February 28th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Nader picks running mate

 Matt Gonzalez ran for mayor of San Francisco in 2003.

Matt Gonzalez ran for mayor of San Francisco in 2003.

(CNN) - Ralph Nader has selected a former San Francisco city official as his running mate in the presidential race.

Nader announced his selection of Matt Gonzalez, who served as a public defender and a member of the board of supervisors in San Francisco, at a news conference Wednesday.

"It is an honor to run with Mr. Nader," Gonzalez said. "I hold him in high esteem and share his politics."

Gonzalez said his priorities in the campaign are election reform, poverty and the war in Iraq.

"I find Matt Gonzalez unwavering in his principles," Nader said.

He announced Sunday that he will launch his fourth consecutive White House bid - fifth if his 1992 write-in campaign is included.

Many Democrats fear Nader could draw votes from whoever gets the party's nomination, potentially helping presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain win the White House in November. Nader has long rejected accusations that he served as a spoiler in 2000, in effect helping George W. Bush beat out Al Gore.

Filed under: Ralph Nader
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Dale

    Ralph speaks from the heart about issues that need to be addressed in our present government. The Democrats and Replublicans just want to continue with a two party system that needs to be overhauled. We need a movement to give the power back to the people and he is the best chance we have.

    February 28, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Toby

    All you idiot Democrats and Republicans go ahead and vote like mindless sheep for the 2 parties, who give us the same old, tired empty promises. Look at the Democratic debate the other night–what were the issues? When and whether someone was for or against the Iraq war, whose healthcare policy will be more bureaucratic, etc. And what gets the most attention? A dispute over the whether someone "rejects" or "denounces" an endorsement. Typical Democrat wordsmithing similar to Bill Clinton's redefining of the word "is." Until people stop mindlessly believing that their only choice is b/w Democrats and Republicans, we deserve what we get from these 2 parties–nothing. Hold the Democrats and Republicans accountable by voting 3rd party. If you went to a restaurant and got bad service and bad food, you would never go back. Why can't you apply the same logic to something important, like our government? Why do you morons keep looking to the Democrats and Republicans and voting for them, thinking they'll solve your problems? Let me let you in on something, they don't give a crap about you. They only care about keeping power to themselves, so they can serve their corporate interests. Imagine that debate with Ralph Nader, or someone similar in the Democratic party. The reason the Democrats and Republicans fight so hard to exclude other parties from general election debates is because they do not want to argue the real issues that people face. They're scared of being exposed for what they really are–money and power mongers. They distract the electorate with their inane rhetoric and soundbites over issues they have no intention of seriously addressing. Nader would have put them to task and torn them apart.

    VOTE NADER 2008

    February 28, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. kate

    my god the majority of YOU are wastes of time.

    February 28, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Voter

    It is important to break the duopoly that presently has control over our government. If Nader can't win this time, then the consistent appearance of independent/third party candidates may in time help us break up this corrosive duopoly. The overwhelming opinion expressed above effectively disallows this from happening. What kind of democracy do we live in where a candidate is labeled 'spoiler' or someone who has 'stolen' votes. Does the opinion of people who see Nader raising issues which are taboo to the two main parties not mean anything? If nothing else, then Nader will force some of the major party candidates to address issues that they are currently too comfortable to take up.

    I would pick a candidate based on whether they were likely to win if I were picking a candidate between candidates who I mostly agreed with. Neither party candidates come close to representing my views. I will not vote if there is no third party or independent candidate manages to get on the ballot in my state, because a vote for Obama/Clinton/McCain would be a waste of my vote.

    February 28, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. victronix

    Great choice! Matt really speaks for the people.

    Those attacking Ralph or any other presidential 2008 candidate don't seem to understand the the phrase they use as the reason to bomb all over the world: "democracy", it's not the same as "duopoly."

    Too bad so many are so illiterate in this country.

    February 28, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Teresa

    How can he just jump in on the election when it is at a most crucial point without having to do any of the foot work that the other candidates had to do. If I was going to run a 5 mile race and decided to jump in on the last 2 miles would i not be labeled a cheater and disqualified from the race? So how can they do basically the same thing and the american people have to accept it and think it is fair to the other candidates who have been through all kind of scrutiny and made it thus far. I think our election process needs to be changed concerning when someone can enter the race. I don't think he should get any air time because he hasn't earned the right to any

    February 28, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Heidi

    Bah bah little sheep. You keep getting angry at the candidates in the race that want to give you your country back. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, keep watching American Idol, keep getting fatter while you consume chemicals out of boxes, keep taking your prescription medication so that you don't have to exercise any self control and keeping barfing out your hate. Keep blaming someone else for the fact that the democrats are spineless losers that are worried about losing an election that should be nothing short of a landslide. Our pathetic public education system is clearly demonstrated by the total lack of substantive comments on this site. This mindless drivel is on par with the musings of high school football players – you should be so proud.

    February 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Redskin

    More power to him. He's the only one holding the Democrats feet to the fire. All you people who claim that 3rd parties or Ralph Nader are "Helping Republicans", tell me who voted to support the war in Iraq? Who gave Bush his war-powers and spy-powers?

    THE DEMOCRATS – THAT'S WHO! And guess what, they're laughing at you for voting for them even after they've failed to deliver any change or any challenge to Bush.

    In the debate last week, Hilary Clinton criticized Obama FOR NOT SENDING MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN. And Obama said that he would send more troops when he got the chance. I like what the candidates are saying compared to the conservative triangulation of Bill Clinton, Gore, and Kerry, but I am doubtful that they will ever deliver because they are more interested in making corporations happy than the voters.

    So go ahead and vote for Obama or Clinton, but join a third party next time when they continue Bush's wars.

