Dennis Kucinich addresses his Iowa delegates and supporters after the Iowa Caucus
Kirkwood Hotel Ballroom
Des Moines, Iowa
"Some would think it's unwise to suggest that when you have 1% of the delegates that somehow you can take that as a springboard to the nomination, but I will say that kind of daring and fearlessness is what this country is actually looking for at this time, because if we have learned anything over the past few weeks, it is that the political condition in this state and for that matter in this country is very volatile, that somebody's up one day and down the next. So this campaign is always going to be committed to consistent principles which I believe at some point the American people will wholeheartedly embrace and I'm going to begin with this: and that is the principle that we must work for a peaceful resolution of the situation in Iraq which means bringing in UN peacekeepers and bringing our troops home. Let me tell you that while this becomes urgent that some of the election results already are being interspersed as being a rejection of the message about getting out of Iraq.
I will make a prediction that the American people, as this campaign season continues to advance, will begin to focus very sharply on this question of Iraq and the connection between the positions of the various candidates and what those postions will mean with respect to that prospective nominee and whether or not we're going to continue to be in Iraq. This campaign, and we are at the beginning of this campaign, will offer the American people a sharp contrast with all the other candidates. Now there's one candidate, Al Sharpton, who has also agreed that we should get out of Iraq, I want to make that clear. And we ought to be grateful for him taking that position. And we should credit when someone takes that position. But in this race here in Iowa we began the debate, I stood alone in putting that message out to people.
But this is just the beginning and we need to recognize that. And being at the beginning of a debate is an important moment, because we start to lay the basis for a continuing discussion nationally about the wisdom or lack of wisdom about this country's position on continuing the war against Iraq and continuing the occupation. I want to review this tonight, because this is really going to be the basis for so much of our campaign down the road. All of the other democrats in this Iowa debate just kind of swept this position aside, and said we're going to have to stay the course, we're going to be there for a long time, and there's nothing we can do about it. We've got to clean up the President's mess.
Our campaign is the vehicle by which our soldiers are going to have their security protected. We have to. We have to recognize that we're at a dangerous moment with respect to Iraq. Where the Iraqi people, 100,000 Iraqis, marched through the streets of Baghdad in a nonviolent protest demanding that this American government stop this effort to basically rig the elections in Iraq. That our government must take a whole new direction. We must take a Boston where we go to the UN and say look, we're giving up the ambitions to oil.
We're giving up the ambitions to contract
We're giving up the ambitions for privatization
We're giving up the ambitions to contract
We're giving up the ambitions to control the government of Iraq
That we want a new approach and working with the new world community
We want to bring in UN peaceekeepers
We want to bring our troops home
We want to help rebuild Iraq
We want to provide help to people who lost their lives, the innocent people
We want to help provide for UN peacekeepers
Because that's the right thing to do
We're going to keep this campaign going
We're not going to let this go
We're going to keep this campaign going
We're going to go on to New Hampshire
We're going to go on to South Carolina
We're going to go to New Mexico and Arizona
We're on our way to the west, the north, the south,
We're carrying this campaign all the way to the convention
And we will win at the convention
And we will win
because we stand for social and economic justice
unifying the world
bringing peace and stability to Iraq
and the only way we're going to do that is to
Bring in UN peacekeepers and bring our troops home.
Our President said "Bring 'em on" and I say "Bring 'em home". Bring our troops home. And so you know the polls talked about us having 3% support. Every delegate here raise your hand, I want to explain what these delegates represent. This means in these precincts that we got 15% of the vote. All around this state we had people who were able to demonstrate that by rallying together we were able to get 15% of the vote, that's how we get delegates. That's how we have delegates in this room right now, and there are many more outside the city of Des Moines that are celebrating tonight that they're going to be delegates. But we have to recognize something. This election we started off one of 9 candidates considered to be in 9th place, because we came to Iowa, because we campaigned in Iowa, over the period of the last 11 months, we moved up from 9th to 5th. So what we need you to do now is to join with us in continuing to organize as we go state to state.
So we need your help in continuing to raise money at our website at kucinich.us, we need your help in continuing to assist us in organizing in other states. The ones that are near Iowa, for those of you who are able to drive, you can help us. We need your help in continuing to build this grassroots effort. We recognize that we've taken the first step today. But the first step is the most important when you are taking a journey of a thousand miles. But this step that we took today is a step that demonstrates the courage of this campaign, the commitment of this campaign, the heart of this campaign, the spirit of this campaign, and the spirit of all the people who are in this room and all of the people who all over America are counting on this campaign to really bring the light of peace to this nation and the world.
Now Chet Quinn talked about Dr. Martin Luther King, and he gave a speech at Riverside Church in New York, and I believe it was in 1967, where he talked about the war in Vietnam, as destroying the hopes of peoples of two nations. Of Vietnam and of the United States. This war is already costing the American people, the treasure of so many of our young people, 500 casualties, as well as great financial losses. Now I am letting you know that I am going to be there for you every step of the way. And that we will either bring these other Democratic candidates into an identical position or we are going to sweep them aside as we go to the nomination.
Now tomorrow, at 3:00 this morning, I'll be on my way to New Hampshire to show you that I'm not going to miss a beat, waste any time or get any sleep. And what I will be talking about as I arrive in New Hampshire is an issue that is greatly affecting the people in New England, and that is trade. And how people there are losing so many industries because of these trade agreements that have basically enabled giant corporations to just move jobs out of this country in quest of lower wages. Every working person in this country realizes that corporations are trying to drive down wages. So what we need to do is to raise this issue. I talked about here it in this state and I"m going to talk about it in New Hampshire as well. How urgent it is that the United States totally change the direction it is going on trade. And that it is urgent that we repeal NAFTA and the WTO and go back to bilateral trade conditioned on workers rights, human rights, and environmental quality principles. And I will continue our campaign for universal single payer not for profit health care.
So once again let's talk about you, let's talk about what you've done to help us win delegates. I cannot thank you enough. I'm ever so grateful for the demonstration that you have made of your commitment. Remember that it was 15% that enabled you to be able to stand here as a delegate or to recognize the work to gain a delegate in your precinct. That's an enormous statement of the work that was done in a campaign that most people said there wouldn't be any chance we could get numbers like that. You accomplished something. Now think of what that means, as we keep that spirit going, as we communicate that courage and that love. I am so grateful for your support, I am so grateful for the contributions that you've made, and I will carry this goodwill and these wishes and this energy with me to New Hampshire to begin our campaign to take the message to New Hampshire and to get some more delegates! Thank you very much!"