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. David, Encinitas, CA

    I wonder how much Karl Rove paid him...

    January 30, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Alfred Carter

    It's always about Ralph with Ralph. Nobody else ever stacks up. And he doesn't seem to get that if he can raise that much money, he TOO can become an important lobbyist for the changes he advocates. Instead of grandstanding.

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Ed Y

    Nader, thanks to you for putting "W" in the Whitehouse and screwing up our country! GO AWAY and don't come back!

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. EB Rideout, Georgia

    Where exactly does this clown hide between election cycles?

    Why doesn't he do something worthwhile instead of resurface from the depths every four years?

    Just go away, Ralph...just go away.

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Logic

    It's not Nader's job to stay out of a race so dems can get more votes. It's the democratic candidates job to earn their votes. Gore and Kerry should have easily defeated Bush but didn't because they played the same old political games that no one got excited about.

    Obama 08

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Rico

    Thank you Ralph for setting the record straight on Obama.
    I hope you do run it is your constitutional right to do so.

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Kevin R Wright

    Paul, your theory on how an election should work is ludicrous. I pity anyone who votes for a front runner simply because they are a front runner. If Ralph Nader represents what someone wants from a candidate, then they should vote for him, period. There is no reason to get wrapped up in the "throwing away" your vote, or a vote of non confidence...Vote for who best represents your thoughts and beliefs and call it a day.

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. LisaMpls

    Will2008: Moses is right. The ads did run in FL, which you do not deny. That is a direct violation of the agreement between the three candidates, if you care. The pledge specifically said no electronic advertising. People all over FL saw these ads. That is the definition of campaigning! He could have simply NOT run the ads...Hillary and Edwards had no problem refraining from running national ads.

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Robin

    He's still alive?

    January 30, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. KenC

    Its beyond belief that he can possibly believe he has any chance to actually win. There should be a law that keeps him from running.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. David Rochester NY

    Anyone that votes for this clown is doing nothing but voting for the GOP. Don't fool yourselves this guy is a ego manic. He knows he can not win. He knows that he will do nothing but make it harder for a Dem. to win and start on the road To take are nation back. Is Obama or Clinton perfect ? No but who is ? Not Nader . PLease please please make this man go away so I don't have To live a another 4 year nightmare the last 7 was enough.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Paul

    To: Gary, Charlottesville, VA

    I am NOT a Democrat or Republican. If he wants to run that"s his choice, but lets not act as though this guy isn't feeding his ego. I'm a political junkie, I can't get enough of it, having said that , where has he been for the past year. I read, watch and listen, to many different sources and he hasn't said a thing about anything or anyone to my knowledge until now. If he wants to be the debate that's fine but don't come in at the last minute, as if he is the great saviour on his white horse to save us all. He is a straight distraction to the ill's of this country. To you that will vote for him, more power to you but you are really showing your lack of inteligence over political matters as well as a lack of unserstanding of how to utilize the full power of your vote. You do not vote for the guy that doesn't have a snowballs chance in "you know!" that is counter productive to the principles of the people having the voice in a free democracy.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Karen Hunter

    Ralph Nader shares the blood that drips from Bush and Cheney's hands.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Jason Albuquerque

    I bet the RNC is scheming a way to get Ralph the $10M and all the lawyers he needs so he can SPOIL the Democrats chances of winning this election... If there's a bright side, should McCain get the republican nod – our country certainly could do worse... after eight years of GWB, Alfred E. Newman would be an improvement as Chief Exec. GOOD RIDDANCE!

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Chris

    This man has no heart. He is partly to be blamed for the worst 8 years in history and yet without any heart, he wants to destroy the nation again. Someone please stop this guy and revoke his citizenship. Do something. I am so sick of old politics.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  16. Monique

    I love Nader, I really think he is a closet republican.

    McCain '08

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Judith, Ridgewood, NJ

    Ralph...loved you and worked for you in the 70's during the first PIRG in Oregon. But really, been there, done that. Consider that your speaking up is actually shouting down.

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. AAD

    Yay! Ralph is running again! I've been wondering who I was gonna vote for. You people need to relax. Anyone can run for president. You vote or don't vote for him. That is your freedom and his freedom. This is America. We are supposed to have certain civil liberties. Having two candidates is barely better than having one candidate. I don't want to live in a dictatorship! I am all for competition. Bring on the candidates! Any and all!

    January 30, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Susan S., Wyoming

    Sure Ralph, hand another one to the Republicans in a tight race why don't you. Yeah, that'll show corporate America.

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. charlotte

    Nader has no chance to win the presidency, his plan is to throw a monkey-wrench into the mix, so the GOP will win again? If you love this country stay out of this.

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. Linda

    If he were really serious about this, he would have started before now. Time to take his ego and go away for good.

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Chris

    Nader's greatest impact was in Florida in the 2000 election, where George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by 537 votes and Nader's 97,421 votes tilted the election in Bush's favor.

    Taken from Wikipedia ( and it makes me sick to my stomach)

    January 30, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Rita Kelley

    Our constitution guarantees the right to run; this is a major feature of a democracy. RALPH CANNOT BE BOUGHT. If anyone is for middle America is is Ralph Nader. His record proves this and it is a very long record of working for the betterment of people. We have all benefited form his extreme effort over many years. Think of Ralph whenever you put on your seatbelt.
    He will not be swayed by special interests such as the drug companies and big insurance companies. Who knows, if Ralph were elected, he would probably see to it that lobbies are done away with entirely.
    Ralph is the essence of the greatness that we have been lacking for so very long. When was the last time we had a great president?

    January 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. sue

    Ralph Nader has nothing to add to this campaign. Both Clinton and Obama are candidates who support envirionmental and economic change. We do not need, or want Nader, in this election.
    Please Ralph use your head, and not your over inflated ego, and be a voice of reason. You lost a lot of ground when you prevented AL Gore from winning the White House. He is now an envirionmental champion, and a Nobel Prize winner. You are already legendary for you work on consumers issues. Keep that as your focus. Leave politics alone.
    We need to get rid of the narrow, power brokers, now in Washington.
    Which means we need a Democratic candidate to be elected.
    Ralph sit this one out. Please sit this one out.

    January 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Steve

    Crazy talk... Nader is a GOP puppet who will deliver 4 more years to the war-mongers. NADER, go away!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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