Richardson Is Sick of Democrats' 'Food Fights'

The week of nasty politics leaves candidate sick of "mudslinging."

Dec. 15, 2007 — -- After a week of petty squabbles and political apologies, Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Bill Richardson has had enough.

The New Mexico governor, who joined "Good Morning America" today from Concord, N.H., criticized the past week's "nastiness," saying the Democrats have gotten into "irrelevant food fights about who said what in kindergarten."

It wasn't what the candidates did in kindergarten that created the biggest controversy, though. It was what Hillary Clinton's campaign co-chair Bill Shaheen said about Barack Obama and his youthful drug use.

Sen. Clinton's campaign apologized to Obama for bringing up the issue, and Shaheen resigned.

"This is demeaning the process and I think Democrats hitting each other now, it's just going to be ammunition for the Republicans in the fall campaign," Richardson said.

Democratic candidates weren't the only ones slinging mud, though. In an apparent jab at former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee suggested that Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers. Huckabee later apologized for the suggestion, which is a blatant distortion of Mormon belief.

One of the most fiercely debated topics in the campaign this week was who has the right experience to be president. Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, has been the focus of a lot of questioning about whether his inexperience in national politics is a weakness.

Obama has said he considers it a positive, championing himself as a fresh face and an agent for change in Washington.

Though Richardson said he has been the only one who has stuck to a positive campaign, he agreed that the issue of a candidate's experience was legitimate -- and said he measures up.

"I've been tested. I've been out there…that is good," he said, citing his record as governor, secretary of energy and as a diplomat.

The governor emphasized that he wants the campaigns to get back to the issues.

"We should be talking about what we're going to do to get out of the war in Iraq, which the Congress and the President are failing to do," he said. "They're failing to act with the President on the energy bill, on getting rid of the No Child Left Behind Act, on bringing health care access to the American people.

"Attacks are not what voters want," Richardson said. "I suspect the two front-runners are going to take a little beating on this eventually."

If they do, it's a beating that Richardson hopes could work to his advantage.

"My campaign is moving up," he said. "I'm getting huge crowds here in New Hampshire. I got big crowds in Iowa. I'm in and out of double digits. This race isn't over."