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KWAME HOLMAN: Massachusetts Senator John Kerry hit the campaign trail early this morning in Ohio, fresh from the delegate wins he picked up in Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii yesterday.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: How are you doing?
KWAME HOLMAN: The Democratic frontrunner paused for a television interview in which he attacked President Bush’s call for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: A year and a half ago or two years ago he said we didn’t need a constitutional amendment. Now, we still don’t need it. I believe that you ought to have civil unions. I think you ought to have partnership rights, I think it is important to respect civil rights in our country. I think the president is trying to divide America. I think he’s a president in trouble, and he’s just looking for a political change of subject.
KWAME HOLMAN: Kerry has continued to focus this week on the nation’s job losses. Ohio, a key state in the upcoming Super Tuesday contests, has seen its share. In Toledo, he proposed companies be required to warn workers before outsourcing their jobs.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: We’re going to demand accountability from corporations when jobs are unjustifiably shipped overseas. We’re going to require full disclosure to the American public about how many jobs being overseas, where they’re going, why they’re going, and companies will no longer simply be able to simply surprise their workers with a pink slip instead of a paycheck. They’re going to be required to give their workers three months notice if their jobs are being exported offshore, so we have notice. (Applause)
KWAME HOLMAN: Kerry has put that proposal into Senate legislation; one of the bill’s co-sponsors happens to be North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Edwards’ campaign has downplayed the candidate’s losses in all three states yesterday, noting he’s been concentrating almost exclusively on a handful of Super Tuesday battleground states.
Today, he began a three day quest to win most of California’s 370 delegates. He spoke at Pomona College in the southern part of the state, and called for tuition support and more aid for the poor. He also paid homage to a former opponent.
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS: I want to say just a word about a man who was a candidate in this presidential campaign — somebody that I believe was a powerful voice for change — somebody who brought a whole group of people into the political process who were otherwise not in the political process, particularly young people; somebody that I have a great deal of personal affection and enormous deal of affection for, my friend Gov. Howard Dean. And I think we should honor him and honor what he has done as a powerful voice in this campaign.
KWAME HOLMAN: Edwards hopes some former Dean supporters will shift their allegiance to him. Congressman Dennis Kucinich finished second in Hawaii last night, ahead of Edwards, picking up six delegates. He campaigned today in Massachusetts. The Reverend Al Sharpton won no delegates last night, and had no public events today.