Bill Richardson Acknowledges He "Screwed Up" with Gay Remark

I'd like to say Bill Richardson is refreshing for his willingness to admit when he screws up. First, at the Yearly Kos debate, he admitted he "screwed up" in saying we need more Supreme Court Justices like Byron White.

Today, he says he "screwed up" in saying at the GLBT debate that gays choose their sexual orientation.

I made a mistake. I screwed up," he said, acknowledging that the gay blogosphere is upset with him. "[The blogs] went nuts saying, you know, that I literally was a moron and that I didn't understand their struggle," he said.

But, his screw-ups are on big issues. What would happen if he were President and had the opportunity to act before someone pointed out his screw-ups to him?

Richardson says he's not running for VP but won't say he won't accept the nomination.

I also wonder whether Richardson is ready for prime-time. From today's article:

Richardson, who supports civil unions, was asked if he would veto a gay marriage bill because he believed in his heart that same-sex marriage is wrong. He replied, "I don't want to get into that. I thought you guys were going to ask me about other stuff. Don't you care about other stuff?"

He needs some media training, and fast.

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    Further (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by TomK on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 05:57:02 PM EST
    Karl Rove must be laughing at us that his homophobic bigotry buzzwards (focus group tested to devide people) can get us to turn so quickly against a long time ally of ours.

    Richardson (none / 0) (#1)
    by Kewalo on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 02:52:30 PM EST
    I've been really appalled at Richardson's gaffes. I was very impressed by his experience and was seriously considering him. But now I wonder just how good he was at all those high-powered jobs.

    At the very least he should have sat down with gay people and found out about them. Most people actually like it when they are asked about their lives. But Richardson obviously didn't do a lick of research and that doesn't bode well for someone asking for the most complicated job in the world.

    He is off my list of potentials. We don't need another person in the WH that doesn't do their homework.  

    On Richardson (none / 0) (#2)
    by glanton on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 03:14:19 PM EST
    I gotta say, as someone for whom gay rights is a paramount social issue, Richardson's "screwup" re choice/innate has been woefully overblown by many.

    The Byron White thing, that's another thing.  Blech.

    But specifically regarding Richardson's "gaffe" at the debate: The important thing, by far the Most Important thing, is that Richardson said he supports equal rights for all American citizens. Really, in terms of civil liberties of any kind, that's I can ask for in a candidate.  

    Personally, I reject the notion that people choose their sexuality.  I do so because I did not choose to be turned on by girls/women, one day it just started happening.  

    So I guess my response would have gotten me more applause from Melissa Etheridge than Richardson's response got.  That, and 60 cents would get either me or Melissa a ride on the bus in my hometown.

    As long as your policy position is equal rights for all citizens, that's enough for me to consider voting for you at this decrepit point in our electoral process.  

    Those who want to go to war with the Governor or any other Democrat for not tallying every preferred talking point on the subject of homosexuality, be honest and ask yourself if you are at least in part motivated to skewer him in order to verify your own chic/intellectual creds?  

    And by the way, Richardson is not my preferred candidate, Edwards is.  

    So, (none / 0) (#3)
    by Peaches on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 03:39:41 PM EST
    You just pop in every four months now and make a remark, this time blessing us with an opinion on Richardson?

    What's Up? How you been? How is the child(a daughter, right?)?

    Good to see you again. I Hope all is well.


    Hello, Peaches (none / 0) (#5)
    by glanton on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 03:48:48 PM EST
    Great to hear from you, too!  A son, by the way: thanks for asking about him.  He just turned a year old and constantly amazes us.  

    As for being out o the loop for a while, well, I just haven't had much to add yon these few months. I have kept reading [lurking] this site, though.  At this point, in a bizarre way, it's sort of like dropping in on friends, no?  


    Yes, (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peaches on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 03:54:42 PM EST
    I'd like to think so.

    I spend more time lurking these days than contributing as well. But, you know me, sometimes I just have to stick my two cents in where it don't belong. I always enjoyed our conversations in the past as well as listening in on yours with others. You have some good insights into many issues, including this one on Richardson, which I agree with.


    More (none / 0) (#4)
    by glanton on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 03:40:59 PM EST

    In this post, you wrote:

    Richardson blew it big time. He was asked whether being gay is a matter of choice or whether you're born that way and he immediately responded "choice." Figuring he misunderstood the question, the panelists, including Melissa Etheridge and Margaret Carlson, gave him another chance. He still didn't get it and framed his answer in terms of equality, saying it didn't matter. Can someone please educate him?

    I remember reading that and wincing, a bit.  This last sentence treads dangerously close to actually fulfilling the "elitism" caricature with which social conservatives try to taint non-bigots.

    There is as of yet no definitive scientific explanation as to what causes sexual orientation.  Even those like me (and you) who believe it to be wholly outside the realm of choice cannot be sure whether we are talking about genetics or social forces.  Etc.

    But then, why does any of this matter?  What if, for example, homosexualiuty were totally a matter of choice?  Would you, jeralyn, suddenly change your civil liberties' stance?  I think not.  Some believe that the push to find a "gay gene," though perhaps well-intentioned, points up the possibility of troglodyte conservatives pushing for genetic engineering to "get rid of it."

    Better, in the world of politics anyway, to just stand for equal rights and leave it at that.


    Even so (none / 0) (#10)
    by s5 on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 09:05:49 PM EST
    Currently, the best available scientific research we have on the subject says that sexual orientation is, at the very least, linked in some way with biology, whether it's genetic or somehow developmental, rather than a simple choice like Mac vs PC. A candidate running for the Democratic nomination should be prepared for criticism if they jump to a conclusion that isn't based on the best available science. After all, ignoring science has been exactly what Republicans have been doing all along, and when one of our guys or ladies do it, it should immediately disqualify them from a leadership role in the party.

    s5 (none / 0) (#12)
    by glanton on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:59:30 PM EST
    You are right about what the best science says.  But I felt at the time of the debate, and still feel, that the question was entirely stoopid and inappropriate in that forum, anyway.  For political purposes, who gives a flying squirrel's patooty what causes homosexuality, anyway?  Indeed, whenever I hear that question I often feel that it implies a sense that there is something wrong with homosexuality: certainly a broad television audience might well internalize it that way, even if they don't think it consciously.

    What matters most in politics is policy, not Talking Points.  Haven't you had enough Talking Points yet, 8 years in?  As another poster has pointed out, Richardson may not be the glibbest speaker on the root sociobiological/developmental causes of sexual oreitnation, but his record on gay rights surpasses Bill Clinton's, and we have no reason to expect anything different from the top tier Democratic Candidate that is his wife.

    I'm not interested in impressing influential gay lobbyists, but in fighting bigotry.  


    Please don't (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 06:09:32 PM EST
    use words like "sh*t" here.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#11)
    by glanton on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 10:51:36 PM EST
    While the language choice was obviously counter to the rules you have on this site, the point is still a solid one; I was curious to see if you would respond to my articulation of it upthread..  

    Doesn't it stand to reason that Richardson' support for gay rights is the most important thing to any discussion of Richardson in terms of gay rights?


    'chosing'... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Trinity on Sun Sep 02, 2007 at 01:16:22 AM EST
    Well, it doesn't help when someone like Sheryl Swoopes comes out of the closet and says she 'chose to be gay'.

    Um, no, more like one choses to be more truthful with themselves, and by extension, their family and their friends.

    I've never believed that's one's sexual orientation is private. What a crock. It's never private for people who claim they are straight. No one is saying that you have to shout anything from the roof tops (although you can if you want). What is private are the DETAILS, such as the name of the person you're dating, etc.