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Richardson focuses on jobs

From NBC's Samantha Mehrotra, Matt Panichas and Kimberly Kaplan
Richardson made his 10 minutes on the podium count this morning. He started out with a jab about his lack of exposure during the debates. "Today, I was told I have 10 minutes," he said, earning some audience laughter. "Of course, Wolf Blitzer tells me that before every debate."

His speech today concentrated on jobs and working Americans. "If we want to earn votes of hard-working Americans, we have to prove we'll work hard for them," Richardson said.

Richardson specifically highlighted his record on job creation in New Mexico, where he created 80,000 jobs and invested state money in local businesses. He emphasized his plan to create jobs across the nation, saying his approach is the most comprehensive of the candidates.

Richardson also pointed to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who pioneered the New Deal, as a type of leader he would like to model himself after. "If we stand for anything," he said of the Democratic Party, "we stand for jobs."

NBC's Abby Livingston adds that Richardson was the first to speak, then Edwards, and then Obama were scheduled to speak before the lunch recess. Although luck of the draw determined the candidate order, the sequence also showed an increase in intensity from the crowd toward each candidate. The Democratic audience received Richardson's speech much like a college lecture -- polite, intently listening, interested…and some toe tapping from young Obama supporters standing against the wall.