January 1st, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Kucinich: Back Obama if I’m not viable

Kucinich is encouraging his supporters to make their second choice Obama.

Kucinich is encouraging his supporters to make their second choice Obama.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Dennis Kucinich urged supporters Tuesday to make Barack Obama their second choice in the Iowa caucuses, an unexpected boost in the closing days of this wide open race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Kucinich told backers to vote for him on the first ballot Thursday, but instructed them to support Obama if he did not reach the 15 percent threshold needed to be viable in the caucuses.

“I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice this Thursday, because of my singular positions on the war, on health care, and trade,” Kucinich said in a statement released by his campaign. “This is an opportunity for people to stand up for themselves. But in those caucus locations where my support doesn't reach the necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change.”

With Obama competing with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards for every vote, Kucinich’s support could potentially be critical in Thursday night’s caucuses.

Kucinich did not fully endorse Obama, and said this statement only pertains to the Iowa caucuses, and only if he does not reach viability on the first ballot Thursday.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Ted

    Obama's going to need more than a 1% boost if he plans to win this thing, Dennis.

    January 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. xtina chicago IL

    Since when did "standing up for yourself" mean the same thing as the government ripping us off for more taxes ? After all, that's what Democrats will do is simply raise taxes to pay for more "social programs" for able-bodied people who don't particularly care to work.

    January 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Rob

    Bet he has been seeking that endorsement. The extra 2 votes will put him over the top.

    January 1, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Jim

    Awesome.

    Obama '08

    January 1, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Sérgio, Porto, Portugal

    Obama 08!

    If Iowa becomes a reality...he will build some momentum......

    January 1, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Nando,Florida

    you see this is why OBAMA will win in Iowa because the CNN spin won't prevail and you highness Hillary is in her palace crying on SLICKS shoulder .

    OBAMA 08,12

    January 1, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Phil Memphis, TN

    Why not just drop out fo the race if you are going to make concession speeches endorsing another candidate? I am not sure if this is a plus or minus for Obama.

    January 1, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Bravo Dennis !

    January 1, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Mark Billingsley, Sacramento, Calif.

    Kucinich knows that in few caucuses will he be viable, so this is as close to an endorsement as he can give short of "I'm ending my candidacy now go vote for Obama." I understand he won't even be in Iowa on Thursday instead he'll focus on New Hampshire where his state coordinator just stepped down for "personal reasons."

    January 1, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Vincent, Tamaqua, Pa

    If Barack Obama is our nominee I will be voting republican in 2008.

    January 1, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. will

    Mr. Dennis is very smart man.
    Mr. Barack is the best chance for America.

    January 1, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. AlwaysforHillary, NYC

    I always thought Kucinich was a JERK and now I know it is a FACT!!!

    If people have any common sense, they will vote for HILLARY CLINTON!!!! SHE IS THE MOST QUALIFIED, EXPERIENCED AND INTELLIGENT CANDIDATE. SHE HAS THE STRENGTH AND WISDOM TO LEAD THIS COUNTRY BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK!!

    HILLARY CLINTON IS BATTLE TESTED AND WILL BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN ALL THE ATTACKS BY THE REPUBLICAN ATTACK MACHINE!!!

    OBAMA WOULD NEVER STAND UP FROM THE REPULBICAN ATTACKS AND THERE IS NO WAY HE COULD EVER WIN THE GENERAL ELECTION!!!

    January 1, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Adam Smith

    If Kucinich is not viable vote for John Edwards. He is my personal favorite and the only one who will take on corporate greed and fight for the middle class.

    January 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. John Hancock

    Dont vote for Obama vote for Edwards. He will take on the big multinaltional corporations who are destroying the American dream for the middle class.

    January 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  15. rdierker

    Dennis, you ROCK! Thank you Thank you Thanks You. I always knew you were awesome!!!

    January 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. oneworldcommunity

    Thanks Dennis!! We appreciate your support! Maybe we can give you an ambassadorship or something... Of course, your wife can be in the cabinet – she is brilliant!

    "Let's Go Change the World!!" ~ Barack Obama

    January 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    I'm very surprised he didn't choose Edwards

    January 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Joe, Cleveland, Ohio

    Well, that's 3 more votes for Obama.

    January 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    This is nice news for the Obama campaign and hopefully many of the Kucinich supporters and other nonviable candidate supporters will caucus for Barack Obama. I have been very impressed with Obama's ability to run a remarkably well-organized and well-funded campaign. Clinton has so much backing from the Washington insiders and corporate/lobbyist fund raisers it is no surprise that the news media annointed her as unbeatable. Edwards has campaigned so long and so hard in Iowa, that he would be difficult even for Clinton to beat. And yet Obama, through political skill, has shown the organizational and leadership skills to put him in contention against all odds.

    Only 4% of people actually choose to inform themselves and make up their own minds. Go to the campaign web sites and learn about the candidates. Learn about their stands on the issues. As people educate themselves about the candidates I am very confident they will be more and more confident that Barack Obama will make an outstanding president.

    January 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. JayKay

    It's disappointing that a candidate with such a great progressive background would choose to back Obama, who is nothing more than a blander version of Hillary. John Edwards' message is more in keeping with the progressive campaign of Kucinich. Vote Edwards, Iowa caucus goers!!!

    January 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Surrealist, Fort Myers, Fl

    This is a joke...from "the joke".

    Nobody took his campaign seriously, does he really believe anyone will take his endorsement seriously???

    Fact is. Out of all the candidates running..the only "new" ideas and the passion, record, and persistence to try to make the changes-is John Edwards.

    Obama...is catering to everyone...Clinton is business as usual, just new management.

    The only genuine article representing any partiy right now is John Edwards. He has the grassroot support from many the "majority" of Americans whose voices have been completely left out of the Washington convsersation for more than 20 years. It's time for change...and John Edwards can lead it.

    Let's return to majority rule...not the rule of the elitist's and the wealthy. But a real place at the table for the working men and women who have seen their quality of life deteriorating–while the broken promises have continued.

    As a career military veteran–I served under six Presidents–Edwards is the most genuine item I've seen in over 30 years of voting. He can turn our nation into a positive and new direction–that will be consistent with our leadership on the planet–and our status as a benchmark for the rest of the world.

    Elect Edwards–let's have a President who represents every American and every corporate entity–fairly, with an agenda to improve quality of life!!!

    Lead the charge–vote Edwards!

    January 1, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Udonkuku

    Dennis you're a class act, it's quite unfortunate you weren't given equal opportunities to demonstrate your stance. Thanks for supporting Obama

    January 1, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    Dennis realizes Barack IS THE ONLY OTHER CANDIDATE that predicted disaster in Iraq.

    And Dennis realizes Barack can roll to victory next November.

    And Dennis was right about Iraq too!

    January 1, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Gobama, NY, NY

    "Kucinich did not fully endorse Obama"
    Ha ha!

    The pro-war media morons here are trying to state, and then deceptively brush aside a congressional ENDORSEMENT OF OBAMA, which their preferred candidate(s) did not manage to get. LOL

    January 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. Kevin,FL

    HAHAH Kucinich is still in this race – Clinton 08

    January 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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