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. Tom

    The Republicans are hoping he is serious. Please don't do it Ralph.

    January 30, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. burger

    I forgot this isn't America where EVERYONE over the age of 35 with no felonies has a right to run for office...yep feels good to be out of America!!

    January 30, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Gary

    In 2000 Nader's biggest single contributor to his campaign was George W. Bush – so I guess whether or not he enters the race will be based on whether the Republicans feel that they want to put the money into the campaign to defeat the Democratic candidate. If this guy actually wanted change he'd work with the person who is most open to change and can actually win instead of working to take votes away from the candidate who is closest to his view. He is either an idiot or a tool of the Republican party – either way, I think he is a at best a joke – and at worst a travesty.

    January 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Anthony Vaughn

    Mr. Nader,
    Thank you for your efforts in protecting consumers. You can rest easy in your
    contribution to humanity. Please continue these same efforts but you are now a joke to most of us now regarding the area of politics. You can only hinder the process.

    January 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Once again Ralph Nader is insisting that nobody is better qualified to be President than he is.

    What a complete and total idiot. Any remnant of good feeling I had for this man is now completely and totally gone. By the time he is finished with his lunatic act (that gave us George Bush), there will be just six people at his funeral; the pall bearers.

    Does he have no friends left that will whisper in his ear "enough is enough"?

    January 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Dennis

    I support additional candidates on the ballot, but if Nader is so disappointed with the current choices, perhaps we'd be better off if he found someone he finds acceptable to support that actually had a shot of winning. I doubt Nader will get invited to any debates. He likely won't have a convention that will be televised that will draw the attention of the public.

    If Nader were serious about running, he should have started months ago. He should have gone to Iowa, New Hampsire, Nevada, and South Carolina. He should have been in the same places as the candidates of the two major parties getting out his message and spreading the word on his platform.

    January 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Bruce

    I'm sure that Republicans far and wide would gladly help fund Ralph Nader's run for the White House!

    January 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Donna Giffune

    NADER STAY OUT !

    I blame you for the war in Iraq and this awful past eight years. You opened the gate to King George's reign of terror (on the American public). Go away, retire, hibernate do anything but run for president. You can't win and you only cause trouble.

    January 30, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. angela

    Ralph, get a life! You are just a spoiler in the race. You have no possible way of winning. So why screw it up again for the rest of us. You did us a big enough favor in the 2000 election! NOT!

    January 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. jeff ives

    Go away, stay away....no spoiler in 2008!!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Charles

    Do us all a favor.... stay out of it!

    January 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. J. Mark Lane

    I personally hold Ralph Nader responsible for many of the horrors that have happened in the last 7 years. Among other things, I blame him for the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The guy is too stupid or too arrogant to realize that, because he cannot possibly win, his involvement does nothing but help the Republicans. He is the worst thing that has happened in this country in at least the last three decades. His supporters deserve the same criticism. STAY OUT, NADER!

    January 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. missphoebe

    Here we go again, blaming Nader for Gore loosing to Bush. Aren't we forgetting that BUSH STOLE THE ELECTION? Over 90,000 people were not allowed access to vote, and countless other votes were NOT COUNTED!

    Wake up, it is happening again.

    Gore lost because BUSH STOLE THE ELECTION!

    "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."

    January 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. jim meiser

    Please, not again. You have already screwed up the Democrats one. Maybe that is your objective.

    January 30, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Jethro

    Oh God, here we go again...he's enter the race and take votes away from the Democrats and we'll be stuck with yet ANOTHER Republican in office for at least four more years...and what horrible ones are up this election! Nader, go home!

    January 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. Evora Sardinia

    Mr. Nader stay home you are no good for the USA presidency you will not even spoil the democrats this time

    January 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. True Democrat

    GO NADAR!! Don't listen to the sheep following Obama & Hillary – we need you!

    January 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. No to Nadar!

    This scenery is starting to look way too familiar.... How do I get off this merry-go-round?

    January 30, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Tom , Flagstaff, AZ

    I wish Nader would take a Chevy Corvair out for a test drive.

    January 30, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  20. chevyk

    lord help me. This guy needs to shut up and support Obama. This man is spy secretly killing Democrats for the republicans.

    January 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Bill

    Ralph needs to visit the wards at Bethesda Naval Hospital or Walter Reed Army Hospital and see for himself that because he siphoned votes from Al Gore, Bush won and got us into this debacle of a war and caused these young men and women to be ruined/disabled for the rest of their lives!!!! Pull your pitiful ego in Ralph, and let the real candidates run. If you are so against the establishment, why not run in either the Democratic or GOP parties and change – that's a coming word – things from within!

    January 30, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Sandi

    Nader needs to realize that he is more of a pain in the wahzoo than a help to anyone. He ruins things for everyone who tries to get something done. He is worse than Bush, a statement that I thought I would never make.

    January 30, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. Amy

    Those who blame Nader for Gore's loss in Florida are neglecting the fact that more of Florida's Democrats voted for George Bush (12%, 200,000+) than all of Nader's votes combined. [*San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 9, 2000]

    To those who say that idealism in politics is a great idea, but someday in the future when it is less crucial for a regime change, I repeat the cliche that rings so true: If not now, when?

    I'm usually content to sit on the sidelines and vote my conscience quietly. But, being told who I should vote for just because they are more likely to win is an insult to all that this country can, and should be. If I agree more with a third-party candidate (liberal or conservative), I vote my conscience. Perhaps I'm just an anomaly.

    It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that anyone outside of the Republican & Democratic parties can not win an election. I abhor feeling indoctrinated to believe that we are not only wasting our vote, but that we are ruining elections. Don't forget that once upon a time in the 1850's there was a little 3rd Party called the Republicans that fared pretty well in the end.

    In the end I'm not certain if I would vote for a 3rd party candidate in 2008, but I do plan on researching all candidates thoroughly, and not just jumping on a bandwagon or stooping to uneducated and infantile name-calling.

    January 30, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. bubba

    oh great, Nader wants to screw America...AGAIN

    January 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    100 years ago Mr. Nader made a significant contribution to the well-being of America. His successful "Unsafe At Any Speed" campaign revealed the evils of a very dangerous automobile (Corvair). He is a hero for the ages due to the hundreds of lives that he saved.

    But, one can stay at the dance too long – he needs a ride home!

    January 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48