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. Linda

    A judge revoked the $2 million bond Monday for indicted businessman Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who has raised thousands of dollars for Barack Obama.
    U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve said she grew concerned after learning Rezko received $3.5 million from a company in Lebanon; he had claimed that he had no income. St. Eve said she feared Rezko could be a flight risk.
    An FBI affidavit said Rezko actually received $3.5 million from a Lebanon-based bank account of General Mediterranean Holdings, a Luxembourg company owned by London-based Iraqi billionaire Adhmi Auchi.
    The Obama campaign declined to comment on Rezko's arrest Monday.

    January 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. E.C.Rossi

    Ralph Nader apparently has no grasp of arithmetic. He should go to the
    blackboard and write the following equation until he grasps it

    January 30, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Evan

    I'll vote for Nader before I will vote for Hillary. She is UNELECTABLE, people!

    January 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Mark

    Nader has unfortunately become all that he once despised, an arogant, power hungry, egomaniac. And now he threatens another scorched earth campaign... Ralph .... Get in your Corvair, go for a ride, and think it over. Please.

    January 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Bruce

    I wish people could see the documentary about Ralph on PBS. We truly need him. For those democrats worried about him, they should Question why Gore didn't win his own state of Tennessee, and the sitting president's(at that time) state of Arkansas.

    His ego has never been the problem. He is a humble hard working man that has done more for this country than most realize.

    If anything, please insist on seeing this documentary. Both parties(corporations) are afraid of him and us. The country that is supposed to be the leader of democracy having only two parties is shameful.

    January 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. BLSmith

    Ralph "Nadir" would have voiced the same things about the 1860 candidate Abraham Lincoln that he says about Obama–"inexperienced," "mediocre record," "cautious".


    January 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. frank

    Ralph- Give me a break. This is about your ego and not what is best for America.
    I hold you personally responsible for the depressing 8 years that we had to put up. You are indirectly responsible for all of Bush's failed policies, the degradation of the environment, the Iraq War, etc. So do us all a favor -stay out of the race.

    January 30, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Ian

    As a progressive I was going to vote for Edwards. Looks like I'll be voting for Nader now.

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Chris Dick


    In the article, Nader rails on the two leading Democrats for "ignoring the presidential pattern of illegality and accountability" and "ignoring the out of control waste-fruad military expenditures and the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars to corporate subsidies, handouts, and giveaways"

    But these are the same realities that Nader himself made possible when he put the Bush administration in the White House.

    Be warned – a vote for Nader is actually a vote for the Republican candidate.

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Ry Barbin

    No one questions his"right" to run. However it is foolish to anyone who shares Nader' views. He gave us 8 years of Bush by following his ego. Think how the country and world be be today if he had not run and Gore were President.

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Davy

    Finally, someone is pointing out that Obama is not the candidate of change, that he is just another politician! Will the news organizations finally question Obama's record? Probably not.

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. John

    Mr. Nader,

    How much are the Republicans paying you to run this time–$20, million. By my calculation, that sum is twice as much as you got last time. Wasn't that enough for a cushy retirement–talk about greed.

    John of Bowie, Maryland

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Tim B.



    Does any one know of a petition to keep him OFF any and all state ballat.

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Jessica, arlington, VA

    Nader can be an idiot and try to run again. But it is up to us, NOT to vote for him!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. murk

    originally posted by joe:

    "PLEASE NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Nader is almost worse than Obama."

    so by syllogism are you actually suggesting that obama is worse than bush? please, put the kool aid down, get your head check, and for the love of god do no reproduce.

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. JB, Oakland

    Someone should ask Nader how he feels about the bloodshed in Iraq.

    January 30, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Paul

    Please Ralph don't ruin a good thing. Keep doing what ever it is you do and stay out of the race because you know just like everyone else that you do not have a chance.....PERIOD, ever in time! And for those who even think about voting for him you do realize that you have WASTED your vote, so in theory you might as well not vote. If you vote for him, its basically a lack of confidence vote on the other candidates, which is your right but I do not think at this time in our countries current position thats what this election is about. I'll say it again, Ralph, Please sit this one out so we can concentrate on what really matter and not be distracted by the media talking about someone who doesn't have a chance to win!

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Gary, Charlottesville, VA

    Hypocrites, all of you. If any of you Democrats actually stood for the things you say you do, you would welcome any and every candidate who wants in on the election. It's not about equal rights or any of that garbage, its about your candidate winning. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    I hope Nader does run because the country should have as many options as possible. But on a personal level I also hope he runs because it's looking less and less likely that I'll have the option to vote for Obama in November. And I would much prefer to vote for Nader over Bloomberg over McCain. As for Clinton, each of my hands has five digits and two of them are pointed at you.

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Jean-Pierre

    Go Ralph!

    I love his determination and love for this country's welfare.

    The other candidates, Republicans as well, are too self-serving to have a genuine interest or concern for us, the real American people.

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. Meddy

    Here's a really good guy but this is not the time for idealism... We need the lesser evil in power come Jan 09.

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. sbamkmfdmdfmk

    Imagine if we have multiple significant third party candidates though...

    Obama vs. Romney vs. Paul vs. Bloomberg vs. Nader

    That would be an EXCITING November for once!

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Summer

    I like Ralph Nadar a lot. During the last election that he was a part of I almost voted for him, that is, until I realized that by voiting for him, I would be helping to put Bush in the White House. So yes, I changed my mind at the last minute and voted for Gore.

    Now, it's time for him to settle down. He has already spoiled the race once before and I'm starting to think that he's doing this on purpose AGAIN! Someone needs to hurry up and put a leash on this hound before he continues to sabatoge elections.

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    There's a nursing home somewhere missing another old man who doesn't have anything else to do but cause disruption. Nader, go back to what you were doing best, watching all the action on TV and go to the polls and vote just like everyone else.

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. K,FL


    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Chapel Hill NC

    Sit down.
    Shut up.
    Thank you.

    January 30, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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