01/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Richardson: Obama Saved Me During Debate

After the campaign, I grew a beard as a rebellion against those consultants who told me I had to comb my hair, shave, lose weight. I said, You know, I'm gonna do what I want now. That was a good feeling.

I named my horse after Toby Keith because I really like the guy. Genuine--that's Toby Keith. One of the great things about him is that during dinner he'll start singing a song. Right there. Not to perform, but to tell you what he was feeling the particular day that he wrote it.

As I'm chatting with Obama, the moderator says, "Governor Richardson, what do you think of that?" And I look at him like a deer in the headlights. I was about to say that I hadn't heard, when Obama puts his hand over his mouth and says, "Katrina." So I gave my four-point plan on Katrina. When I was done and the debate moved on, I looked over and said, "Thanks, you're okay." He said, "Nothing to it, brother."

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