Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has run for president twice before, said today he will not challenge President Obama in a primary in 2012. His remarks come days after White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs angrily said progressives wouldn't even be happy with the liberal Kucinich as president.
"I think what we have to do is focus on coming together for the purposes of getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan," Kucinich said today on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Gibbsat the Democratic Party's liberal base in an interview this week, saying the "professional left" would only be happy "when we have Canadian healthcare and we've eliminated the Pentagon." He added, "They wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president."
Kucinich responded, "I think that Mr. Gibbs and the White House need to realize that liberals support the president, but the criticism is really a measure of hopes that have not been realized."
The main issue at hand is the nation's persistently high unemployment levels, Kucinich said.
"Until the administration effectively addresses that, those of us who call ourselves liberals are going to continue to insist we should be talking about a full employment economy," he said. "We shouldn't be capitulating to the Fed or Wall Street with this false notion that a certain amount of unemployment is necessary for the proper functioning of the economy."
He added that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a drag on the economy.
Kucinich said that the government can still play a transformational role during a tough economic period, as it did under President Franklin Roosevelt -- if President Obama provides the leadership to make it happen.
Liberals' dissatisfaction with Mr. Obama stems from "the intention to make sure [their goals] get realized while we have a president we do want to support," Kucinich said.