New Mexico governor Bill Richardson greets supporters during a campaign stop at the RiverRun Book Store in Portsmouth, Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Andrew Moore)
PORTSMOUTH -- Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson was easygoing and opened with a few jokes during an appearance Saturday afternoon at River Run Bookstore in Portsmouth. Then he got straight to the point.
"We must take our country back!" he said. "I want to get us out of Iraq immediately. Itís called diplomacy first."
More than 100 people gathered to hear the current governor of New Mexico and former United Nations ambassador and energy secretary in the Clinton administration.
Robin Lent of Durham said, "Iím here to find out more, he seems strong on foreign policy, like he might be able to straighten out the mess in Iraq."
UNH student Jillian Andrews had already seen Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama speak recently and was looking forward to meeting another candidate. "Iím just figuring out who to vote for now," she said.
Richardson greeted the crowd as he walked though the crowded bookstore with handshakes and smiles. Mayor Steve Marchand introduced Richardson, joking about the lack of snow removal on the streets.
Richardson listed several other actions he would take as president, including reducing greenhouse gasses.
"The first thing Iíd do in office would be to re-sign the Kyoto Treaty," he said.
Although Richardson admitted that he is, according to pollsters, an underdog, he made it clear that itís not all about the numbers in these early stages.
"Iím here to stay," he said. "In fact, Iím moving to New Hampshire today!"