MANCHESTER, NH -- Democratic Presidential Candidate Governor Bill Richardson, campaigning today in New Hampshire, issued a statement in response to comments earlier in the week made by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh accused Democrats of calling for the US to intervene in Darfur simply to court the African-American vote.
Limbaugh reportedly said that Democrats "want to get us out of Iraq, but they can't wait to get us into Darfur." He continued: "There are two reasons. What color is the skin of the people in Darfur? It's black. And who do the Democrats really need to keep voting for them? If they lose a significant percentage of this voting bloc, they're in trouble." The caller responded, "The black population," to which Limbaugh said, "Right."
"The situation in Darfur is a human tragedy of unprecedented scale that demands action. It is a humanitarian issue, not a partisan political issue. I went to Darfur because human beings are being killed on a horrific scale. I negotiated a cease-fire because rape is being used as a weapon against tens of thousands of helpless women and girls. I have kept this issue front and center because hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes and all their possessions. Anyone with a heart cares about Darfur -- anyone with a conscience must and should care about this suffering. America cares -- it is the current administration that hasn't lived up to America's tradition of compassion. I've been saying for months we must keep the pressure on China, Russia and Sudan. We can resolve this crisis through diplomacy, just as we should have done with Iraq -- our kids don't need to be sent into the middle of a civil war. Only when US foreign policy is based on our American principles will the world again respect American leadership and only then will we have the credibility to stop international crises and humanitarian disasters. "