Kucinich Hopes to Attract Former Dean Backers

Calling the doctor out, Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich (search) is hoping to capitalize on the possibility that rival Howard Dean (search) will skip public financing.

The Ohio congressman urged those who backed Dean because they thought he'd take the federal funds to support Kucinich instead. He announced the creation of a new Web site, "The Dr. is Out," aimed at attracting former Dean supporters.

Kucinich released a statement criticizing Dean, noting a March story by The Associated Press in which Dean committed to accepting public financing and said he would make it a campaign issue if other Democratic hopefuls opted out of the system.

"I'm making it an issue now," Kucinich said. "Dr. Dean may feel that he can drag his supporters into agreeing with his preconceived decision because in the end he believes they have no other place to go. Well, he's wrong. Our campaign is reaching out to them."

Dean is polling his supporters on whether he should join President Bush and skip public financing and the spending limits that come with it. Those who accept government money for the primaries get a government match of up to $250 for each contribution, up to a total of about $18.7 million, and are limited to about $45 million in spending.