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

Nader takes steps towards another White House bid

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/30/art.nader.gi.jpg caption=" 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. Richard, FL

    You would think Nader would feel humiliated for his small part in getting Bush elected.

    January 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. obama 08

    If Ralph truly cared about the USA and the WORLD, he would have never allowed Bush to steal the election. Take your ego and GO AWAY!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. ruben betancourt

    God Help Us! Not this imbecile and his out of control ego again! Is this guy on the payroll of the Republican Party? Please, please, stay home, raise some chickens, do anything but STAY OUT of it this time.

    You HAVE to be smart enough to see the damage you did to the country wityh your stupidity the last time. Please stay out of it. Please.

    January 30, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Erica

    The Republicans must be getting desperate...they've gone and dug up Nader again.

    This attempt is so transparent, it's pathetic.

    Go away Nader!

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. JEM

    Ralph Nader is a complete has-been loser. Maybe he is a closet Republican out to sabotage yet another election. He and Bloomberg should just go out and support Obama.

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Jason

    Nader, the year 2000 called. They want their Republican helper back.

    They need to have a limit on the number of times you can run, like they do on the number of terms you can serve.

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Tim Cumming, GA


    You are already sitting at the loser’s table with your 2008 Presidential pick, Edwards. Stay seated and accept your rightful position as leader of the Geek table.


    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. Chance

    Hopefully Ron Paul will run independent as well so the Republicans can experience a third party candidate sucking away important votes, too.

    Please for the love of God, Ralph. You've already ruined the last 8 years... must you ruin more?

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. David

    Ralph speaks truth!

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. Phil

    Somebody please stop this madman ...!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  11. Joe G, Washington, DC

    Per the article, this insight by Ralph with respect to Obama is brilliant:

    "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 is also correct about Clinton and Obama ingoring the topic of a living wage.

    If you are a Democrat, get honest and admit that Clinton and Obama are mainstream politicians. What real change do you really think that you will get out of either one of these sell-outs?

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Elizabeth Babcock

    The first time I could vote after turning 18 was in Florida in 2000. I had friends who said that there wasn't any difference between Al Gore and George Bush. So they voted for Nader. They were completely blind to the reality that there were huge differences between the candidates and we have paid the consequences. I am no supporter of corporate influence in Washington, but we have to realistically look at what will happen to our country if each candidate were to take power.

    And to set the record straight, Obama does talk about raising the minimum wage. From his website: Provide a Living Wage: Barack Obama believes that people who work full time should not live in poverty. Before the Democrats took back Congress, the minimum wage had not changed in 10 years. Even though the minimum wage will rise to $7.25 an hour by 2009, the minimum wage's real purchasing power will still be below what it was in 1968. As president, Obama would further raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing - things so many people take for granted.

    Listen to what candidates say, watch what they do, go to their websites and get informed. And don't vote for Ralph Nader.

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Steve Newby

    From the start I've been praying for some collective guts on society's part to begin in ernest an answer to our lack of true democracy. It's long overdue for this country to have a candidate for the 70% of unrepresented citizens. Ralph Nader is to America what Hugo Chavez is to his people. All the third world countries have more legitimate claim to democracy than we'll ever have. Their only obstacle is that everytime they elect who they want (usually leftist), Uncle Sam is always there to undermine their desires on behalf of Wall Street. The Forth Reicht here is determined to keep the negative cliches in full throttle against their demon of demons, Socialism. Funny thing is, we've always been a country ran by Socialists. What people don't realize is, is that the top 10% (the owners) have enjoyed the benefits of total government subsidizing, with endless breaks, paybacks, exemptions, ad nauseum. Everyone at the top echlons of power in private and public office, all get to enjoy full paying pensions, full health care benefits, etc. (cradle to gravers?) Then when someone like Kucinich, Nader or Wellstone comes along, they are either murdered or blackballed from the big and little business parties from participating. So, in my thinking, if Socialism is right and good for everybody in the White House or Ivory Towers then by God it is right for rest of us.

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Sarah-Jane

    Let ugly Nader run. Let Bloomberg run. Let Al Gore run. Let Obama run as an Independent if White men prefer a white woman. Let everybody run, and ....

    Let Democrats lose. AGAIN!


    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. r sisk, nevada

    January 30, 2008 2:26 pm ET

    the clintons are liars
    the world knows this
    it really suprises me (makes me sick) that we have let another one get this far
    don't go crying when she lies too Posted by Molly.

    You're an idiot. This article isn't even about Clinton. Stay with the stories and quit bashing Hillary when it's not relevant. Loser!

    Nadar needs to do what he thinks he needs to do. I think most of us will remember the 2000 election and realize we may end up with another loser GOP president if we don't band together and vote DEM no matter what.

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. Liz, South Carolina

    Nader did not just enter the race as stated in many other comments – if the press would mention his name or give him air time or even acknowledge he is 3rd in a race – you would know that he has hung in for the long haul...Where is Edwards, Mr. Rudy 911 and Mr. Christianity, etc., – Not in the race, not fighting for the white house... G O N E...but you knew they were there didn't you? Nadar is onto something...the truth...and unfortunately real change and real truth is just to scary for most people – its easier to call him crazy. I can understand that because that was me – scared. He can have my spoiled vote if he runs for President as he did in SC.

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. An Agnostic Democrat

    Ralph Nader, who does nothing productive until the election cycle, comes out of the woodwork to decalre himself a candidate of some form or another. This guy is a joke!

    Anyone who votes for him is as stupid as the drinkers of the Clinton cocktail. He's got questionable motives and is a frontman for underground operatives (just not so well published, that's all), so he needs to deflate his opportunistic ego and go back into his pit! Snake!

    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Decaf

    So far as I'm concerned, the medium is the message.

    I'm a rather conservative fellow, but it makes me sick to hear all of you talk about how someone does not have the right to run and participate in the civic process.

    By running, Ralph implicitly makes the point that he'll do it anyway. Good for him. A lot of the same people who have this condescending attitude towards his campaign are the same kind of would-be bullies that are found in all sordid facets of life.

    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Conan

    Sweet!!!!!! Another victory for the Republicans!!!!! Four more years of dominance!!!!!! Thank you Ralphy boy!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. BLSmith

    Ralph "Nadir" would have voiced the same things about Abraham Lincoln that he says about Obama–"inexperienced," "mediocre record," "cautious".


    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Patrick


    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Brook E. Mantia

    Like Al Gore, Ralph Nader should realize that being President of the United States is not necessarily the best platform to do the most good for the most people. If he really cares about changing people's lives for the better, he should concentrate on that, without being dragged down by politics. Quit screwing around, Ralph, and get back to work!

    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Alaine

    Probably for the best, no one will vote for Hillary anyway, she's just a woman. I'm happy to see that so many democrats agree with this– they may be liberal about too much other stuff, but AT LEAST they still know where a woman's place is. I was concerned about a strong Democratic candidate running, but I should have known not to worry AS USUAL democrats are all talk about equality but no action.

    Here's to EIGHT GREAT more years with America's party (Repubilcans, obviously)

    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Patrick


    January 30, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. rod

    Do you wonder if this man has ever admitted to himself the truth that hundreds of thousands of innocent lives would not been lost in Iraq had he not ego tripped into the election in the past?

    January 30, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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