In a Fox News Latino exclusive, Juan Williams sits down with Gov. Bill Richardson to discuss his presidential run and the chances of a Latino becoming a serious contender for the presidency.
*For the entire unedited video with Gov. Richardson, click on the video above.
Juan Williams: Right now you have Latinos voting 64 percent for President Obama. Do you expect that could change? Is there anything the government can do to increase the number of Latinos to vote for them?
Gov. Bill Richardson: I believe that, one, that the Republican Party is in a terrible box. They’ve taken some very extremist positions on immigration issues affecting Latinos, the DREAM Act that it’s going to be too late. Even if they put somebody like Marco Rubio on the ticket, might help them a little bit, but for a Republican to win the Presidency he or she has to get more than 35 percent. As you mentioned, the Democrat usually gets 65 percent. I don’t see it. And I think what’s going to hurt the Republicans enormously is the extremist position of Mitt Romney on the immigration issue and states like New Mexico, states like Colorado, Nevada, Arizona -- and I think it’s going to be the margin of victory for President Obama, a very narrow victory.
Williams: Governor Richardson, I’ve been asking you about presidential politics because, in terms of the American Latino experience, other than a man named Bob Fernandez in the 1980s, you are the most prominent Latino who’s ever launched a significant race for president of the United States. First, why do you think you didn’t succeed? And secondly, do you think you might succeed again?
Richardson: Well, I didn’t succeed; because I sensed when I was campaigning the voters wanted an Obama, they wanted someone to inspire them. The nation’s mood was such that they wanted unity being uplifted. I had a good resume but my message wasn’t one like President Obama’s, it wasn’t because I was a Latino. Had I stayed longer in some primaries, I would have probably done better in states like Nevada, California, and New Mexico -- but I ran out of the money after the second primary in New Hampshire.
Williams: Do you think that you might run again?
Richardson: I am now a member of 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 the Presidential race. I think that you only get one shot.
Williams: Now, do you see other Latinos who you believe are top rank and poised to launch their own candidacy for presidency?
Richardson: Well, Juan, I think they’re up and coming right now. They may be two, three elections away. The mayor of San Antonio, I think the mayor of Los Angeles has that potential. There’re some Republicans that may be candidates. The governor of Nevada, possibly Senator Rubio. I don’t know much about him, I’m intrigued by him.
But I do believe there’s potential for a national candidate of Hispanic origin very soon, because we’re the fastest growing minority in the country. We’re 15 percent of the vote. We’re strong, not just in southwestern states but around the country.
Produced by Victor Garcia. Follow him on Twitter @MrVicGarcia