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. Chad

    Nader is an ego-maniac and no good can come from this... I'd love a third party b/c the two party system is corrupt and broken, but if Ralph was serious about changing anything, he'd use his stature to build the Green Party from the local-level up. That he doesn't shows he's only in it for the attention he can get every four years or so.

    January 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Mike, Land O Lakes, FL

    EGO!! Get a life Nadar...then again, it'll give us a choice to vote for someone besides a republican should Hillary be the nominie.

    January 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Steve

    There is no doubt that Ralph Nader's entry into the election in 2000 cost Mr. Gore the election. The end result of his hubris was the neo-conservative take-over of Washington and ultimately the US invasion of Iraq. Mr. Nader, whatever his idealism, needs to stop and take a hard look of the end result of his actions. With the two national parties only points apart in key states, his candidacy, combined with the anti-Clinton or anti-Obama hysteria could easily provide the Republican party with the perfect storm they both desire and need.

    January 30, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Ken

    God please help us! Not again!

    January 30, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. chris

    the fact of the matter is, whether you like it or not, is that Senator Clinton is the best candidate currently running to give America a better future, our soldiers a safer and healthier life, our children a healthier and better education, our economy a better leader, our Nation a better President, and our world a more effective leader.

    January 30, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Tom Masters

    Thank Goodness! It's good to see him back.

    He gave us Bush, thank goodness, who has kept our country safe.

    If it's Cliinton & Romney, I think I will vote for him.

    Romney is an empty suited windbag.

    Hillary, woulda lost my vote after the waterworks, but I gave her another chance. But she blew it trying to get around the rules the DNC instated regarding Michigan and Florida Deligates.

    I cannot vote for McCain.

    If Rudy would run as VP I could though.

    I love this race, I hope Bloomberg gets in too.

    We need more choices, I've said for weeks that all the candidates should be fired and we should get fresh ones, and though they're not fresh, they're at least another option.

    January 30, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Billy

    Wow. What arrogance and self-importance! Of course he has the right to run for public office – every natural-born citizen does. Does he stand a chance of winning the nomination, let alone an election? No. Not at ALL. Plus he brings loads of baggage. LOADS. Just look at the blog comments regarding the LAST time he ran.

    Did he cost the Democrats the election? Probably, though you gotta fault Gore for not having done what was necessary to win it outright in the first place (I still remember the "debates" and still can't believe that Bush actually won any of them – it was like watching a chicken pecking at a keyboard win a competition for piano playing!). Even having ensured a complete recount in FL would have done it for Gore. It's not like the country was tilting into the abyss that second if we had a full recount. Anyway, it's sheer arrogance for him to ignore the historical, financial, and emotional impact of votes cast for him, plus it's long term impact on the standing of the USA in the world, and the pain and suffering incurred by our armed forces and thousands upon thousands of Iraqi citizens.

    If Ralphie really, REALLY cares about the issues he spouts off about, he should get in the race and, if he gets enough voter interest he can negotiate for special interest concessions from the front runner(s). Hmm...that sounds like the people he says he dislikes... Anyway, that will help his causes far more than demonstrating an exercise in impractical principals, and fracturing a strong Democratic base. Oh, and by the way, he's ignoring that Edwards extracted promises from both Democratic frontrunners to tackle poverty. Maybe Ralph should stop calling up the backers and lawyers, and just read the latest news! Meanwhile, Edwards may be out of the race, but not out of contention for VP on the ticket for the election... Whereas Ralph... he isn't getting on the ticket either.

    I can't believe Ralph actually buys the junk he's putting out. Probably just rhetoric to make him sound good, and demonize everyone else, no matter what is said (kind of like Karl Rove that way). Call us all anti-american if we say you're being a spoiler, Ralph. Then get to Swift-Boating as fast as you can, dude!

    Bet if you asked him if Ross Perot cost the Republicans too many votes way back when, he'd say yes in a heartbeat.

    January 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Rayan

    Hello Nadar:
    You are responsible for the past seven years of problems America is now facing with.Whyyou want this to be extended? Are we a cursed nation?

    January 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. david winograd


    Go far far away.
    You killed it for Gore and you now want to the same for this crop of dems.

    Are you working for the repubs????

    January 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Amy Salazar

    Ralph – It will NEVER HAPPEN.

    You gave us W in the 2000 election, please if you care about this country at all, STAY OUT of this election.

    It is pride and arrogance that is making you run. Take a long look in the mirror.

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. anonymous

    Why is tis News. Why would a respectable media outlet if cover it. Da!! How many votes did he get the last time he ran? Rediculous.

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Jason

    If this message actually goes to Ralph, I have this to say:

    You used to be great; you used to get things done. However, you've now let hubris trump pragmatism and have thus become a detriment to your own cause. Please do not run for President again. You caused a horrible setback to your own agenda once already. We need you to drive your agenda forward in a way that will generate sympathy, not just noise.

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. mike

    If the people had not wasted there votes on Gore we would have 8 great years under Ralph! instead you helped elect Bush! Get it right this time and vote for Nader PLEASE!!

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Walt, Belton, TX

    Sure Ralph, put another notch in your life-long losers belt! You probably feel you haven't been detested enough lately, but that's not true–we still do. How could one ever forget such a loser............................

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Chase

    Ralph goes into hiding for 3 years; then, he criticizes those who are "in the arena." He could be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. His efforts have done more harm to progressive options than have done more good. He continues to rationalize his negative impact in 2000. Hundreds of thousands have died in an unnecessary war under President Bush. Ralph is still in denial. If he were pragmatic, and not an idealogue like Bush, he would join in an effort by the Democrats to make some progress; and not, once again, help the Republicans win. He'd rather "destroy the village, in order to save it."

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Debbie

    Please Ralph, enough is enough. We're all tired.

    January 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Jim

    Are Republications paying him to do this again.

    January 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. HK

    So I guess none of you believe that we are all equal and therefore have equal rights. It is his right to to be a canidadte just as much as it is your right to vote for who you believe in. But I guess most of you will just vote for who you think has a better chance of winning.

    January 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. david

    What a publicity hog. What a joke

    January 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. benvictor

    Wondering who is bankrolling him? Does not matter. People know this guy. He will be lucky to get more than one vote–his own vote.

    January 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Billy

    If you had the money to fund the Republican Party for the election, this would be the BEST place to spend it – supporting Nader to siphon off votes from a viable Democratic candidate.

    January 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Kylie

    not againnnnnn

    January 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Obama

    I'm voting for Nader. He's better than me.

    January 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. HC

    Did CNN go to the nursing home to conduct this interview?

    January 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Cami

    Let him run. It's way too late anyway. I don't understand how he can think he'd stand a chance entering the race at this late date. What a joke.

    January 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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