Kucinich rakes Edwards

For the full context of the line of questioning for Ohio Congressman/2004 Democratic presidential candidate/2008 Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, refer to this previous post.  The condensed version if 2004 Kucinich backer Ed Fallon (the 2006 Democratic candidate for governor) is "doing what Dennis said to do" and backing a more "viable" candidate in 2008.

So, when I had a chance to interview Kucinich this morning in the statehouse press room, I opened with Fallon’s assertion.

Henderson: "I’ve run into a lot of former Kucinich supporters at Edwards event and in fact, one person who you may know, Ed Fallon, said he was just doing what Dennis said to do, and that’s go to a more viable candidate — referring to deal with Edwards on Caucus…"

Kucinich: "Well, that’s disingenuous, really. i’m running against John Edwards,"

Henderson: "But he’s suggesting you’re less viable this time around."

Kucinich: "Well, it’s April and the election is next year and so Ed’s a nice man and if he wants to support John Edwards, he should do that.  However, John Edwards voted for the war.  John Edwards voted to fund the war.  John Edwards has spoken in favor of an attack on Iran (saying) ‘all options are on the table.’  John Edwards and I have a really different world view on matters of security, on matters of defense.  I showed a level of judgement that, unfortunately, John didn’t show when he voted for the war and what he said about the cause for the war, so, you know, I’m in this race to challenge John’s position and Hillary’s position and Barack’s position and so, you know, you can’t, for anyone to assume that somehow there’s no difference is one of two things:  it’s either dishonest or there hasn’t been enough time to study it, so I don’t want to call my friend Ed Fallon dishonest.  I’ll just assume that he has some more studying to do before he comes to the conclusions that he comes to."

Henderson: "He’s not questioning your stand on the war, he’s…"

Kucinich: "I’m not going to debate Ed Fallon.  I’m debating John Edwards and John Edwards has made it very clear, you know, he gave a speech that said all options are on the table with respect to Iran.  Everyone understands what that means and I submit to you that’s the same kind of thinking that took us into Iraq unnecessarily is being demonstrated by John once again by saying all options are on the table with respect to Iran, so what we’re looking at here is the thinking of the people who are running for president and I’m saying what’s John thinking here?  How can he describe himself as a peace candidate when not only did he vote for the war, but once again demonstrates the type of thinking that wrongly took us into a war in Iraq, so there’s a difference there and I’m in Iowa to continue to pursue that and on health care, there’s a huge difference.  John is for continuing the for-profit health care system.  You cannot continue.  He’s for universal health care, he says, but so are the insurance companies.  The insurance companies want a universal health care system where government subsidizes them.  I’m for a health care system which is not for profit and that’s a single payor system where all the money goes for care and not, you know, almost one out of every three dollars, for the insurance companies and their profit so there’s another difference that’s pretty big, so, you know, I, again, I’m going to assume that my good friend Ed Fallon has not familiarized himself with my positions on the issue sufficiently to be able to come to the conclusion that you just described."

Henderson: "Again, he’s not questioning your position on the issues.  He’s questioning your viability as a candidate, your ability to win in 2008."

Kucinich: "There’s a reason I’m the only Democrat who can win in November and I’ll tell you why because if the Democrats had listened to me in 2004, John Kerry would have been elected President of the United States.  Instead, he threw in to support the war and when he supported the war he lost any chance of winning and you know I was very clear on that.  I even predicted that if the Democrats supported the war, they would lose the election and in effect, what we have is Democrats once again supporting war policies.  You know, the congressional Democrats have voted to fund the war, $97 billion.  Have voted a budget of $195 billion to keep the war going into 2009 and these policies of ramping up an attack on Iran are really a continuation of the policies which took us to war against Iraq.  So, where does that leave me?  As the only person who is totally clean on issues of war and peace, who not only had the judgement to take on the war in 2002 but who consistently voted against funding the war, who has a plan to get out of Iraq, who has said an attack on Iran is not acceptable, who’s calling for a 15 percent reduction in the Pentagon spending, so no one, no one who’s honest can claim that there’s not a difference between John Edwards and I or that somehow he’s an improved version on matters of war and peace.  You know, war is not peace and never will be.  Orwell understood that."

It was at this point that Kucinich supporter Eileen Dannemann of the National Coalition of Organized Women (is there a coalition for disorganized women?) jumped in and said "I just have to make a statement here."  Kucinich then told her: "You’re not my spokesman."  She persisted.  Her point:  voting for John Edwards rather than Dennis Kucnich is like voting for Pontius Pilate rather than Jesus Christ. 

UPDATE:  Ed Fallon, in an email to me after he read this post, observed the following:  "If Edwards is Pontius Pilate and Kucinch if Jesus Christ, does that make me Simon Peter?"  Fallon, a former theological student, then observed that if that is the case, this reporter "must be part of the angry mob."

Happy belated Easter, everybody?

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate with whom the Democrats can win.
    The peace supporters, most of who aren’t being polled, are fully behind Dennis Kucinich. They don’t want Edwards, who is responsible for the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act and Yucca Mountain. They don’t want Edwards’s war with Iran.
    The peace supporters won the election of 2006 for the Democrats and gave the Democrats a chance to show they could be trusted. The Democrats went against the peace supporters in pushing appropriations. So did John Edwards who encouraged the bill and Obama who voted for it.
    Most Democrats will not vote Democrat in the general election unless Dennis Kucinich is the nominee.

  2. I agree Ruth!
    Dennis will be a refreshing contrast to the Republican nominee for President.
    While the balance of the field for Repubs and Dems are talking about invading Iran and/or Pakistan, possibly using Nuclear Weapons, and making themselves Corporate Owned candidates by accepting money from the corrupt establishment elite; Dennis Kucinich is speaking out! He’s speaking out about the War based on lies in Iraq; He’s speaking out about the need for NOT-for-PROFIT Healthcare; He’s speaking out about the necessity to withdraw from NAFTA/WTO; He’s speaking out that he will REPEAL the so-called US Patriot Act; He’s speaking out with 3 articles of impeachment submitted to Congress to impeach Dick Cheney – not for partisan reasons, but because it is the RIGHT thing to do. Dennis speaks out about many important issues that face our country while the other candidates, both Republican and Democrats just seem to be rubbing their hands together in anticipation for the next war.
    Have you had enough yet?
    VoteKUCINICH 2008!