement wanted it several states have it now I know it's very controversial.
So that's the way I believe you deal with -- immigration reform you do it realistically.
The immigration that is safe.
And healthy and legal.
And you enforce our laws I am for having tightened security at the border more law enforcement more boots on the border.
But at the same time I think and oh a more sensible immigration policy is good for this country's good for our economy.
These are law abiding people that are here most of them those that aren't should be deported.
But let him be part of the American dream.
Governor Bill Richardson thank you ambassador Bill Richardson.
Thanks very much for coming in for this Fox News Latino experts and thank you.