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. Quinn

    Come On Ralph. Do you get a kick out of helping Republicans in close elections by calling out Democrats for not being liberal enough. You are a waste of our time and your money. The only thing you might be able to do for me is give me a way to vote against Hillary without voting Republican this November. If too many people do the same as I do, you could actually win...and that's very scary.

    January 30, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Golden Chica

    Give it up Ralph. We don't need another 4 years of republican domain in the White House.

    January 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Todd

    This is fantastic. I'll always vote for him, no matter how bad things are before he runs. He is the most scrupled person to have run for the office in my lifetime and we need to be reminded of his message regularly.

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

    Who cares.

    January 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Dan Quinn

    It seems like most of you do not want Nader for president, So obviously he must be the better person for the job. Judging from the past couple of presidents you voted in you don't seem to know the best man for the job, So I say go for it Nader. He has given you every opportunity to elect him. He would have to be better than who you voted in the last 16 years. Can not do much worse.

    January 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Not Again

    Ralph, if you want to make a difference, calculate all the money you are going to lose during your campaign and give it to charity or an environmental fund. You haven't made a difference the last times you've run and you won't make a difference this time either...we'll actually you did...you helped put Bush in office and take this country in the complete opposite direction you claim you want. Please stay out.

    The Democrat party is the closest thing to Ralph that has a real chance.

    January 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Barb LeVine

    Doesn't he realize we can just hand the Republicans the White House if he runs. Please Ralph don't do this to us again!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Jesse Holmes

    Every time Ralph Nader runs for President, he makes himself look like an idiot. Sorry, Ralph, it's a two-party system; you should have competed in the Democratic primary if you wanted to take a shot at 1600 Pennsylvania.

    January 30, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Steve Sunde

    Nadar should put his giant ego aside and not run.

    January 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Jack

    How can any of you not appreciate A REAL CHOICE in this or any election. Ralph Nader is one of the most courageous and honorable men around. If only we had more Ralph Naders!

    January 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Derek Chastain

    Unsafe At Any Age.

    January 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Christian

    You have got to be kidding me ! Ralph Nader is the reason Al Gore is not in the White House today !

    January 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. nykspree8

    looking to ruin another election, go go nader *sigh*

    January 30, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Bruce Peskoe

    It's time to face the fact that Ralph Nader is no longer relevant. People didn't want him in 2000 and they want him less now.

    January 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Justin B

    What does "steal" votes mean? Is that really what our democracy has come to? All Obama and Hillary have to do is take on real issues like poverty and corporate crime if they really want "change." Ralph is only thinking about jumping in because Edwards announced he was bailing out. Without Edwards in the race, Nader gets my vote. Think about it, were there less homeless people, less military budget (Bosnia?), less corporate crime under Bill Clinton that there is under George Bush? Is your life any different? For most people the answer is no. I say go Ralph go.

    January 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    stay out of it.

    January 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Sharon, Littleton, CO

    Oh, great...another run by this egoist. Isn't what happened to us in 2000 enough. Go away, Ralph...NO ONE wants you in the White House!

    January 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. chris

    the guilt of ralph nader lies not in the commitment to his convictions, but the failure to recognize the difference between the anti-American policies of the republican nominee in 2000 and the progressive record of the Administration which the Democratic nominee was an integral part of. Yes, those disenfranchised with both parties deserve to be heard, but to be taken into serious consideration is the voices of those whom would be fatally affected by the differences between the two parties. The failure of nader to recognize a mistake makes it all the more likely he will make the same mistake again. Shame on you, Mr. Nader, for letting your disapproval of the two parties take precedence over the greater good of the Nation you supposedly fight to protect.

    January 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Carlo


    Get a life!

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

    I met Mr Nadar while attending college in the 1980s. His messae is important, but choosing the Presidential election to share it, is...well ignorant. He has done this country an incredible disservice in the last election and should stay out of the important decision Americans need to make. His appearance on the election ballot only serves one purpose...his own. Mr Nadar..shame on you!

    January 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. He owns, don't make fun of him!

    Ralph Nader OWNS!

    January 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  22. JWC

    If Nader caused President Bush to get elected, God Bless Him!! McCain '08'.

    January 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. czarcastik

    Good,it's about time someone steps in and runs against the two steaming piles (Dems and Reps) running for office, hopefully Independents have has enough of both parties scrambling to make bad and worse decisions, effecting our way of life generally for the worse.

    January 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. Joel

    Amen, Wayne!

    January 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Don

    Nader=Bush and he is going to try and do this again. For the love of this country, stay out of the race!

    January 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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