Posted: July 13, 2007 4:55 PM
Richardson Apologizes for 2006 Slur on 'Imus in the Morning'
The ghost of Don Imus, the former radio talk show host ousted for racially insensitive comments earlier this year, was haunting the campaign of New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson this week.
The governor was forced to apologize after comments he made last year on the now-defunct talk show, in which he used a Spanish slang term that can be translated as “faggot,” according to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
The remark came in response to a joke about one of Imus’ assistants saying Richardson was not really Hispanic which prompted Richardson to call him a ‘maricon.’ Richardson countered in his statement this week that to his knowledge the word meant gay, not faggot, and did not have a negative connotation.
Richardson has courted the gay and lesbian vote, even saying his record makes him the “most pro gay/lesbian candidate in the country” during a recent interview with IN Magazine. He told the Associated Press this week he was “puzzled by the timing” of the interview resurfacing. He has not yet responded to an invitation to participate in next month’s debate on gay issues, which was announced this week. The other top Democratic candidates have confirmed they will attend.
On the campaign trail this week, Richardson attended an NAACP forum Thursday with other Democratic candidates and Republican candidate Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, who has become known for his vocal support of strengthening immigration laws.
Richardson joked with the audience, “I have a beef to pick with you: You just invited Tom Tancredo, who I think said he wants to send me back to Mexico.”
Richardson also spoke of his desire to end the Iraq war, saying, “The African American community saw early that this was a war that made no sense. You were right and George Bush was wrong.”
He also made campaign appearances in Iowa, stopping at the Field of Dreams site to play some baseball and meet with voters.
He intends to speak at the Latino Vote 2007 Banquet Friday night in Los Angeles and attend the American Association for Justice candidate’s forum in Chicago on Sunday.