Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich arrived in Florida today; he’s spending two days in the Tampa Bay area, trying to get voters support for next weeks primary. He spoke this afternoon at the Royalty theatre in Clearwater; about 75 people attended the rally. The main theme of Kucinich’s 20-minute speech was the healthcare crisis in America, and the need to have a national healthcare plan.

ACT “Americas spends 1.6 trillion a year, but 400 billion goes to the activities of the for profit system…those healthcare executives make 10, 20, 30

ACT “What kind of situation are we putting people in? People cant afford to be sick, and cant afford to be well…..I was at the democratic platform committee 4 years ago, they said…the two party system is not responding to it….(ends with applause)�

Kucinich also spoke about the war in Iraq, which he voted against.

ACT �The tab for that war is going to run 200 billion dollars, they’re cutting healthcare, etc. But we have money for war, tax cut for wealthy, but not for the American people�

The congressman also suggested that as the war in Iraq drags on, there would be a draft soon

ACT “40 percent of the men and women are national guardsmen. They didn’t want to be there�

Kucinich was asked why he is staying in the race, even after Senator John Kerry has seemingly sewn up the democratic nomination. Kucinich replied that the example of Florida’s past with elections is a percent example of why he is staying in the race. The congressman promised to stay in the presidential race until the democratic convention in July.

ACT “I’m here in Florida…it would be a shame..�

With John Edwards out of the democratic race, Kucinich said there would be more focus on the issues that he is campaigning on, especially as the primary campaigns move from state to state.

ACT “Now that we have a smaller field..It's more clear what the choices are…

ACT “All across the country, the local media has been paying attention to this race.�

He also stuck strong to a message of a real difference between him and John Kerry.

ACT “Me and john Kerry have a real difference of opinion…he supported the war, and the patriot act.�

Supporters of Dennis Kucinich said they were happy to see him and glad he is in the race, and in Florida.

ACT “I don’t see a lot of difference between Bush and Kerry�

ACT “ I used to live in Cleveland. He’s stimulated a lot of people who weren’t involved in politics.�

Jon Kempf is a new volunteer for Kucinich’s campaign; he helped put together the visit to Clearwater.

ACT “This is the first time I've gone to a meeting…I think he’s getting a lot of people who weren’t involved in politics…American politics is really screwed up…in the hands of the few.�

WMNF will continue coverage of Dennis Kucinich’s visit to the Tampa area. Tonight, Kucinich will be speaking at the University of Southern Florida at 7pm, in the student’s events center; and will be at skipper’s smokehouse at 8pm. The public is invited to both events. Tomorrow Rob Lorei will be speaking with Kucinich here on WMNF. And on Monday, Kucinich will be at Manatee community college in Bradenton, speaking about his proposal for a department of peace. For more details, go to www.kucinich.us

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