CLEVELAND - Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich said today that he welcomes the move to an earlier primary election in California because it will give voters a better opportunity to examine the positions of all the candidates. Kucinich said he is already actively campaigning in California, and has numerous events planned in the state over the next few months.
"All of America will be paying close attention to the early contests because that's when they can see the real differences between all the candidates." Kucinich said. "California's decision to move its primary provides even greater opportunity for our campaign to bring our message of peace and prosperity before the American public."
The Ohio Congressman said he will be "crisscrossing this great country" to make sure that by the time the first caucuses and primaries are held, Americans from New Hampshire to California will know the "real differences" between candidates on issues such as the Iraq war, health care and the restoration of American jobs. Even before the California primary was moved up, Kucinich was already scheduled to be in the state on March 24, March 31, April 28, and May 4 and 5. Additional visits are being planned.
Kucinich is the only presidential candidate who has voted against the 2002 authorization of the Iraq war and every war funding measure since. He has also sponsored legislation in Congress to bring it to a prompt end. His bill, HR 1234, was introduced last month.
He said he would also continue to campaign for a national, not-for-profit health care system, a position that puts him at odds with not only the other Democratic candidates, but also with the position of the Democratic Party, which wants to continue to allow insurance companies to dominate the health care business. Kucinich is a co-sponsor of HR 676, which would provide not- for-profit universal health care.
And Kucinich said he will continue to advocate that the United States withdraw from NAFTA and other trade deals which have resulted in the loss of millions of U.S. jobs. No other Democratic candidate has taken that position.
"My opponents talk about 'fixing' NAFTA and WTO," Kucinich said, "when they know -- but won't admit -- these treaties can't be fixed. American workers understand we need to start over if we want fair trade that protects our jobs here at home, as well as protects workers' rights and environmental quality around the world."