WASHINGTON (CNN) - Rep. Dennis Kucinich will announce he is abandoning his long shot bid for the White House in a news conference Friday, his campaign confirms to CNN.
In an interview with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer earlier Thursday, the Ohio Democrat said he plans on “transitioning out of the Democratic Presidential primary race" to focus on a "new direction."
His spokesman tells CNN the former presidential candidate is now gearing up for his congressional re-election campaign. Kucinich faces four candidates in a Democratic primary for his seat on March 4, and has faced criticism for devoting much of his attention to running for president.
In his interview with the Plain-Dealer, Kucinich said he will give a much lengthier statement Friday.
This was Kucinich's second bid for the White House - he first ran in 2004. The latest CNN Poll showed him drawing 3 percent of support among registered Democrats nationally.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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
Rep. Dennis Kucinich.
(CNN) - Perry Kucinich, brother of Democratic presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, was found dead Wednesday morning at his eastside Cleveland home, officials said.
His body was discovered by another brother, Larry, in his apartment about 9 a.m., a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County Coroner told CNN.
Powell Caesar said the cause of the 51-year-old man's death won't be known until the results of the autopsy are returned. But, Caesar said, the body did not show injuries and there appeared to be no signs of foul play.
Dennis Kucinich said in a statement that his brother struggled with mental illness but led a productive life. The congressman and his wife were flying in to Cleveland later Wednesday.
"He was a genius. He had extraordinary insights," he said.
Perry Kucinich was an artist whose work had recently been on display at a local art gallery, the statement added. He was expected to have another showing
of his art in the spring.
He was the fifth of seven children in the Kucinich family, with brother Dennis being the oldest.
"Dennis was very close to his brother Perry," said family spokesman Andy Juniewicz in the same statement "He watched after him, and he loved him dearly. The two spoke nearly every day."
Funeral services are pending.
Clinton was unable to travel into Iowa on Saturday for a pair of events with her fellow Democratic rivals.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)–An audience of progressive activists booed Senator Hillary Clinton today during an exchange on immigration reform. At the Heartland Community Values Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, Clinton was asked whether “giv(ing) undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship” would be a priority in her first hundred days as President. Clinton told the audience "comprehensive immigration reform will be a high priority for me.” That response elicited boos – and no applause.
Asked again whether she’d take up the issue in her first hundred days she said,“Well you’ve got to get the Congress to pass the legislation in order for the President to do as much as possible, which I will do.” That was met by still more loud boos.
Clinton was taking part in the Forum by telephone - she had been grounded in New Hampshire after her last minute trip there Friday night. The event’s moderator told CNN she believes Clinton was hurt by her distance, more than the substance of her answer. “She gave a boilerplate response, when the audience wanted a conversation, a dialogue,” says Cathy Hughes, the moderator and Chairperson of Radio One and TV One. “She didn’t have a feel for the room. One of the advantages of being here in person you can feel the emotional energy.” After one of speakers attending the Forum told an emotional personal story, a voice that sounded like Clinton's could be heard saying “Can you hear me?”
Comments by John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama – who were present -were received with loud applause.
-CNN Congressional Correspondent Jessica Yellin
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said Saturday he has "concerns" over how the Iowa Democratic Party handles their first-in-the-nation caucus, adding that those involved in the process play "inside baseball."
"[The party] has done the people of Iowa a disservice by trying to rig the debate," Kucinich said. "I have some concerns about the process here. It's more insular than many other states."
Kucinich, attending the Heartland Community Values Forum in Des Moines, was asked by reporters whether or not he will be campaigning any more in Iowa leading up to the caucus on January 3.
"I'm here [now]," he told CNN. "I mean let's talk about some things that are apparent. I'm here. "
Kucinich added that there are other states he has to "give some love to, as well."
Asked what he meant by his claim that the state's Democratic party has "rigged the debate," Kucinich responded, "I'm not going to say anything else about it.
An Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman declined to comment.
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich criticized fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware, Tuesday for selectively quoting his rivals in a campaign ad he dubbed an "approving/adoring love-fest."
The spot includes footage of most of the rest of the field praising Biden. In a written release, Kucinich attacked the senator for "deliberately" leaving him out of the commercial because he "doesn't walk their line."
"If voters are dissatisfied with the Biden tweedle-dums and tweedle-dees, they should vote for someone who represents their beliefs and their values," said the statement released by the Kucinich campaign. "Not someone who says, 'I agree with Joe.' Dennis doesn't agree with Joe. Or Hillary. Or Barack. Or John. Or Chris. Or Bill."
- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
CNN released a poll Tuesday about the Democratic presidential race in the Granite State.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead among Democratic presidential contenders in New Hampshire has narrowed over the past two months, while New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson bounced back to the low double digits in a CNN/WMUR poll released Tuesday.
With about two months left before the New Hampshire primaries, Clinton topped the list of Democratic nominees with 36 percent support - down from 43 percent in a September survey. But nearly 70 percent of those polled believe the New York senator will eventually become the party's presidential nominee.
Sen. Barack Obama placed second at 22 percent, while former Sen. John Edwards drew 13 percent - little changed from September, when Obama rated 20 percent support and Edwards, 12.
But Richardson saw his support recover from a September dip, bouncing back to 12 percent from 6 percent. CNN/WMUR polls in June and July put the former U.N. ambassador and energy secretary at 11 percent.
Pollsters quizzed 389 likely Democratic voters for the survey, which was conducted Wednesday through Sunday by the University of New Hampshire. The poll has a sampling error of 5 percentage points.
Rep. Kucinich distinguished himself from the rest of the Democratic field when it came to the Patriot Act.
(CNN) - When debate moderator Wolf Blitzer told Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, that he was the only person at the Democratic debate who had a chance to vote on the Patriot Act and voted agaist it, Kucinich said, "That's because I read it."
Outlining the votes that some of his fellow Democratic candidates cast and then later changed position on, Kucinich went on to say, "Imagine what it will be like to have a president of the United States who's right the first time. Just imagine."
Kucinich's allegations prompted New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to later tell Kucinich to stop including him with the other candidates when criticizing votes they had made.
"By the way, Dennis, stop including me in all these votes," Richardson said. "I'm a governor, I'm in New Mexico. I'm not in Washington."
- CNN Political Producer Xuan Thai
Rep. Kucinich took issue with John Edwards' record on trade.
(CNN) - Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio took a direct shot at fellow White House hopeful former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina at Thursday's CNN Democratic presidential debate.
"In the last debate, Hillary Clinton was criticized by John Edwards for some trade-related issue," said Kucinich. "But the fact of the matter is, John, you voted for China trade understanding that workers were going to be hurt. Now, you're a trial lawyer, you knew better."
When given the chance to respond, Edwards said, "I'm not sure what being a trial lawyer has to do with it."
Kucinich quickly shot back "product liability."
"Cute," Edwards responded before emphasizing the need to stop big corporations from lobbying the federal government.
- CNN Political Producer Xuan Thai
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the Democratic presidential candidates fought for the top spot during the CNN debate Thursday night, they did agree on one thing: Bring the troops home from Iraq.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio criticized his congressional colleagues for failing to end combat in Iraq and said he was the only candidate on stage to oppose the war from the start.
"They should tell President Bush, we're not going to give you another dime," Kucinich said. "We're not putting a bill on the floor. Bring 'em home now."
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said the current strategy has failed and it's time to concentrate on diplomacy with leaders in Iraq and throughout the region.
"That's why I'm going to bring this war to a close, that's why we can get our combat troops out within 16 months, that's why we have to initiate the kind of regional diplomacy - not just talking to our friends, but talking to our enemies," Obama said.
Related video: Kucinich: Bring troops home
- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich