Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Visible Vote '08 -- Dennis Kucinich

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is up next, and moderator Margaret Carlson said "they really like you here on the left coast." Kucinich replied, "actually I represent mainstream America here."

Jonathan Capehart began the questioning by saying: "Rep. Kucinich it seems that you are for everything the gay community wants. I took a look at the HRC questionnaire and [it said] support, support, support, support ... so is there anything that the LGBT community wants that you are against?" [long pause] ... "there's got to be something."

Kucinich responded by saying: "All I can say is keep those contributions coming and you'll have the president that you want."

Capehart: "I'll take that as a no."

Capehart then asked why Kucinich was one of only two candidates who supports same-sex marriage.

Kucinich said that when people love each other they must have a way to express that, that is meaningful. To him, it isn't even a question. "I stand for real equality."

"When you recognize a journey of courage, as so many of you have followed, of course you want to exemplify that."

Melissa Ethridge just said that she was asked not to fawn over Kucinich, but that it was "really, really hard not to." She said, "I hope you always run for president until you are elected. I really, really do."

Kucinich then mentioned that he was elected to Congress on his fifth try.

Carlson said that "it may take you five times to get elected, because you are further out there than most people, I mean most Democrats. I'm wondering, how are you going to get elected president?"

Kucinich: "Let me tell you why I am the candidate right in the center of the aspirations of the American peoples hopes and dreams. I led the effort in the House of Representatives five years ago in challenging the administrations march to war against Iraq. No other candidate in this race can say that, nor can they say that they voted against the war and or voted against funding for the war consistently. The rest of the country has come my direction on that. I took the stand when it was really unpopular to do so. Being president of the United States means that you have to do the right thing the first time. And it means that when you're talking civil liberties, marriage equality, employment non-discrimination ... when you're talking about standing for peoples rights to be who they are, without fear of being attacked ... you're talking about something that is really essentially American. And so I'm in the center of all those discussions.

My candidacy for president is not only transforming the rights, but I want you to understand how it will transform this nation when you have a president who cannot be bought or bossed. Who has the willingness to stand up and speak out, when others would be silent. Who can challenge war. Who can challenge corruption, because my heart is clean. Because I have the ability to see, to pierce that veil of falsehood which covers so much of our country today. I see the world as one ... I see the world as interconnected ... anything that separates any of us needs to be looked at, and we need to find ways of discussing the imperative of human unity. But not just discussing it. It's one thing to talk about it, it's another thing to act from that understanding and awareness. And that's what I'm prepared to do as the next president of the United States -- elected in 2008."

Following a question from the audience regarding HIV/AIDS, Kucinich then talked about his plan for universal heathcare.

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