PORTSMOUTH — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will be in New Hampshire this weekend, looking for support for his presidential bid.
Reached by phone, the governor said he is giving some speeches as he crosses the state but his main focus is house parties.
"The objective is to meet New Hampshire voters up close in a grass-roots fashion," said Richardson. "I want to give my message as to why I am running, in that I am the most experienced and can bring our country together, both nationally and internationally. I will also support working people on issues like health care."
Locally, Richardson will attend a house party on at the Rollinsford home of Dr. Terry Bennett, who is a strong and outspoken advocate of health care reform.
On Sunday, at 1 p.m., Richardson will tour PSNH's Northern Wood Power Project on Gosling Road in Portsmouth. The governor has done a great deal in his own state to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by offering tax credits as incentives for companies to find more eco-friendly ways to operate.
"I believe we need to become energy independent. As president I'd work to reduce our dependency from 65 to 10 percent in 10 years by investing in renewable energy and energy efficient practices."
Following his tour, the governor will be the keynote speaker at the Elks Club in Portsmouth for the annual Rockingham County Democrats Clambake.
Other issues important to Richardson are immigration reform and he has vowed to bring all troops home if he is elected.
President Bush vetoed a war funding bill this week because it contained a timeline for withdrawing troops.
"We need withdrawal of forces by the end of this calendar year with no residual forces left," said Richardson. "Then we use diplomacy to reorganize the country with the three religious groups. We need Muslim countries to take over security in Iraq. We withdraw with honor and a plan. I would redeploy some troops to Afghanistan, for al-Qaida, for terrorism. Our troops did a magnificent job, but are now viewed as the occupier, so it's time to get out."
Richardson says he believe he can accomplish diplomatic relations in Iraq, and said he'll start doing that on his first day in office.