Fargo, N.D. — The candidate started early, visiting a Fargo cafe. About 80 people crowded into the cafe to meet Kucinich. North Dakota is one of seven states with a primary or caucus on Feb. 3. Standing in the crowd, Deb Pullen says she plans to vote for Kucinich in the North Dakota caucus.
"I think he stands for all the issues that I think are important," says Pullen. "I think he's a very non-egotistical, sincere candidate, who really is a public servant."
Kucinich spent the morning in Fargo. He appeared on a radio talk show and visited a local homeless shelter. ll the time he talked issues. One of them was President Bush's trade policy.
Kucinich told supporters he's the one who brought issues like the North American Free Trade Agreement into the Democratic presidential debate.
"I want the people of North Dakota to know that my first act in office will be to cancel NAFTA, the WTO, CAFTA, fast-track, and every trade agreement that works against the people of this country," said Kucinich, "and return to bi-lateral trade, which will be conditioned on workers' rights, human rights and environmental quality principles."
Kucinich also says he thinks the country should get its troops out of Iraq.
"All the other Democrats who are contesting North Dakota have been saying, 'Stay the course, don't cut and run, we're there, we're stuck,'" he said. "You know what, they're wrong. We're not stuck. It was wrong to go and it's wrong to stay."
Kucinich also hammered at familiar themes in the campaign. He criticized President Bush's policies on health care, tax cuts and the economy. Kucinich says the country can afford a health care program that includes coverage for everyone.
"When I start talking like that people say, 'Where are you going to get the money?' Well, isn't it interesting -- no one is asking where they got the money for $87 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy, for $155 billion over nine, 10 months for a war. For half of the federal budget going to the Pentagon."
Although he's trailing in the polls in Iowa, Kucinich believes the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is far from over.
"I think that many people haven't made up their minds. That's certainly true in Iowa -- that people, even at this late date, are still thinking about who they're going to vote for. And so for those elections that are a few weeks off, there is plenty of time," says Kucinich.
Kucinich asked supporters how much change they wanted and they yelled, "a lot." He told them, "Here I am."
A win or strong finish on Feb. 3 might give Kucinich's campaign a needed boost. Kucinich is the fourth Democratic presidential hopeful to visit North Dakota this month.
Vern Thompson, executive director of North Dakota's Democratic Party, says it's exciting to see the turnout for Kucinich and other presidential candidates who visit the state.
He still thinks the field is wide open, with about three weeks before the state Democratic presidential preference caucuses.
Thompson says John Kerry is making plans to come to North Dakota. He says two other presidential contenders, Joseph Lieberman and John Edwards, are waiting on early primary results before they decide.