Bradley talks politics

David Arkin: CNJ correspondent

Former Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley last week responded to a variety of issues and topics during an interview in Albuquerque.

Vice President Bill Richardson?
“I don’t see it. But it’s a distinct possibility. I don’t think the timing is right for him. That could change though. There are things going on right now. The convention is not until this summer. I just don’t think he’s going to do it. Presidential? Yeah. I think he’d do it (run for president). Look at all the things he put into place. I think he has a chance. We’ll see. It’s interesting to watch.”

Bradley in 2006:
“Governor.”

Lottery Scholarship:
“I love the Lottery Scholarship, but don’t love some of the things that are going on with it that the public is not aware about. The scholarship is one of the best things that the state has actually done. I don’t like that the public doesn’t see the way the increases with it are given. I think some of our universities, needed to be, and now they are, more prudent in their recruiting. They were taking students who weren’t ready for college. If you saw the dropout rate it was horrendous. I understand they are correcting that. When you have a tuition increase it’s an automatic increase in the lottery and that is driving the lottery to where it is limiting too many. You are having to cut back on how much tuition they get or you have to cut back on who can get it. The inner management of it needs to be controlled. I love the scholarship. It has been a boom for us.”

New Mexico GOP:
“Well, it’s having its ups and downs. At the moment I’m watching. I’m hear to assist when asked and needed. It still has some fluctuation in there that is regrettable. The members of the party will get it through the ups and downs and shake it out.”

The war in Iraq:
“I think the public supports what we are doing and they are smarter on what’s going on in Iraq than some of the mainstream media eludes too. I don’t think the public underestimated the effort that was going to be made in Iraq. I think the public knew that we were going to countries that never had democracy. We were giving those countries a look at the 21st century and what they can and can’t do. I think Americans support that concept. Certainly I don’t condone what the Army did with those prisoners. It does cause problems, but I do think we will overcome it. If you claim that you want humane treatment worldwide than how can you say taking out the Taliban and Saddam was wrong? You can’t condemn that kind of treatment and then turn around and say we better get out of there. If we pulled out that would create the worst long-term situation imaginable.”

Terrorism:
“I have not forgotten 9-11. It was a total surprise. I don’t think anyone could predict that situation was going to happen. I didn’t believe it when I was looking at it. None of us would have thought that someone would kill themselves and take some 100 people down in an airplane. We know that if we don’t stop them it will get worse and it won’t get better. We have to fight for those freedoms. I believe the American people believe that.”

Clovis Wildcats:
“The greatest job as lieutenant governor was when the beast from the east took the championship. Even when they didn’t take the championship, look at all of those other schools that I got to say, ‘you didn’t even make the playoffs,’ I have my Wildcat shirt. When games are here or other communities, I wear my Wildcat shirt and go to Wildcat games. You just got to do it. There’s nothing better than going down here to The Pit and watching those girls and boys.”

Retirement:
“I’m 57 and I’m getting my second wind. Who would want to retire? Life is short enough. Don’t stop it. Oh my, gosh.”

— Compiled by CNJ Correspondent David Arkin