Politics
Photo: AP Photo: AP  

Bill Richardson: ‘I’m afraid of’ Marco Rubio

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

The vice presidential buzz around Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has former New Mexico Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson concerned about the senator’s ability to undermine President Barack Obama’s re-election chances.

“I like him. And yes, I’m afraid of him,” Richardson told Univision’s Al Punto in an interview, “because I think he is an attractive politician, well prepared. And he is Cuban-American and to me that is positive.”

Richardson, a Mexican-American, said his goal is to promote unity among Hispanics.

“Because I want all Hispanics in the Republican Party, in the Democratic Party, whether Latin Americans, Central Americans, Cubans, Mexicans, I want us to unite,” Richardson said.

According to Univision, Richardson thinks that the selection of Rubio as a vice presidential candidate would pull some Hispanic votes away from Obama, but not enough to get Obama out of the White House.

“I think he is someone, for example, in states like Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and certainly Florida, could give Romney votes that he doesn’t have now,” Richardson said. “I don’t think putting him on the ticket will be enough to defeat President Obama. But he is an attractive politician.”

While Richardson has concerns about some of Rubio’s political stances, he did have positive words for the senator many have deemed a rising star in the GOP.

“I do have many concerns over his immigration initiative — it is like he doesn’t understand. But I see him as a young person who wants to learn and has a positive future ahead,” Richardson said.

Richardson ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 against then-Senator Barack Obama.

Follow Caroline on Twitter