January 30th, 2008
06:28 PM ET
10 years ago

Nader takes steps towards another White House bid

 Nader is taking steps toward another White House bid.

Nader is taking steps toward another White House bid.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Ralph Nader, the longtime consumer advocate who was blamed by many Democrats for Al Gore’s loss in the 2000 presidential election, launched an exploratory committee Wednesday for another White House bid, and told CNN he is likely to get in the race if he can put the resources in place.

"John Edwards, the banner of Democratic Party populism, is dropping out, and Dennis Kucinich dropped out earlier, so in terms of voters who are at least interested in having major areas of injustice, deprivations, and solutions discussed in a presidential campaign, they might be interested in my exploratory effort," Nader said.

Nader has launched an official exploratory committee Web site, and said he will formally make a decision in about a month. He said he is certain to get in the race if he can demonstrate the ability to raise $10 million and recruit enough lawyers to deal with ballot access issues. He has yet to formally file paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission, though he does not need to until he officially becomes a candidate, according to the FEC.

Nader said he finds Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both unacceptable candidates, and he said whichever wins the party's presidential nomination will not have an impact on his decision to run.

"They are both enthralled to the corporate powers," Nader said of the two leading Democrats. "They've completely ignored the presidential pattern of illegality and accountability, they've ignored the out of control waste-fruad military expenditures, they hardly ever mention the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate subsidies, handouts, and giveaways, and they don't talk about a living wage."

He expressed particular disappointment with Obama, whose senate record he called "mediocre, and quite cautious."

"It's not that he doesn't know what the score is, of course he does - look at his background, he knows plenty," Nader said. "But he's censoring himself."

Nader attracted close to 100,000 votes in Florida in 2000 - a state Al Gore ultimately lost to George Bush by approximately 500 votes. He brushes aside suggestions his candidacy this year may ultimately spoil the election for the Democratic Party.

"Political bigotry will be the label on anybody who uses the word 'spoiler,' he said. "Because ‘spoiler’ means minor candidates are second class citizens. Either we have an equal right to run for election, or we are spoilers for each other trying to get each other's votes.”

- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Ralph Nader
soundoff (1,186 Responses)
  1. Vote Different

    I voted for Nader twice and I would do it again. If you vote your conscience, your vote is never wasted. The two party system gives the average American citizen the illusion of choice but in fact both the Democrats and Republicans are owned by special interests and serve only those who line their pockets. It's up to third party independents to get corporate interests out of Washington and return us to a true democracy. Only then will we be a government for the people.

    January 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. Rico

    We knew this about Hillary.
    Now we know it about Obama.
    Change candidate really........!

    They are both enthralled to the corporate powers," Nader said of the two leading Democrats. "They've completely ignored the presidential pattern of illegality and accountability, they've ignored the out of control waste-fruad military expenditures, they hardly ever mention the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate subsidies, handouts, and giveaways, and they don't talk about a living wage."

    He expressed particular disappointment with Obama, whose senate record he called "mediocre, and quite cautious."

    January 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Friendly

    Dear Ralph Nader supporters,

    Think about what you've done in 2000 – how much greener you've made our planet over the past 7 years by voting for Nader and not for Al Gore?! How can you sleep at night now?! I'm sure our children and grandchildren will not forgive you for your "independent" vote in 2000!

    January 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Harvey

    Too bad for Obama ... the left-wing liberal dem votes will go to Nader ...

    GET BACK BARACK ... HILLARY IS IN TO WIN!

    January 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Jim

    I'll bet most people that have ever voted for him in the general election regret it now, and they should.

    January 30, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. zaid

    There needs to be a candidate in this race not owned by gigantic corporate interests and war criminals. If Ralph is that candidate, so be it.

    January 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Kevin K, Spokane

    Thanks for the memories, Ralph. But because of you we have Dubya. You do the best service to the nation by your advocating and empowering people toward active civil disobedience and involvement. Don't muddy the waters this time...you know you can't win and being the spoiler again could place our nation in even a worse situation than we currently find ourselves in.

    January 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. aaron

    NADER 08

    January 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. RICHARD

    I repeat.....
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    January 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. LTCUSARet

    Mr. Nader, you are way to be late to be stepping into this election. Where were you at the start of it all? What makes you think you can have any success when Mr. Edwards could not? After all, his dropping out is your cited reason for possibly getting in. Stay out of this, please, Senator McCain does not need your backhanded support.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, you are not a viable candidate and the only role you can possibly play in this or any other election is that of spoiler for any non-conservative candidate.