    February 28, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. DeVone

    this is serious neither one of these duds have any since

    February 28, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Steve

    I was not considering giving my vote to Ralph until I read all the negative comments. My interest is now sparked by this popular underdog...


    February 28, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Shawn

    If Sen. Clinton does lose the nomination, at least I know where my vote will go! I will not vote for Obama or McCain!

    February 28, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Kevin

    wow...nader gets more publicity than john edwards did. what a shame

    February 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Samantha Atl, GA

    Such a wast of time! Nadar, go away!

    February 28, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Jim Harvey

    Dear Ralph,
    Get serious! Oh, thats right, you think you are, don't you?
    Serious people would have been engaged in year round organizing. You just come in fro the cold and expect people to pay you any attention? Most of us are now convinced that all you want is another 15 minutes of fame. Well go do something constructive and maybe you'll deserve it.

    February 28, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Mike

    A lot of people are saying who cares. I care! Ralph Nader running for president actually gives me someone to vote for in this election. Someone called him an 'undercover Republican'. WAKE UP, the Democratic candidates are undercover Republicans. Hillary and Obama are both corporate-supported, right-wing candidates. Obama definitely has a good psychological campaign built around change, but he doesn't actually bring any change. Hillary is controlled by corporations. And John McCain sucks because he is a Republican. Nader isn't responsible for Bush being elected nor is he responsible for the Iraq War. The people who voted for Bush are the idiots responsible for putting Bush into office. The Congresspeople (including Hillary Clinton) who voted for the Iraq war are responsible for the Iraq. Obama has also voted to increase war spending. AS LONG AS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY KEEPS SHIFTING TO THE RIGHT, NADER WILL GET MORE VOTES, AND HE DESERVES MORE VOTES, because the two-party system is broken. If it takes two more decades of the democratic party splintering and republican mis-rule before people start actually paying attention to third parties, then so be it. We'll be better off in the long run.

    February 28, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. Jose San Francisco

    Matt Gonzalez is my friend. My advise is that running with Nader is a mistake. Matt brought a new look to San Francisco politics until Big Bill came in on his high horse to campaign for Newsom. Look what we have gotten from the Newsom administration. Newsom and Clinton are no longer wanted.

    February 28, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Euphoria

    Great there goes the HIspanic vote for Clinton or Obama in the Fall.
    Can you say President John Sydney McCain.

    February 28, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Latino

    That other moron represents that other minority, about 20 million of them registered Democrats. Is his name Mathew or Mateo and what is his middle name. I hope it is not Castro, because this will surely destroy his image.

    February 28, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I guess Matt doesn't have anything else to do like Nadar. Sounds like Matt "used" to do a few things that didn't work for him. Sounds like GWB.

    February 28, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. Voice from Poland

    I'm an American living in Poland. American's living outside the States often wonder if their fellow countrymen back home have any idea of who mediocre our elected officials look to the world at large. By and large, we have the most unimpressive heads of state imaginable (Japan frequently comes close). The Presidents and Prime Ministers of most European countries (not Poland, alas) are almost always significantly more impressive than the American President. It's sad, but it is also bizarre. We appear to want the idiots we get.

    The point of voting for Nader is not whether he has any chance of winning - sadly, he does not - but whether by registering their disgust with the policies offered by the two main parties, the American people can create a seachange in business as usual. Simply abstaining from voting, will not register than disgust; voting for Nader will. And the truth is: the Democrats only look good because of eight years of Bush, not because they have any policies worthy of the name.

    This is all Nader claims to be doing, and I for one think it needs doing. I (proudly) voted for him in 2000. Since I was then living in California, my vote for Nader did not contribute to the Bush presidency. Thank God for small favors.

    But here we are once again suffering under a once great democratic system that has degraded to the point where the best offerings the system can come up with are (1) a cranky old prisoner of war (since when is a prisoner of war automatically elevated to the status of war hero?) who admits he hasn't a clue about the economy and who also admits that his list of great Americans includes both Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater; (2) a despotic, duplicitous harpy who trumpets her own experience but can't point to a single admirable achievement in her 60 years on earth, unless one counts making partner in the Rose Law Firm. She was "given" Daniel Patrick Moynihan's senate seat in an obvious set up - since she had no prior connection to New York - and she has done nothing to distinguish herself during her time in office, only one term longer than Obama's. And, finally, (3) a man of considerable charisma and genuine (if somewhat overstated) verbal skills, whose adult life to date seems to have been designed around the politically astute principle that if you do nothing there will be nothing to blame you for.

    Yep, looks like I'll be voting for Ralph again. I just wish he had a chance of winning.

    February 28, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Jack

    ENOUGH! ALREADY. I hope no one wastes their time or vote on this
    run again and again and again has been.

    February 28, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Jason

    great. i expect at leat one nader article per week. gotta keep his name fresh in the minds of my fellow Americans, especially when some are heading to the polls

    February 28, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Ron

    while i have not voted for an Independent, i can see a time for them. speaking for myself, i'm VERY tired of the Republican and Democrat parties. it seems that they only care about their party and individuals in it and really don't care for the average American. i believe that as both parties continue, there will eventually come a back lash wanting to get rid of both as they are too self serving.

    February 28, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Rob

    A CITY OFFICIAL from San Fran???? And people want to call out Obama for inexperience? I can't wait to see who Obama picks. If his choice is half as charismatic as he is, Darth Nader and John McPlain will look REAL stupid on stage this fall.

    February 28, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. Janice

    Mr. Nader has contributed a lot to much of our thinking and doing in the 20th century. BUT his time is past!! He knows he wouldn't make a president of the USA; not experienced enough in things of the government. He is just running to keep votes from someone else. It is such a farse; can't we stop him from running?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    February 28, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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