Ex-Dem gov: I would have picked Giuliani over Tillerson
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Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) said Sunday he was concerned about Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s ties to Russia, suggesting President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE should have tapped former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the job.

“I would have picked Rudy Giuliani, because I know he’s supported overseas, people respect him,” Richardson said during an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.

“I know he’s got his rough edges, and I think in the campaign he went a little far. But the guy gets things done," the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate added of Giuliani.

Richardson also voiced concern over Tillerson's experience as CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., cautioning against comparing international business dealings to political diplomacy. Giuliani, he argued, has a history as a dealmaker in government.


“You know, oil diplomacy John – you’ve been in energy – is not the same as regular diplomacy,” he said. “And when you’re negotiating an oil deal, it’s a commercial decision; it’s what’s best for the ratepayers, for the Exxon shareholders, but not necessarily what’s best for the American people.”

Tillerson has come under fire from some lawmakers and political observers who say the former oil executive is too cozy with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman Agencies play catch-up over security concerns with TikTok Sanders: 'Unfair to simply say everything is bad' in Cuba under Castro MORE (R-Fla.) tore into Tillerson for not taking a tougher position on Russia.

Richardson endorsed former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBloomberg called Warren 'scary,' knocked Obama's first term in leaked audio Trump trails Democratic challengers among Catholic voters: poll Sanders under fire from Democrats over praise for Castro regime MORE during the 2016 election. But he told Catsimatidis on Sunday that he hopes Trump does well, although he advised the president-elect to “surround himself with stronger people.”

"I didn’t support Donald Trump. I’m worried about his presidency, but I want him to do well. I’m an American. I want the country to prosper. But I worry. I want him to surround himself with stronger people," he said.