Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) is being excluded from this week’s Iowa presidential debate because he has not rented office space in the Hawkeye State, his campaign said Wednesday.
The Des Moines Register informed the campaign that Kucinich is not invited because the newspaper determined “that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa,” the campaign said.
Kucinich, who is running his second consecutive presidential campaign but is doing poorly in national polls, has received strong support in online surveys from liberal groups such as Democracy for America. The Ohio lawmaker’s anti-war campaign resonates with parts of the Democratic base even though that support has not boosted Kucinich from the lower tier of candidates.
The campaign blasted the decision to exclude the lawmaker from the debate.
“The Iowa caucuses have been portrayed as having national implications, and if the Register has decided to use hair-splitting technicalities to exclude the leading voice of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, then the entire process is suspect,” the campaign said in a statement about the “arbitrary and unreasonable exclusion.”
The campaign claims that Kucinich has also been barred from public appearances by “the Iowa Democratic Party, Iowa Public Television, and well-funded political interests…”
With nearly twenty candidates running for the nominations of the two major parties, the format of the debates have been an issue all year long.
Some of the lower-tier candidates have repeatedly complained that they are not being asked as many questions as the frontrunners. Meantime, some of the White House hopefuls have sought to limit the crowd. In July, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) was overheard discussing the issue with Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).
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