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..."
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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.
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.
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
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