The Mike Gravel campaign for President have released the following press statement after his appearance yesterday at the Candidates forum in Carson City, Nevada. The forum was organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and was moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
All of the major candidates except Barack Obama attended. Obama had already organized a campaign visit to Iowa.
MIKE GRAVEL FOR PRESIDENT
Carson City, NV – In the first Democratic Presidential Forum held yesterday in Carson City, former senator Mike Gravel laid out his plan to end the Iraq War which calls for Congress to pass a law declaring the Iraq War over.
Speaking to a packed room of jubilant AFSCME union members, Gravel laid out his objections to the war. “I objected to this war from the beginning. In the spring of 2002 I went on TV and told the American people, ‘(George Bush’s) lips are moving but he’s lying to you the way Lyndon Johnson lied to us 30 years ago. Iraq's oil is not worth the life on one more American.”
“We’ll never make it with politics as usual. The democratic leaders are giving cover to the Republicans. The Congress has the right to declare war and the right to end it.”
He went on explain his plan to end the war.
“We need a constitutional confrontation between the Congress, the President, and the American people. Once the Congress passes the law to end the war it will be vetoed. Leader Reid can bring it up every day and let the Republicans whither on the vine. They will cave. We can get out of Iraq under 6 months with this scenario.” He said.
“We’re too busy carrying the burden of the military industrial complex. We Americans have been drugged with fear for the last 50 years.”
Gravel also discussed his plan to abolish the IRS and the Income Tax.
“Our current form of taxation is unfair to the working people of this country. It’s the most regressive, unfair tax system in the world. It created the rust belt. We need to do away with it.” When pressed by questioner George Stephanopoulos, the senator responded, “I’m wearing a $250 suit. Yours cost $2,000. You would therefore pay a higher tax on your suit than I would mine.”
When the senator was questioned on whether or not he supported campaign finance reform, he responded, “Is the Pope Catholic? All these candidates opting out of matching funds, I’m trying to opt in. All I need is $10,000 and I can win with that. Believe me.”
Senator Gravel wrapped up the appearance by promoting his plan for direct democracy; the National Initiative.
“People who acquire power are not want to share it with the people from whom they acquire it. You are the authority on your life. For the first time in US history we can at last have a government that is not just for the people and of the people, but truly by the people.”