Kucinich quits presidential race


Dennis Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich

Democratic presidential hopeful, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, speaks during the Heartland Presidential Forum in this Dec. 1, 2007, photo.

The Associated Press
Published: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 9:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 9:47 a.m.

CLEVELAND - Democrat Dennis Kucinich, whose second White House bid yielded only tepid support, now faces a fight to keep his job in Congress.

Kucinich scheduled a news conference for noon Friday to announce plans for "transitioning out" of the Democratic presidential primary race, according to a brief news release.

His decision was revealed in an interview Thursday with The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The six-term House member got only 1 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary and was shut out in the Iowa caucuses.

"There is a point at which you just realize that you, look, you accept it, that it isn't going to happen and you move on," Kucinich told the newspaper.

Kucinich, 61, is facing four challengers in the Democratic congressional primary March 4, and earlier this week he made an urgent appeal for money for his re-election. Rival Joe Cimperman has been critical of Kucinich for focusing too much time outside of his district while campaigning for president.

Kucinich told the paper he would not endorse another Democrat in the primary. He did not return the AP's calls for comment.

The Ohio congressman brought the same sense of idealism to his second run for president as he did in his first bid four years ago. He said he entered the race again because the Democratic Party wasn't pushing hard enough to end the Iraq war. His candidacy was supported by many Hollywood celebrities, including actor Sean Penn.

During his tenure in Congress, Kucinich has been one of the most outspoken liberals, opposing international trade agreements like the North America Free Trade Agreement and marching with protesters in Seattle during a meeting of the World Trade Organization.

As a presidential candidate, he has proposed a Department of Peace, backed universal health care and supported gay marriage. He also pushed for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

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