Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich doubled down on his criticism of the ongoing military intervention in Libya and addressed speculation that he may seek re-election in Washington Sate during a Tuesday interview with The Daily Caller.
Kucinich said that in Libya “the lack of enforcement of the U.N. mandate is something that is quite glaring. NATO, which is basically an extension of the United States through our creating it and funding it, has participated in and permitted broad violations of the U.N. Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973,” Kucinich said.
The eight-term congressman listed a variety of ways that he believed the resolutions are being violated. Among them were: “looking the other way on arms embargoes — permitting arms to come into the country, actually taking the side of the rebels, they say they want to protect the civilian population but the bombing is killing and injuring innocent civilians.”
“NATO is prolonging the war, and the United States is supporting NATO’s prolonging of the war,” Kucinich said. “Our intervention in Libya is just another story in a long series of interventions which have disaster written all over them.”
Kucinich declined during the interview to walk back a March statement in which he said that President Obama’s use of American forces in Libya was an impeachable offense. “The president has an obligation to come to Congress. He didn’t do it. Our forces were used to attack another country. Now, that’s illegal,” Kucinich said.
“I didn’t think that an effort would actually be made to introduce a resolution of impeachment,” Kucinich said. “But it needed to be said that what he did was not legal. That is a fact, and nothing is going to change that position. I absolutely am not going to step back from challenging the legality of our attack on Libya without congressional approval.”
Addressing a firestorm of speculation that he is entertaining a run for re-election to Congress from Washington State, Kucinich said, “I can confirm the speculation, but I can’t tell you that I have made plans to move anywhere, to buy property anywhere.”
The congressman paused when asked about the reaction he has received to the news of the potential move. “I don’t know, I just do my job everyday and let the feedback take care of itself,” Kucinich said.
Kucinich noted that he is next scheduled to visit Washington State on May 22, to speak at a festival. “I’ve had longstanding invitations to do several events out there,” he said.
His visits to Washington State should not be mistaken for a definitive decision on seeking office in that state, Kucinich said. “I’m also speaking in Kansas City this weekend to the Missouri Democrats, and I have no plans to run in Missouri. People should not necessarily read anything of a political nature into every stop that I make,” he said. When pressed on whether he would rule out running in Washington, as he has with Missouri, Kucinich clarified, “I said that last statement as a joke.”
Kucinich further noted, “I didn’t respond to your question — I’m not getting into any speculation about where I may or may not run, because I’m not at that point. It’s getting way ahead of things. I’m not going into a place where I’m going to indulge in speculations about what I may or may not do.”
Redistricting in Ohio, where Kucinich’s seat may either be dissolved or dramatically altered, is not expected to be finalized until January. Asked if he would make a decision on which district to run in around that time, Kucinich said, “that’s your guess, it’s not a bad guess. I’ve heard other guesses, but I’m sure by then that this situation will become clear.”
Kucinich declined to say whether he felt that President Obama has been a bold supporter of progressive priorities. “I’m really not interested in a broad dissection of his policies, I handle them one at a time,” Kucinich said.
The progressive congressman had only kind words for his working relationship with Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul. “We work to oppose wars together, and we’ve worked to oppose certain trade agreements together, we’ve worked to uphold civil liberties together,” Kucinich said. “I appreciate his willingness to take a stand in those areas.”
During the 2008 primary election campaign Paul named Kucinich, who was then seeking the Democratic nomination, as a possible running mate if he won the nomination. Kucinich declined to say whether he would accept such an offer from Paul, should Paul win the 2012 Republican nomination.
“I’m not going to get into a discussion of partisan politics. I think that the relationship that I have with Ron Paul transcends partisan politics, it has to do with issues,” Kucinich said. “I’m not going to speak to any partisan political matters, because I’m not an especially partisan person.”