Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) blasts the president’s address in an exclusive Truthdig podcast.
Listen: Dennis Kucinich (4.6 MB)
Immediately in the wake of President Bush’s State of the Union address, Truthdig interviewed Ohio congressman and 2004 presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich on his reaction to the speech. The first question was about the president’s call to stay the course in Iraq.
What the president promised was more war. And it’s disheartening to see that he hasn’t gotten the message that all his underpinnings of the war have been knocked out. They’re standing totally on lies. We really need a new policy in Iraq that enables us to get out of Iraq and bring our troops home. A majority of Americans want us to leave Iraq this year, yet what we heard tonight was a commitment to war with no end, and war we cannot win.
The president is committed to victory, but that kind of arrogance is sure to lead to catastrophe not only for the people of Iraq but for the men and women who bravely serve this country. And I want to say that withdrawal is not retreat. There is a need for a new approach, involving the international community, not the United States trying to dictate unilaterally the future of Iraq.
We next asked Mr. Kucinich about Bush’s call for the adoption of alternative energy sources.
It’s almost hilarious to see the president mixing nuclear and coal—neither of which are clean energies—you know, right now, this country is experiencing huge budget deficits, and nuclear power contains one of the biggest hidden sources of a drain on the future of this country because of the costs of storing nuclear waste. The fact that the president is still talking about coal shows that he hasn’t awakened to the fact that coal is not clean, that it still remains a source of sulfur dioxide, that it relates to global climate change, that the president would put his foot on the accelerator and his foot on the gas at the same time. That inertia only leads to more destruction of the environment.
Following that, we asked the congressman for his impression of Bush’s healthcare initiatives.
The message from the president on healthcare was very clear: “Don’t get sick.” If you happen to have money and you’re healthy, health saving accounts are a great idea. If you’re like the rest of Americans, health savings accounts don’t offer you anything and as a matter of fact they give no relief to 46 million Americans who are without health insurance. We need a universal, single-payer not-for-profit healthcare system that would help the health of this country, it would help the economy of this country, and it put American on line with all the other industrialized nations.
And finally, we talked about Bush’s section on Social Security.
I’m glad the Democrats stood up to applaud the president when he said that he wasn’t able to do what he wanted to do on Social Security. The whole thing on Social Security privatization was a scam, and we should never forget that this administration tried to privatize a system that is not broken, tried to fix it with a private solution that would have benefited Wall Street, and not the American people.