Kucinich withdraws from Presidential race
In a speech delivered in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich delivered an impassioned speech that said, in part:
"I deeply and sincerely believe that we fought the good fight – in large part because of the support from all of you here and from hundreds of thousands of people just like you all across this country. I stood strong because you gave me strength. I spoke out because your voices needed and deserved to be heard. And I told the truth, no matter how unpopular or inconvenient, because, no matter how long it takes, the truth really will set us free."
"I won't be President, but I can continue to fight for these important issues as a Congressman..."
This campaign began more than a year ago when I saw that leaders in Washington, many in my own party, were intent on continuing a war, a war that has cost the lives of more than 4,000 of our brave young men and women and 1 million innocent Iraqis. A war that will cost this nation 2 trillion dollars and a war that has already cost our Cleveland community over a billion dollars.
At the same time, I saw that the American economy was headed for serious trouble. People were losing their jobs, their health care, their homes, their retirement security. Not just here in Cleveland, but all across the country. And the solutions to those problems don’t reside here in Cleveland. They were created and facilitated by people and policies in Washington D.C. – in the White House, in the U.S. Congress – and on Wall Street.
That’s why I ran for President in the first place: to give those issues the national attention they deserved and to do my best to win the nomination and bring a totally new perspective and a totally new direction to the Office of President of the United States of America.
I deeply and sincerely believe that we fought the good fight – in large part because of the support from all of you here and from hundreds of thousands of people just like you all across this country. I stood strong because you gave me strength. I spoke out because your voices needed and deserved to be heard. And I told the truth, no matter how unpopular or inconvenient, because, no matter how long it takes, the truth really will set us free.
I won't be President, but I can continue to fight for these important issues as a Congressman, representing the community that is first in my heart, Cleveland, Ohio: issues like the economic rights of people, jobs for all, health care for all, retirement security for all, and social justice for all.
I have put proposals before the Congress to create jobs. I have put proposals before the Congress to create health care for all. I have put proposals before the Congress to create universal pre-kindergarten -- all things which my district, and many districts like it across this country, need so desperately.
Instead, we asked for jobs, we get war. We asked for health care, we get war. We asked for funds for education, we get war. We ask for a clean environment, we get war. It is time to end this war. It is time to end war as an instrument of policy and have the government start taking care of things here at home. In Cleveland. And in places everywhere just like Cleveland.
The physical health of our nation is declining. Here in Cleveland you can see people suffering everywhere because they have no health care. Across Ohio there are 1 million people who have no health insurance. Either because they can’t afford it or because they lost their job, or because they have a pre-existing condition. It is time to have a single payer, not for profit health care system. I am the co-author of the bill, HR 676, and this single idea of a single-payer system would be the key economic stimulus that could both save and create millions of jobs while restoring the health of our nation.
We are losing our nation to a war based on lies, to destruction of our civil liberties and to massive debt. I tried to get these themes into the debates. But I was locked out of six debates. In each and every early primary state, in Iowa, in New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and California, the American people were denied an opportunity to know that there is a way our of Iraq, there are plans to restore our economy, there is a practical health care plan which means the end of premiums, co-pays and deductibles. But there was no way to get the message out. Workers here know about lockouts. They stop you from being heard.
But workers also know that the fight for economic rights is not about a single day, or a single year, or a single campaign, or a single candidate. It is a lifelong endeavor.
So today, we are re-committing our energies to a government that works for all of us and is open to all of us. A government that stands for economic strength through peace. A government that stands for jobs, for health care, for education. A government that stands for truth, for civil liberties, and for our Constitution. And it starts again today in Cleveland, Ohio in the heart of America.
From our efforts in Cleveland and around this great country, we're creating a new force to be reckoned with, a force that will be made up of people, ideas, new technologies and the kind of patriotic verve that has no place for cowardice or compromise. I have been called the Conscience of the Democratic Party. Our efforts will involve a call to conscience. A call to integrity.
To those who supported this campaign with their energies and with their hearts, I want you to know that we are transitioning the Presidential campaign into a national movement based on integrity and based on practical ways in which we can affect policies at local and national levels. I am no longer running for President, but I am intent on saving our nation from the destruction of our economic hopes and from the destruction of our Constitution.
And all of the energies of all of the people who have been involved in this campaign will be transitioned into a new, national effort to regain control of our government, which seems more and more inaccessible. We are calling that effort “Integrity Now”, and there is a website – www.integritynow.org -- where we can begin to channel all of that enthusiasm and that commitment from people just like you, and just like me, so we can take positive steps to do what we know is right and in the best interests of this nation.
So let us begin again, here, today, in Cleveland, Ohio, with a renewed effort to be of service to our community and to our nation. Let us re-focus on what we can do and what we must do, here at home, in Washington, and all across this country to end the war, rebuild this nation, restore truth and justice and integrity to our government. Let’s make the American dream more than a dream. Let’s make it a reality.