Emails: Podesta Listed ‘Needy Latinos’ for Hillary to Call

Campaign chairman: Former Hispanic Gov. Bill Richardson ‘can be a dick’

John Podesta / AP
October 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta lamented that the campaign needed endorsements from "needy Latinos" and called a former Hispanic governor "a dick," according to newly released hacked emails.

Podesta laid out an endorsement strategy for Clinton's presidential campaign in an email to the candidate on August 21, 2015.

"A few calls you might consider making," Podesta wrote to Clinton in an email with the subject line "Needy Latinos and 1 easy call."

The first suggestion was to call Federico Peña, the first Hispanic mayor of Denver, Colorado, who later served as secretary of transportation and secretary of energy under President Bill Clinton.

"Ken Salazar who has been an absolute trooper really wants to get Fedrico [sic] Pena on board," Podesta wrote. "I talked to Pena early, before March and he hemmed and hawed."

Salazar was secretary of the interior under President Obama and a Democratic senator from Colorado. He is now running Clinton’s transition team.

Podesta, citing Salazar, said Peña had "baggage" and was reluctant to endorse Hillary because he felt "cut off from Clinton World."

"Ken had lunch with him early this week and reports the following, he's close to committing but carrying some baggage," Podesta wrote. "Fed never said this to me but he confided to Ken that his Cabinet stints ripped up his family, he gave everything to the cause and no time to his family, he went through a messy divorce in the late 90's and was left really down and felt like no one reached out to him then so he felt pretty cut off from Clinton World."

Podesta added that Peña endorsed Obama in 2007.

"His life now revolves around his new wife, Cindy, who is a supporter of yours and came to the fundraiser at the Chambers house," Podesta wrote. "He kind of wants to be with you, but this stuff is still grinding on him."

He instructed Hillary on what to say to Peña during the call, advising her to ask how Peña was doing and mention that she "really enjoyed" seeing Peña’s wife Cindy at "the Chambers event and appreciate her support."

Podesta also told Hillary to ask Peña to consider publicly supporting her. Peña has not endorsed Clinton.

Podesta also recommended that Clinton call former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson for an endorsement. Podesta thought Richardson could be valuable even though "he can be a dick" because he is "still on TV a lot."

Podesta had facilitated a call between Bill Clinton and Richardson to mend their relationship after a falling out over Richardson’s endorsement of Obama in 2008.

"I had heard that you were upset that I encouraged a call between WJC and Richardson to bury the hatchet," Podesta wrote. "I did that at the request of Jose Villarreal who pushed me and made the point that Richardson is still on TV a lot, especially on Univision and Telemundo and not withstanding the fact that he can be a dick, it was worth getting him in a good place."

"He had a good conversation with the President and has been good in his interviews since," Podesta continued. "I have pressed Bill, but I think it will take a call from you to get a formal endorsement. He's on Meet the Press on Sunday. Probably worth a quick call to ask him to stay stout and publicly endorse, but if it's too galling, don't bother."

Two days later Richardson endorsed Clinton for president, saying, "we have patched up our disagreement from the 2008 election."

The email was posted online by Wikileaks. The U.S. director of national intelligence and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security have accused "Russia’s senior-most officials" of hacking and leaking emails posted to Wikileaks and other sites in order to influence the 2016 election.