Democratic presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is focusing on Iowa as his chance to become a main contender for his party’s nomination, visiting all 99 counties and releasing a new television ad in the state.
The new ad touts Richardson’s plan to provide pre-kindergarten education to all children in America, a minimum wage of $40,000 for teachers and eliminate President Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation. His plan would cost $60 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal reports that Richardson spoke Tuesday in Council Bluffs, Iowa, about his education ideas and his plan for agriculture reform, an issue important to the state.
Richardson wants to foster free-market forces in agriculture, encourage the development of renewable energy, support family farms over large corporate farms and help develop rural economies by extending broadband service to those communities, according to the Richardson Web site.
Also, National Public Radio aired a story on Richardson this morning focusing on his travels in rural Iowa, a contrast to his international experience as a diplomat.
“I’m the only one endorsed by the NRA, does that help me?” Richardson asks a group of Iowa voters.
In the story, Richardson rejects the popular idea that he is slated for a possible vice president. “I’m running for president, I am going to win the nomination, I don’t need to think about vice president,” he says.