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. Jon

    Whether or not Ralph Nader runs for president isn't as important as accepting the fact that Ralph Nader will never become president regardless. It simply will not occur, despite whatever rationalization Ralph Nader and his supporters care to consider. At most all he can do is capture votes that are on the fringe, and if the election is close (like it was before) it could affect the outcome. So while I agree in principle that anyone should be able to run for president, thet issue is whether Ralph's participation in the election will result in an outcome that causes further division in America.

    Frankly, I don't see any value in being president for any honest person. Politics will always make you a liar to someone. And the expense of running an election that will ultimately not result in a victory is simply a waste of money. Money that he could be doing a lot more good with than getting involved with this ridiculous rat-race we call democracy. Ralph Nader is much more powerful on the sidelines than he will ever be in the King's chair.

    January 30, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Janet

    Jesus-tap-dancin'-Christ, Nader! IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU! This is the best opportunity the American public has had to move forward since after WWII. Save your money, don't take any funds from the public, and just stay the heck out of it!

    January 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. Tim B.

    You people out there that claim he's going to make change in this country...

    ARE YOU NUTS! How long has he been around,a nd how much REAL change, real influence jas he had om this country in ANY category, any field, any cause that he purports to be a "champion" of.

    Nader's arrogance know no bounds, trumped only by Bush's ego. Nader has had his shot at bringing about change in this country, and he did... (points at the White House) and now you would encourage him do what... screw us ALL over again.

    Seriously, I want to see one poll, one study that says he can win. At this stage of the game you are either the leader, second place or history. There is no room for any one else.

    Don't like the fact that that is reality... go out there and try to change it.

    January 30, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. John Bolinas, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Ralph nader is just a nuisance candidate with no chance of winning. He should stop his ambition. He should concentrate more on what he does best for America rather than going through this tedious process. He is just wasting his time and energy.

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Jim ( Independent )

    This dude is like a sore that just wont heal.

    GO AWAY !

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Jess

    I miss consumer protector Nader circa 1960s!

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. McGee

    I use to respect this man. The key word is use to. He did mess it up for Al Gore and he has gotten out of touch with reality. He knew what he was doing but just did not care, thought of him self only. Why didn't he start running for president months ago. He just wants to wreck things again. Shame on him.

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Mary Jane

    Run Ralph Run. We need a voice for the people. Ralph Nader is an American Hero. He is the only one to take on corporate America and win. lf your life has been saved by an airbag in your car, thank Ralph.

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. John

    Let's be realistic, you can't even compare his chances to those of the proverbial snowball.

    Nader would be laughable if not for the fact that every four years we count his votes and are reminded of how many screwballs we have running around among us.

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Leah

    Many, many years ago, Ralph Nader did good work helping to protect consumers from defective products. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a narcissistic megalomaniac now!

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Brilliant

    CNN, can you maybe review these before posting? Leaving "waste-fruad" is just one of the many typos this website has posted in a story.

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. NYC Native

    The two-party system doesn't work. It doesn't give adequate representation of everyone's views. That said, we need Nader running again now like we need 4 more years of Bush.

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Peter

    Nader has every right to vote. Don't blame him for Bush. The same fools that voted for him in 2000 did so again in 2004 after things got worse. We are a nation of peons, that is why we have horrible leaders.

    January 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. pd

    Way to go Ralph. Those of you who do not know his records or his efforts....keep calling him names. The truth is that he talks about those issues that affect us in every aspect of our life. i don't know if most of America feels like they have to choose the better of two evils or if we are just too lazy, affected, disillusioned, or preoccupied to get involved. For crying out loud, hold all of the candidates accountable.

    January 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. ron


    January 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Jay Fraga

    "...... they might be interested in my exploratory effort," Nader said.

    I'm interested in Nader being fired out into orbit on the tip of a rocket. He can say whatever he wants about "spoilers", but the fact of the matter is that old Ralph is at least partially responsible for us having to live through two terms of Republican hell.

    Thanks, but no thanks, Ralph. Stay at home and watch this one on TV please.

    January 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Jamie

    Can you imagine this ballot on election day??

    A Republican candidate

    A Democratic candidate

    Ralph Nader as another candidate

    Michael Bloomberg as another candidate

    No one gets a majority of Electoral votes.

    Election thrown to House of Rep's.

    Nancy Pelosi, the new President of the US!!!!


    January 30, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Kevin

    This guy is an unbelievable JERK!! Thanks to him we've had 8 years of the arguably worst administration in US history. Someone please stop him!

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Rob

    Nadar should be the DEM VP CANDIDATE!

    Nader has done more in his life to help the people of the US than all other candidates combined. If the Democratic party wants to prevent him from taking votes from the nominee then CHOOSE HIM TO BE THE RUNNING MATE!

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Abm Habibullah, Dallas, TX

    This guy is the GOP hotman, doing the dirty work for GOP. I wish he dissapears 100 % by any means.

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. BO 08

    Go away Nadar! But regardless, Obama will make it to the whitehouse....

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. CDH

    Oh, this is great. Can we impose term limits for unsuccessful bids for the White House. Will someone please get some sense into Nader's head? Is he happy that we got Bush in 2000?

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. ME

    GO RALPH!!!! we've needed you in the White House for years. I voted you before, and I'll vote for you again.

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Rosemary

    Is this man determined to once again put a Republican in the White House? He is reputed not to be stupid so I can only conclude that he is actually a Republican stealth operative.

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Dennis

    Go Ralph – Please Run – Spoiler – I don't think so – realist yes...he knows how to get things done – he advocates for the common man and disapproves of the corporate congloms!
    Wake up people – we need to have a President who obides by the constitution and allow the people to make decisions not the f'n white house! The white house works for us – lately for the past several decades that hasn't been the case!
    Go Green!

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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