January 1st, 2008
04:00 PM ET
9 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. Al in Wpg

    xtina, you should work for the fox network. Got a war to sell?

    January 2, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    From one kook to another!

    January 2, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Helen

    He must have seen another UFO

    January 2, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  4. al, San Francisco, CA

    WOW! His endorsment amounts to less than 1% of Iowa votes, and not even one delegate out of the 45 delegate available in Iowa based on the proportional delegate distribution for all competing delegates, and there are about 2500 delegates for the party nomination.

    January 2, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Amy Phoenix, AZ

    Dear Anne the Breadbasket:

    My dear, you really should go back and study your history a little better. Johnson inherited Vietnam from JFK because JFK inherited it from Eisenhower. U.S. involvement in Vietnam dates all the way back to the end of WWII. Heck, we had people in Vietnam during the Korean War. Where do you think Ho Chi Minh first got his weapons to arm his followers? They were our stock piles that we left in that region after WWII!!!

    And why would you think to criticize new generations who want to elicit change in our government and world just because previous generations have done the same?! Obviously the change that has been so sought after for all these years has never stuck. As the years go by more and more people have become apathetic towards politics and the government. Instead of criticizing this cry for change from the younger generations perhaps we should nurture it. In so doing, we may just be able to convince more of the young people in this country to break free from their apathy and pay attention to our government and politics!!!

    Now, to turn to Kucinich, it is a shame that this man was not given equal press coverage during the campaign. Kucinich is the kind of person we need as our President. Unfortunately, however, he was railroaded out of the spotlight because his ideas and beliefs are too dangerous for those already in power. I wish him luck and hope that he can remain in the race if for no other reason than to ask the tough questions that need to be asked. As for his endorsement of Obama, I have to agree. After Kucinich, Obama is the only other candidate capable of creating change in our world. Perhaps there will be an Obama/Kucinich ticket in the future?!

    January 2, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Marti, FL

    Gee xtina,

    Did Rush Limbaugh teach you to say those things? How original (hardly). Should we cut more taxes for the wealthiest 1% during a time of war? Forget about the record deficits created by the Republican majority and let our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. pay for it, right? Right? That is sadly the type of rhetoric we have come to expect from talk radio followers. It is a cowardly way to approach governing during a time of war and a country in need.

    Bush had this nation ready to do whatever possible after 9/11 to retaliate against those who attacked us. I believe that would have included a financial commitment from our citizens at home to truly support our troops abroad. Did your Republicans do that? NO, they cut taxes for the wealthiest citizens, who do not need it, with zero efforts to replenish the funds other than borrowing the money from a communist country. If that is your side's definition of "experience," you can keep it. It is one of the primary reasons I left what has become the farce of the Republican Party. In fact, I will take the insight of Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Biden, etc. any day over that.

    January 2, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. George

    Vote for Hillary ! 2008 Hillary!

    Hillary has a reputation of workhorse in senate.

    How about Obama? just eloquent. no credit for doing a real things. you vote for this kind of person?

    January 2, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Roy

    Folks you need to hear yourselves here, whatever happens, happens, Just remember that the last elections polls were so wrong. We need to concentrate on the canidates and not the media and the hate blogs. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!

    May the best canidate wins.

    January 2, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. anthony

    I love the Edwards supporters, your "middle class hero" is just another pampered politician that is out of touch with reality and trying to establish himself to the far left just because it will get him more votes than his positions in '04. If there are two Americas like John says, he falls into the "filthy rich corporate slob" category. John Edwards is a trendy politician that will do anything for a vote similar to Hillary Clinton. Now to the Kucinich's Obama support. This is about as important as an endorsement from Bill O'Reilly.

    January 2, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Amanda Orlando, FL

    I really love how people criticize candidates for being stupid, or incompetent, or "rediculous" with run-on sentences, poor grammar, and terrible spelling.

    Please make sure YOU don't look stupid while you're calling someone else stupid. It completely guts your argument and only makes supporters of YOUR candidate look unintelligent. Keep in mind that by posting comments in support of any candidate that sound careless and uneducated do not bolster that candidates image.


    Thanks so much.

    January 2, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Ginny, Byron, CA

    Oh, Dennis, Dennis, Dennis: why would you say something like this? I know you don't want Republicans running the country for another 4, possibly 8 years. (An absolute given if Obama becomes the nominee.) And the reason you gave, that he, like you, represents change.? I truly believe you have positive agenda and detailed plans for positive change, but Obama? Nothing there but empty rhetoric. Obama talks "change" but has never articulated any change that wasn't a warmed-up version of other candidates specific outlines of change they intend to implement.. Talking "change" without clear-cut plans for specific change doesn't mean a thing. It's simply a catch phrase that Obama is repeating over and over, ad nauseum, without anything to back up those empty words.

