Dennis Kucinich

American politician (born 1946)

Dennis John Kucinich (born 8 October 1946) is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008. He ran for governor of Ohio in the 2018 election, losing in the primary to Richard Cordray.

Dennis Kucinich in 2010


  • Once again the hopes of people of two nations are being smashed by weapons in the name of eliminating weapons. Let us abolish weapons of mass destruction at home. Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Hunger is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction. Discrimination is a weapon of mass destruction.
    • "Peace as a Civil Right" from A Prayer for America (2003) [Nation Books, ISBN 1-56025-510-2], p. 76
  • This is a struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party, which in too many cases has become so corporate and identified with corporate interests that you can't tell the difference between Democrats and Republicans.
    • Interview with Judy Woodruff, Inside Politics, CNN (17 February 2003) [1].
  • The scriptures bid us to send forth our light and our truth and when children carry within their hearts the torch of hope, they learn the darkness yields not only to man-made fire, but to starlight, to the rising sun, and to the light of the soul.
    • Speech, Cleveland City Council (13 October 2003) [2].
  • I am running for President of the United States to enable the goddess of peace to encircle within her reach all the children of this country and all the children of the world.
    • Speech, Cleveland City Council (13 October 2003)
  • America stands strongest in challenging terrorism when we do not give up an inch of our civil liberties.
    • Speech, Cleveland City Council (13 October 2003)
  • You're looking at a guy who believes he can beat a rigged game.
    • Interview with Will Dana, Rolling Stone (22 October 2003) [3].
  • With the capture of Saddam Hussein the Administration's stated goal of removing him from power has been accomplished. Now the focus must be on ending the occupation. International law must be followed and Saddam Hussein must be held accountable for his actions.

    The United States must seize this moment and end the occupation of Iraq. The United States must reach out to the world community with a new plan to stabilize Iraq, bring UN peacekeepers in, and bring US troops home.

    • Official press release, Washington, D.C. (14 December 2003), printed on Kucinich's website [4].
  • He (George W. Bush) is going in the wrong way. And I dare say, that is what the strategy of his administration is, is just to wipe out government's purpose for any social and economic justice at all.
    • Democratic National Candidates Debate, Goffstown, New Hampshire (22 January 2004) [5].
  • I believe sincerely that we should bring in U.N. peacekeepers and bring our troops home.
    • Democratic National Candidates Debate, Goffstown, New Hampshire (22 January 2004)
  • I took the position of organizing 126 Democrats who voted against the Iraq war resolution. And I happen to think it was the right position.

    Today we're faced with over 500 casualties, a cost of over $200 billion, and it could rise — the casualties could go into the thousands and the costs could go over a half trillion if we stay there for years, as a number of people on this stage intend to see happen.

    • Democratic National Candidates Debate, Goffstown, New Hampshire (22 January 2004)
  • I hold in my heart that rebellious spirit of youth that demands change.
    • Speech, University of Manchester, Manchester, New Hampshire (27 January 2004) [6].
  • Almost half of the bankruptcies in the United States are connected to an illness in the family, whether people had health insurance or not. Middle-class Americans, who had the misfortune of either experiencing a medical emergency themselves or watching a family member suffer, were then forced to face the daunting task of pulling themselves out of debt. Bankruptcy law has allowed them to start over. It has given hope. Now this new law will put people on their own. Illness or emergency creates medical bills. We are telling the people that they themselves are to blame. At the same time, we are removing protections that would stay an eviction, that would keep a roof over the head of a working family. We allow the credit industry to trick consumers into using subprime cards, with exorbitant interest rate hikes and fees. Then we hand those same consumers over to an unforgiving prison of debt, to be put on a rack of insolvency and squeezed dry by the credit card industry. We are protecting the profits of the credit card industry instead of protecting the economic future of the American people. Americans are left on their own. That's what this Administration's "Ownership Society" is all about — you're on your own — and your ship is sinking.
    • Speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressional Record (14 April, 2005) [7].
  • The administration, through senior Air Force officials, wants the U.S. to achieve military supremacy in outer space. Dominating all earth from outer space will have an out-of-world price tag, perhaps more than $1 trillion.

    A question: Why reach for the stars with guns in our hands? Are there weapons of mass destruction on Mars?

    Yesterday 28 Members of Congress signed on to H.R. 2420, a bill to stop the weaponization of space, urging the President to sign an international treaty to ban such weapons. If we work together towards creating peace on earth, we would not bring war to the high heavens.

    While some fantasize about being "masters of the universe," there are 45 million Americans without health insurance. Corporations are reneging on pension obligations. Social Security is under attack. We are headed towards a $400 billion annual budget deficit, a $600 billion trade deficit, an $8 trillion national debt. The cost of the war in Iraq is over $200 billion. While we build new bases in Iraq, we close them in the United States.

    Earth to Washington, D.C. Earth to Washington, D.C. D.C., call home.

    • Speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressional Record (19 May 2005) [8].
  • The PATRIOT Act allows Federal agents to look at public and university library patron circulation records, books checked out, magazines consulted, all subject to government scrutiny.

    There used to be a time in this country when we were worried whether our young people knew how to read. Now some in our government are more worried that government agents be able to find out what people are reading.

    • Speech from the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressional Record (15 June 2005) [9].
  • Our amendment earmarks $10 million out of the account called Army Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. The money would go to a research program administered by the Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in the DoD, for identifying the biological mechanisms behind the illnesses — particularly the neurological and immunological ones; the chronic disease effects; better diagnostic criteria for the illnesses; and identification of treatments. The MRMC will design a research plan for that purpose, relying heavily on the expertise outside DoD and the VA. It will be subject to peer review by experts, a significant number of which will be independent of DoD.

    $10 million will have a large impact on veterans who rely on the government to take care of them after they have taken care of us.

    I urge my colleagues to support the Kucinich-Shays-Sanders amendment. Vote 'yes' to restore research funding for Gulf War Illnesses.

    • Speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressional Record (20 June, 2005) [10].
  • The center has shifted in our politics. I'm really at the center. And all the other candidates are to the right of me.
    • Quoted in Alyssa Kim, "Kucinich Campaigns for Peace," (August 12, 2007). Kucinich was speaking on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC News (August 12, 2007)
  • I think we have to get rid of nuclear weapons. The idea that somehow by having nuclear weapons you make the world a safer place is essentially insane.
    • Quoted in Alyssa Kim, "Kucinich Campaigns for Peace" (August 12, 2007). Kucinich was speaking on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, ABC News (August 12, 2007)
  • I’ve been a vegan now since 1995, that would be more than 14 years, and as a result I’ve had tremendous health… great energy, clarity — I’ve had the ability to connect my dietary choices with my health. I had Crohn’s growing up and I had a pretty serious bout with it throughout my thirties and forties. When I changed my diet, the symptoms began to disappear. And I started to understand also how the choice of diet affects the environment, resources, energy — it’s a spiritual choice, as well. And so if I had one day to make an imprint on the nation, I’d look at the choices that we make as respect to food. Also, the matters of compassion towards living creatures who become food. We need to be more thoughtful as a nation about the choices that we make and the food that we consume.

"Government has become an exclusive, closed-loop system, a secret society, which does not grant entry unless, as in my first successful election, you remove the doors. Access to government has become, then, ever more exclusive. Only an enlightened, active citizenry can remove the barriers. Big money and corporate leverage have driven Cleveland politics for the past four decades. City Hall is a Potemkin village. Break through the facade and you see corporate interests which control local government, with no discernible benefit to people who live in the city.

Quotes about Dennis Kucinich

  • Now, 42 years after the end of his first term as mayor, Dennis Kucinich is ready for his second.... While the Kucinich for Mayor campaign revs up, his new book—titled "The Division of Light and Power"—is drawing a lot of praise. It's a stunning page-turner and barnburner that combines the genres of political memoir and real-life narrative thriller — a luminous book that goes to shadowy places with the resolve of Diogenes holding a lantern high. While offering the inside story of historic events, the book also implicitly takes us to the real time of the present... The achievements of the book mirror its subject and its author — truth-telling and courage despite political taboos and illegitimate power — showing how people from many walks of life can work together to overcome the forces of petty opportunism and corporate greed... You can bet that the Kucinich for Mayor campaign has already set off alarm bells among economic elites in Cleveland and far beyond. Mayor Kucinich could set an example for what a city government can do to serve everyone instead of just the interests of the wealthy.
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