January 1st, 2008
10:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Nader blasts Clinton, says he's for Edwards

Nader said he likes Democrat John Edwards for president.

Nader said he likes Democrat John Edwards for president.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (CNN) - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader criticized Democrat Hillary Clinton Monday, and gave his seal of approval to her presidential rival, John Edwards.

In an interview with the Politico, the consumer advocate urged liberal Iowans to "recognize" Edwards by "giving him a victory." He added that Clinton would "pander to corporate interest groups" if elected.

Nader, who has long said Democrats and Republicans are almost indistinguishable, called Edwards his party’s "glimmer of hope."

Clinton, Edwards and Obama are either tied or separated by just a few percentage points in most recent polls, with Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses just two days away.

Nader is a controversial figure within the Democratic party – a liberal icon who is blamed by some for Vice President Al Gore’s loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential race.

Nader has said before that he is not a fan of Clinton or Obama. During a June interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Nader took a few jabs at Sen. Clinton for “not using her political capital to shift power to challenge abuses of power.” In another interview, with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Nader accused Obama of excluding himself from the progressive coalition.

On Monday, the four-time presidential contender specifically accused Clinton of failing to challenge military spending because "she is a woman who doesn't want to be labeled as soft on defense and she doesn't want to be shown as taking on big business."

"The issue is corporate power and who controls our political system and it's not who has experience for six years or two years," he said, alluding to an ongoing debate over experience between Clinton and another Democratic presidential hopeful, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

This isn’t the first time that Nader has expressed his support for Edwards. In his 2004 campaign for the White House, Nader pushed for Democratic candidate John Kerry to pick Edwards as his running mate, saying he would be an “effective spokesperson for citizen’s rights in court…”

- CNN’s Cody Combs and Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Edwards • Ralph Nader
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. amw01

    Regardless of opinions about how Nader's run in 2000 and 2004 affected the outcome of the elections, give the man credit for the amazing work he has done in progressive politics.

    I was leaning toward Edwards before and this endorsement puts him over the top for me. Nader has been one of the most important people in the history of progressive politics. He was the man behind such great legislation as The Clean Air Act, The Highway Safety Act, The Freedom of Information Act, and creating the Environmental Protection Agency among others. He is one of the few politicians who has held himself to the same standards as those he works against. He puts the environment, consumer safety, and American citizens above the well-being of corporations or his own profits. If you ask me, that's something we could use a lot more of in politics today.

    January 2, 2008 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  2. Gavin, Merrillville, Indiana

    WHO CARE WHAT RALPHIE THINKS - he only WISHES he was as qualified and experienced as Senator Clinton. She should be HAPPY that he did not endorse her-I would.

    January 2, 2008 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  3. Anonymous

    cnn pays politicans off?

    January 2, 2008 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  4. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    I can not think of anything Nader could have done more so to help the Clinton campaign and hurt the Edwards campaign.

    January 2, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    You pathetic as hell Clintonista's make me sick.

    You all complain that "we have nobody that sticks up for the lower and middle class in this country anymore" and when you are presented with someone that has ACTUALLY WALKED AND TALKED protecting us ALL, you mock and berate him because he calls out your "Queen" for the fraud that she is.

    I stand by previous postings that she could be caught on video robbing a church with a KKK shirt on and smoking a joint and you "sheep" would explain it away as the "church shouldn't have money laying around, the shirt was somebody elses and she didn't inhale".

    January 2, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Brian

    Interesting comments by Nader. Reading some of the comments above, it's not surprising that fans of corporate tool Hillary got a little snippy about it.

    January 2, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Brian

    " a strong Democratic win by someone who actually knows how to make a difference and not just talk about it: Sen. Hillary Clinton!"

    This was the best laugh I've had all day.

    Ralph Nader has dedicated his entire life to public service. Hillary Clinton has dedicated her entire life to her and her husband's political careers.

    Nader has had huge positive influence for American citizens and consumers. Hillary has done nothing of substance for citizens in her life as an elected official or as an unelected one.

    You can disagree with is presidential candidacies if you wish. But in terms of public service, there is no debate. Nader is a giant. Hillary isn't even at dwarf level yet.

    January 2, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. Brian

    Just an addendum: having theoretical positions on pre-K, mortgages and Roswell doesn't qualify as walking the walk. She's been a US senator for six years. Besides giving a blank check to Bush to destroy both Iraq and our civil liberties, what has she done?

    January 2, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. WB

    There's some amazing ignorance about Nader on display here. Here's a list of a few of the many acts credited to Nader. Can you name any President who has accomplished more for the average citizen of the US?

    Freedom of Information Act
    National Traffic and
    Motor Vehicle Safety Act
    Wholesome Meat Act
    Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act
    Clean Air Act
    Occupational Safety and Health Act
    Consumer Product Safety Act
    Safe Water Drinking Act
    Clean Water Act
    Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
    Mine Health and Safety Act
    Whistleblower Protection Act

    Of course, if you don't drink water, breathe air or drive a car you might not be benefitting from Nader's dedication to helping all Americans live better lives.

    January 2, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. bernie

    john best choose by fare he should have been pres 8 years ago AND WE wouldnt be in the mess we are in but i have to say i do beleave our govs pre planed bushes election for just what he has done and that was to take us to war now it is time for edwards to give the country back to the people

    January 2, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX

    Congratulations CNN TV!!!

    By running the "I-Report hour long segment" 10 times in a weekend and New Year Eve, and New Year day. You have shown me the light of the day. Cable has repetition but you have crossed the LIMIT!

    I have discovered my options in FOX NEWS, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, ABC News, and CBS News.

    Bye bye CNN I have been watching you and reading CNN.com for the past decade since you were the TURNER machine.

    People, pollsters, pundits give undue importance to the IOWA caucus anyway. Isn’t it time to break the back of this myth of IOWA’s importance? They haven’t picked a winner since 1976. I will wait for Super Tuesday on FOX NEWS though I know they are not FAIR & BALANCED! However they are the most powerful name in NEWS?

    Go Hillary44 08! http://hillaryis44.org/ http://www.thehillaryiknow.com/

    January 2, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. ccatmoon

    While Nader is part of the reason Bush got away with stealing the 2000 election, and I will always despise him for that, he is far from the only reason. Ultimately, the dem party has only itself to blame for nominating loser candidates. Gore is very appealing now (and I wish he were running again), but in 2000, it was a VERY different story.

    Nader might be an egomaniac, but that does not negate all his historic pro-consumer accomplishments and it makes me sick the way they are being denigrated in order to push Clinton or Obama. Name me ONE even vaguely comparable thing either have accomplished for the average consumer?

    I consider Nader's endorsement a big plus for Edwards – especially if it means he won't run. Isn't that what dems WANT? So why isn't everybody thanking Edwards for being the one to neutralize that particular danger? Or is it more important to express your sour grapes because Nader didn't support YOUR candidate?

    GO EDWARDS!!!!

    January 3, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  13. Jan OTTO

    Please don't run> Gore would have avoided the war if he could have been elected but you ruined his chances

    January 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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