Richardson visits 3 Colo. cities for Obama |

Richardson visits 3 Colo. cities for Obama

GREELEY ” New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson told Barack Obama’s supporters in three Colorado cities this weekend how the Democrats’ presidential candidate would address immigration and the economy.

In visits to Greeley, Pueblo and Alamosa, Richardson wove Spanish into his speeches and added touches for Hispanic voters who could be an important voting bloc this November. Richardson said he thought Democrats would get the Hispanic vote.

Republicans aren’t so sure. “Barack Obama’s tax increases would be devastating to our economy and hurt many Hispanic families and Hispanic-owned small businesses,” former Colorado Republican Party Chairman Bob Martinez said in a written statement.

Richardson said Obama’s platform includes tax breaks for households making less than $250,000.

Latino voters make up about 35 percent of voters in New Mexico and 12 percent of voters in Colorado and Nevada, according to a recent Pew Hispanic Center poll.

President Bush received 40 percent of the Latino vote in 2004.

In front of about 150 Obama supporters Saturday in Greeley, Richardson said Obama would deliver sensible federal immigration policy, stimulate the economy, help the middle class and bring a “new generation of leadership” to Washington.

Richardson said Obama has plans for a comprehensive immigration reform package that would increase legal immigration and provide more border security, punish employers who hire illegal workers, and create a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

On the war in Iraq, he said, “When you’re spending $10 billion on this war every month, that is money that has to go to, and should go to, health care, to at-risk schools and the American people.”

He said America needs a president that will make the country a moral, human rights and democracy leader.

Lifelong Democrat Silverio “Silver” Salazar is a cousin of Sen. Ken Salazar and Rep. John Salazar, both Democrats. But Silver Salazar said he plans to vote for Obama’s Republican opponent John McCain. He said he thinks Obama is “out of touch” with Hispanics and that McCain would do more to close the border with Mexico and stop illegal immigration.

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