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Report: How Richardson changed war views

Nov. 26, 2007 at 2:14 PM

SANTA FE, N.M., Nov. 26 (UPI) -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was a supporter of the Iraq war until 10 months before confirming he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

Richardson vocally backed the war in its lead-up and even wrote in his autobiography, published in the fall of 2005, that "we must see this mission through," The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Monday.

"We mustn't stay in Iraq past the point where the new government asks us to leave, but neither can we unilaterally pull out before the Iraqis have achieved control over their own internal security."

The day the invasion of Iraq began, Richardson was among a group of trustees of Freedom House to issue a statement that didn't explicitly support military action but did profess support of U.S. troops and called for support for the establishment of democracy in Iraq.

Others signing the statement included former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jeanne Kirkpatrick, publisher Steve Forbes and former CIA Director James Woolsey.

Today, Richardson supports withdrawing all troops within a year and leaving no residual forces, the newspaper said.

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