September 16th, 2007
03:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Some candidates missing from Iowa 'steak fry'

Sen. Obama was one of the Democratic candidates in Indianola on Saturday. Courtesy: CNN's Mike Roselli

INDIANOLA, Iowa (CNN) – Two of the Democratic candidates were noticeably missing Sunday at Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual Steak Fry.

But it wasn’t their choice–they weren’t invited.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel weren’t on stage with the rest of the Democratic pack for Harkin’s fundraiser.

In a press release sent out Saturday, Kucinich accused Iowa Democratic leaders of trying to “rig the game” by excluding him.

Kucinich added, “When party leaders and their allies pre-select which candidates they will allow the voters to hear, it’s a disservice to the voters.”

Harkin spokesperson Matt Paul said neither Kucinich nor Gravel was invited, for essentially one reason: a lack of Iowa organization.

“This is an event for Iowans,” Paul said. “It’s an event for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, so the focus is campaigns, organizations, and Iowans that are involved here.”

“Last cycle was different, especially for Rep. Kucinich,” Paul continued. “He had staff here. He had resources here. [This cycle] he’s not been here except for the DNC debate. So we made the decision to focus on the candidates that have an Iowa infrastructure.”

The group of Democrats on hand included Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd, and Joe Biden.

All of the above except Richardson met together to walk with Harkin to the stage where they were to speak.

Richardson spokesperson Tom Reynolds said they chose to spend their time “talking to the caucus-goers.”

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Colin, Nelson NZ

    Many people will think this is somewhat hyprocritical since the GOP have led the world league tables for negative campaigns and advertising bordering on slander. That said, I think there should be more rigid public standards to reduce it and I also think Mr McCain is better than most with regard to campaigning with integrity (although I oppose him wholeheartedly on US Iraq policy).

    September 16, 2007 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. alan St Louis Mo

    Well at least all the important dems that can bash the republicans on general election made it. GO Hillary Go Obama Go Biden. Biden Your Iraq plan was smart. you need to get up there with Hillary and Obama.

    Where is my invintation ? Bah as long you can bring America back what impotant to me. There is no hope that the republicans will do it still sleeping in there dream world fantcizing how to spend my billions made.

    September 16, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    If it was not Bush's fault for the incompetent prosecution of the Iraq War, then it must have been the generals and among them Gen. Petraeus.
    Gen. Petraeus wrote the manual for dealing with insurgents and he says you need one soldier for every 40 civilians which means we need 600,000 troops in Iraq to do the job right. And we have now 160,000 troops Iraq. We're short 440,000 troops and Gen. Petraeus is saying he can do the job with only those 160,000, that's BS and you know it.
    The General's, including Petraeus forgot that even though Bush, the Commander-in-Chief is their superior, their ultimate responsibility is to the American People not the President.
    You and your fellow Republican Senators and Congressmen have also forgotten that fact.
    So I say "Right On" "Move On".
    Senator McCain stop trying to make our generals "Sacred Cows" their human like the rest of us.

    September 16, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. O.J., Las Vegas, NV

    Thought Kuchinich was a vegetarian? What would he want at a Steak Fry, anyway?

    September 17, 2007 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  5. MJ, Trumbull,CT

    Tom Harkin has been one of the best examples of bought and paid for Washington Shills. Of course he would only invite those of his ilk.

    September 17, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |