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Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

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Karen Yourish

Cleveland mayor, 1977-79; Ohio Senate, 1995-97; U.S. House, 1997 present; ranking minority member of Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations


Dennis Kucinich cites his “deep and personal commitment to peace and disarmament” as foremost among the reasons he decided to run for president. Of the members of Congress running for the Democratic nomination, Kucinich is the only one who voted against authorizing the war in Iraq. He later participated in a suit seeking to prevent President George W. Bush from carrying out an invasion without a congressional declaration of war; a federal appeals court dismissed the case in March 2003. He also sued the Bush administration for withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002.

Kucinich, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, voted against the fiscal year 2004 defense appropriations bill, stating that the bill funds the “wrong defense priorities,” including the Bush administration’s Ground-Based Midcourse Missile Defense (GMD) system, formerly termed National Missile Defense. As president, Kucinich says he would trim military spending by $60 billion, in part by canceling the GMD program and reallocating its $8.9 billion budget to education. “National Missile Defense doesn’t work,” Kucinich stated on the House floor July 8, 2003. “It has failed three tests that were much simpler than real-life scenarios. It will not be subject to a real-life test before deployment in 2004.”

Kucinich’s goal as president would be to move steadily toward complete nuclear disarmament. He would renounce the Bush administration’s first-strike policy, cancel all nuclear weapons research programs, ban nuclear weapons testing, and work to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. “[I] will ensure that the United States leads the world again in fulfilling all requirements” of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the four-term representative states on his campaign website.