    January 2, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Eric, MD

    GreyWolf, you need to get YOUR facts straight.

    Carter was NEVER in Command of a nuclear submarine. He QUALIFIED for command of a diesel submarine. Every officer on the boat qualifies for command, in the event he needs to assume command, BIG DIFFERENCE. Carter did qualify to be an engineering officer on a nuclear powered submarine. Are you confusing a Nuclear powered submarine with Ballistic Missile submarine? SSBN's were not in the fleet until 1957, four years after Carter's resignation from the Navy.

    Regardless, countless Naval Officers have commanded boats and ships, many more junior officers have led similar sized units in no less important positions in Marine Corps, Army and Navy. Does this qualify every one of those officers as leader of the free-world? If so, I thank you for your endorsement.

    January 2, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Bob

    Why Obama and not Edwards?
    Edwards is more aligned with Kucinich.
    Obama seems full of passion but his rhetoric is empty and sometimes plain wrong.
    Edwards has passion and gets specific, Edwards is the only one who talks about getting rid of corporate control of the legislative process. Almost makes me think Kucinich is being used as a pawn here by corporate interests somehow.
    I don't get it at all.
    Vote John Edwards !

    January 2, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. demos

    (CNN) ++> Clinton News Network

    I have watched the situation room yesterday and CNN did everything to avoid the Demoine Register Polls for the democratic side but choose to show the demoine register poll for the Republican side.

    If Dennis were backing Clinton it would have been the head line.

    These are the same people who promoted the war without asking the tough questions.

    At some point the people will reclaim the power.

    Obama 08.

    January 2, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Brady Sebring

    I don't like Hillary, but to listen to Obama's speech is just too hard to me. I once tried to listen what he had to say, and all was left in my mind after 20 minutes was his lazy face. I don't want to be mean, but what kind talents or ideas does he really have? Are his ideas originated from Edwards? He takes money from lobbyists and voted for funding the continuing war in Iraq, and his speech is so boring that it always gives you an impression that he probably needs a dose of marijuana! Come on, Barbara Lee is more likable and talks much fluent than Obama does.

    If you really want a Black President this time, Barbara Lee is a better choice!

    January 3, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Clabber_grrl

    Never underestimate the racism of the American electorate.

    Vincent, Tamaqua, Pa January 1, 2008 4:56 pm ET

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

    January 3, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  17. Aimee

    Unfortunately this looks like nothing more than positioning for who he thinks will win; John Edwards is the only true progressive among the top three candidates – his fight is for what is right. Kucinich has sold out, as has Richardson who rumor has it has also told his people to support Obama if he doesn't make it in Iowa – but who as a clean energy advocate should be encouraging his supporters to go for Edwards, not Obama who caved to dirty coal long ago. It smacks of opportunism, not about what is best for his supporters.

    January 3, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. Gane

    Senator Edwards, I would NOT vote for you because you are making your case only on of the expense of Hilary Clinton.

    Gentleman?! What is it? On the debate you ware like a Hyena over her, before her suit... Is that a simple jealousy lire most of American women (surprise for me, even Pakistanis are more advance in this meter and Bhutto was killed from her enemies).

    Second, do you deny that "Clinton's machine" work peaty well for americans for 8 years ?

    It is partly your fault. Why didn't you win the Election in 2000? Now you are blaming Hilary that America is really in a big ...

    You still play your ego agenda, Sur! Obama will be chewed and spit from Republicans, because he has not very much to offer then word "Change" (He sounds to me like those communist leaders who had been feeding the people only with nice word and hopes of future almost heavenly life; UTOPIA, eh , worked for some period).

    Americans , please, just do not compare him with JFK.

    If you really are talking from your heard, it is not late you to make some REAL CHANGE- make sure Democrat to be in the Oval office this time even that is not you.

    As I rite on a CNN goes a Braking New about Iranians? I imagine Senator Obama in the Oval office with pence full of..

    Wake up Americans, it is very serious , do not blow it again!

    January 7, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  19. Dirk

    OBAMA / KUCINICH 2008 ! Thats the team !

    January 8, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  20. Gar MacDonald

    I hope the Kucnich endorses Obama that will give Clinton a big lift, but not as big a lift as a UFO.

    January 11, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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