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Sweet: Kucinich throws backing to Obama in Iowa for second choice vote. Obama, Kucinich statements.

AMES, IOWA–White House hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who is likely not to survive a first round of balloting in Thursday’s Democratic Iowa caucus, on Tuesday told his supporters to support Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) as their second choice.

“I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice this Thursday, because of my singular positions on the war, on health care, and trade. This is an opportunity for people to stand up for themselves.But in those caucus locations where my support doesn’t reach the necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change,” Kucinich said in a statement.

While Kucinich was barely pulling any backing according to all polls–thereby making it likely he would not make the 15 percent threshold vote needed in most precincts to win delegates–his voters going for Obama in a second round could be critical for Obama coming out of Iowa ahead of rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) or former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)

Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz told the Chicago Sun-Times the deal was finalized on Tuesday and Obama called him at about 2 p.m. central time to thank him for his support. In making the second choice deal with Obama, Kucinich decided not to do a replay of 2004, where his followers were asked to support Edwards as their second choice, helping to provide Edwards with his margin for coming in second.

Shortly after the deal was done, Kucinich issued a statement, followed by one from Obama.

In the statement, Obama said, I have a lot of respect for Congressman Kucinich, and Im honored that he has done this because we both believe deeply in the need for fundamental change.”

Kucinich release…Obama release…..

Kucinich Urges Supporters to

Back Obama on Second Iowa Ballot

For Immediate Release – Tuesday, January 01, 2008

DES MOINES, IA – Democratic Presidential candidate and Ohio

Congressman Dennis Kucinich opened the New Year by publicly asking his

Iowa supporters to vote for him in the caucuses this Thursday, and

suggesting that if he did not make the 15% threshold, their second

ballot should be for Senator Barack Obama. “This is obviously an

‘Iowa-only’ recommendation, as Sen. Obama and I are competing in the

New Hampshire primary next Tuesday where I want to be the first choice

of New Hampshire voters.

“I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice this Thursday,

because of my singular positions on the war, on health care, and

trade. This is an opportunity for people to stand up for themselves.

But in those caucus locations where my support doesn’t reach the

necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make

Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in

common: Change.”

# # #

Obama Thanks Kucinich for Encouraging His Backers to Make Obama Their Second Choice

DES MOINES Senator Barack Obama today thanked Congressman Dennis Kucinich for encouraging his supporters to caucus for Obama as their second choice in the Iowa caucuses. Obama noted that he and Kucinich both opposed the war in Iraq before it started and are committed to reclaiming the American Dream on behalf of families across the country.

said Senator Obama. He and I have been fighting for a number of the same priorities — including an end to the war in Iraq that we both opposed from the start, reforming Washington and creating a better life for America’s working families. I encourage all Iowans to take part in the caucuses this Thursday not because it will be good for any one candidate, but because it will be good for our party and the future of our country.

Listed below is the full text of the statement that Kucinich released this afternoon:

Kucinich Urges Supporters to Back Obama On Second Iowa Ballot

DES MOINES, IA — Democratic Presidential candidate and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich opened the New Year by publicly asking his Iowa supporters to vote for him in the caucuses this Thursday, and suggesting that if he did not make the 15% threshold, their second ballot should be for Senator Barack Obama. “This is obviously an ‘Iowa-only’ recommendation, as Sen. Obama and I are competing in the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday where I want to be the first choice of New Hampshire voters.

I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice this Thursday, because of my singular positions on the war, on health care, and trade. This is an opportunity for people to stand up for themselves. But in those caucus locations where my support doesn’t reach the necessary threshold, I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change.

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