"I am one of you."
LAS VEGAS - Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson (pictured right) started a Hispanic outreach program Thursday to try to raise his profile with a voting bloc critical to his campaign.
"Because my name is Richardson, many Latinos don't know I'm Latino," the New Mexico governor told reporters in Spanish after a news conference announcing the effort.
He sometimes jokes about adopting his mother's maiden name: Lopez. But Richardson, who would be the first Hispanic president, is open about the truth behind the humor. As an underdog candidate who needs to run strongly in heavily Hispanic Nevada, he needs every Hispanic vote he can muster.*
"It's not just a Latino-only strategy, but nationally I want to have a strong Latino base that at least knows I'm Latino and that comes and votes for me," he said.
* The staff at Western Voices World News is wondering about the reaction from the media and the other presidential candidates if Texas Republican Ron Paul openly courted European American voters by saying: "I am one of you. I am Caucasian."