Opened by dodging a question on when the country would be ready for same-sex marriage by reminding the crowd he voted against "don't ask, don't tell" and saying he was wrong to vote for the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which he blamed on pressure from then-president Bill Clinton). Later, semi-dodged a question about whether he would sign a state bill legalizing same-sex marriage by saying, "I'm not there yet and the country isn't there." Softly repeated his apology for a past use of a Spanish-language slur against homosexuals on Don Imus' now defunct radio show, but asked not to be judged by words but by his pro-homosexual agenda as governor of New Mexico, where he killed a state DOMA and passed a domestic partnership law. The audience seemed skeptical. Richardson came close to the only major blunder of the night by verbally stumbling into the suggeston that being gay is a choice. He was given the benefit of the doubt about his interpretation of the question, but he also lost the audience entirely.
By Mark Halperin