Kucinich: Republicans 'didn't call my bluff' on Cheney impeachment
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), whose impeachment resolution against Vice President Dick Cheney was kept temporarily afloat on Tuesday -- largely with the help of House Republicans -- says the measure was no bluff.
During an appearance on CBS's Early Show, host Harry Smith told Kucinich that Republicans had "basically called your bluff" in wanting to debate the impeachment of Cheney on the House floor.
"They didn't call my bluff," Kucinich shot back. "I was fully prepared for debate -- with a three-inch thick binder annotating the violations of law and the violations of the Constitution committed by the vice president which would justify an impeachment."
Smith responded that Kucinich had "certainly called the bluff of the Democratic leadership," adding that the congressman did not have the support of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who had introduced a motion to kill debate on the subject, nor Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
"There's really, what, a handful of you who are really interested in this," Smith added.
But Kucinich said his impeachment resolution had little to do with the lack of support he was receiving from fellow Democrats.
"Harry, you have to remember there are millions of Americans who are part of a national movement to defend the constitution," said Kucinich. "And they understand that the vice president made a false claim for war and is trying to beat the drums for a war against Iran and they're calling for action to be done."
Impeachment, said Kucinich, was a move on his part to safeguard the Constitution.
"It's really about the American people and their insistence that their government not be lost," he continued. "People are worried that we're losing democracy, and they're demanding that the Constitution be protected. And that's exactly what yesterday was about."
Smith later asked the congressman if the impeachment resolution was all part of a publicity stunt in aid of his presidential campaign.
"The nay-sayers, though," said Smith, "would say 'Dennis Kucinich this is a way to get your name on -- at least on page six of the newspaper and a failing bid to win the Democratic nomination for president.'"
Not so, said Kucinich:
"We have men and women with their lives on the line in Iraq, a war based on lies," said the former Cleveland mayor. "Over 3,800 soldiers have died, over a million innocent Iraqis have died in this war. This is about our moral caliber here as to whether or not Washington can see the truth."
"Let me tell you something," concluded Kucinich. "In Washington, the truth is an unidentified flying object. And it's time that someone stood for the truth. The American people demand nothing less."
In a strict party-line vote, Democrats sent the Cheney impeachment resolution to the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, where it will be considered by Chairman John Conyers (D-MI).
The following video is from CBS's Early Show, broadcast on November 6, 2007.