    Tell us candidly, how much funding are you anticipating getting from the Republican National Committee and other conservative groups who will jump at the chance to splinter votes away from the eventual Democratic candidate, which is all you will succeed in doing?

    BTW, FWIW this is one Independent who thinks he will finally get the chance to vote for McCain (a long-time personal favorite for the job) for President in the general election.

    For the American process, sir, you are unsafe at any poll.

    January 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. Cody

    Yes thank you now we can split the vote 4 ways and have a little democracy. Its about time.

    January 30, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Moving to Canada

    Ralph, what it is you don't understand about "No?"

    January 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Ivan Bial

    Ralph Nader is thinking of entering the presidential race? What a nauseating thought.

    The only impact Ralph Nader has had, as a candidate is spoiler. I truly believe with matching funds his run for office is motivated by profit.

    Nader is responsible for 8 years of Bush and the people that vote for him are misguided.

    January 30, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. RR

    Nader. [sigh] Here we go again. "I'm not the spoiler, I'm a valiant crusader! Can't you see that? I'm really really valiant! Everybody else sucks! The way to win a presidential campaign is through a radical attack on existing corporate and governmental infrastructure. That's why I won last time. And the time before."

    How much money does Karl Rove funnel into Nader's pockets. I can hear Rove giggling right now, laughing at how Nader fails to see that his choice is between a Democrat that might be amenable to some of his ideas, and a Republican that laughs them off. Incredible that Nader can in the span of a paragraph comment about the illegality and accountability of the current administration, while simultaneously being in complete denial about the role his candidacy played in putting this administration in office.

    Nader is insane to think he will have a positive effect on our country with a bogus presidential bid, and completely out of touch if he thinks he won't pull votes away from a Democratic candidate.

    Do what's best for the country, Mr. Nader. Work with the presidential candidates to get them to see what you see, if it's so important. Standing on the sidelines sniping at the candidates and threatening to damage their chances (and that's what he's doing) is pure egomania. I'm convinced that you are no longer interested in what's best for the people of this country, and fully convinced that your primary interest is in self-aggrandizement.

    January 30, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. kevin

    great. he can have four months of talking about these issues, then allow a new president who won't address any of these issues in the next four years. I was hoping the idiocy would mellow with age . . . . .

    January 30, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. John

    *sigh*

    Not this again. Can't he get the picture? Dear lord please no more screw-ups this time around. All we need is another 2000, as we all can see the 2000 election has served us well these last seven years

    *sigh*

    January 30, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. Hubert van Tuyll, Martinez, GA

    Hallelujah!! In a close election, this could bail us (GOP) out again.

    January 30, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. Pete Gitlin

    OH MY GOD! Hasn't Ralph Nader done enough to this country by giving us 8 years of George W. Bush? He may have defensible reasons for believing he has better policies than any other man or woman running for the presidency, but he has absolutely no chance of being elected, and can only help put a Republican back in the White House – a Republican likely to fight everything Nader has stood for throughout his career. I understand idealism, but there is a time for political reality, and it is essential that Obama or Clinton be inaugurated in January 2009. Ralph...please go away!

    January 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Emily

    LOL. Bring it on Ralphie . . . Obama will beat you too!

    Obama '08

    January 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. Kate

    I voted for him in 2000 when I lived in DC and realized too late what a megalomaniac this guy is. I refuse to ever vote for him or someone like him ever again!

    January 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Johnny

    This is awesome news, if you're a Republican.

    January 30, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. Ann Kuminns

    We should all tell this butt-head to butt out this time. He is becoming the laughing stock of everyone. Trust him to want to gain some attention to boost his ego. Doing no one any good, not even himself. Only in the US, as some people would say, would there be such a farce. Reminds you of the troublemaker in every setting. Just stay home!!

    January 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Eric C.

    Go Nader!!!! Go Nader!!!!! Go Nader!!!!!!
    Nader 2008
    At least he doesn't run away from the issues like the Democrats and Republicans!

    January 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. P. Lewis James

    Nader gearing up at this particular time for another run at the presidency is very suspicious at best. To single out Senator Obama and to criticize only his record smacks of racism. Nader knows that he has no chance to capture the White House. So the question that begs for an answer is why now. Is there some kind of deal in place between the Clinton and Nader camps to discredit Senator Obama. To come at a time when Obama seems to be building momentum is very curious indeed! What about Senator Clinton's record, Nader finds nothing to criticize in it!
    Nader has very little credability left. He should put his ego aside and let the political process go forward without trying to influnce it!

    January 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. memfisman

    Should Nader run? To what end? My vote is a thundering, "Not NO but HELL NO!"

    January 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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