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. Mark

    Just because one CAN do a thing, doesn't mean one SHOULD do that thing. Much of the idealism Nader represents is also found in the Democrats' platforms. Nader running pulls votes away from Dems more than Republicans – and that's not fair.

    Nader – if you really want the election to be fair, realize that your idealism (while honorable) throws a monkey-wrench into the REAL-LIFE way that things work. Let this election play out on a fair playing field.

    January 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Vern

    Nader continues to be the poster child for arrogance and irrelevance.

    January 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. gildthelilly

    Ralph, once upon a time we loved you, but PLEASE, don't do it! We have to work with what we have, and what is FEASIBLE. Leave the rest to the angry mob.

    January 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Bonnie

    IT MUST BE GROUND HOG DAY – Ralph Nader is a recurring nightmare!! Ralph, stop beating a dead horse . . .

    January 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. chris

    dubya has kept America safe......i'm sure for those almost 4,000 American soldiers, there is no safer place from danger than inside a box, 6 feet under ground....

    January 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. Nemo

    Many of our sons and daughters are dead because of Ralph Nader. Maybe he thinks that is ok since he saved so many by forcing the auto industry to install seat belts in cars. But Gore would have been president and we would never have invaded Iraq.

    He was once a good man but has become selfish and again would be a one issue candidate who screws America

    January 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Michael

    Nadar is the best thing that ever happened to the republican party. His intentions should be investigated thoroughly!

    January 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. Bryan

    Imagine what could have been done if the consensus could have been maintained following 9-11. It wasn't because of the President who served. Instead we have seriously destabilized the middle east and distanced ourselves from Europe.

    Whatever your thoughts on Gore, he has always struck me a consensus maker and to the middle of the left. I suspect the world would be a dramatically different place now if Gore had captured an extra 101 votes in Florida.

    I appreciate all you have done for this country, but please Ralph don't add to the decisiveness.

    Please don't run.

    January 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. msb

    This man is the reason we have such a horrible time right now!! If not for Nader, no George Bush. We would have had a true environmentalist in Al Gore as President for eight years!!!! We would have had someone ask for more detailed information concerning supposed WMD's!!!! No rush to war and the loss of lives of innocent young Americans and foreign nationals. He would have looked for the true culprit of 9/11 and not transfer anger to start a war!!!!!!!! And, if memory serves, he was Vice President when the economy was in an excellent surplus. He needs to seriously look inward for such destruction and the destruction of the environment. This would be a tragic, tragic action to occur once again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Meg

    Pleaaaase don't. I appreciate you may not like the Dem front runners but we cannot afford another 1 year much less 4 under republican leadership. Just reading this headline made my heart sink

    January 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Bob

    Hillary at this point is praying for Ron Paul to spoil John McCain's run. If Nader throws his hat in the ring, that'll siphon off votes from that critical ultra-liberal Democratic base Hillary depends on so much, thus negating any damage Ron Paul might do. McCain's gains among independents and Hillary-haters will do the rest. Unless, of course, the Dems go for Obama, in which case they might actually have a shot at this thing.

    January 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Amy

    The 500 votes in Florida were lost by Al Gore all by himself. Nader has said, and I believe it to be a good point, that if Gore wanted to gain votes given ultimately to Nader, all he needed to do was engage the issues Nader was pushing and show himself to be the better candidate. Besides that, there were other independent candidates that year who could also just as easily be blamed for "ruining" Al Gore's chances. Time to hold the candidates responsible for their own failures and stop blaming Nader because he's an intelligent and courageous man. Don't want to vote for Nader? Then don't. Want others not to vote for Nader? Volunteer for the campaign of an opponent. Don't whine when citizens utilize what is ostensibly still a democratic process.

    January 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Manuel

    Oh . . . my . . . God! Not again! One disastrous election is enough! Stay out!

    January 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Bryan, Kennebunk, ME

    I for one hope that he doesn't decide to run! He's done enough spoiling already!

    January 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Amy

    Talk about a bunch of babies who can't stand a little bit of competition to make the field more interesting. The key word being "little." Unfortunately, Nader and all "3rd' parties have never had THAT much of an impact on the general elections. Sure, as many as 17% of the electorate vote for them (and that was a 1 time deal!) but that's really small potatoes.
    If more people had believed in Gore he wouldn't have lost in 2000. Duh.
    HillBama '08!!!!
    Nader has obviously got the backing of people or else he wouldn't even be forming an exploratory committee. Do you think he sits around and says "How can I screw things up for the Democrats?" NOOOOO! He has the backing of many people in this country and EVERYONE, even you people who are ranting and raving here, has the right to be represented by a candidate whom they believe it. THAT is the beauty of democracy. 2 parties fail to even come close to the real representation we should have.

    January 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. :jmc:

    Please. Go. Away.

    Thank you.

    January 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Tobias Whately

    It appears that Nader is about to conduct another ego boosting adventure at the expense of the American people. Nader has good ideas though his candidacy is not one of them.

    January 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. v.ananthan


    January 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Ken

    Thanks again Raphie ... for nothing. Anyone who would give money to him or vote for him is an idiot. Were is George Wallace when you need him.

    January 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Justin

    Some guys never learn

    January 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. mabel floyd


    January 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Carrie

    Although I believe there should be a third party, Ralph Nader is not the answer.

    January 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Ed K.

    Nader is just a nut case that likes to upset the apple cart. The republicans will win if this nut gets in the race and I wonder if there is a connection. Without some type of diversion the republicans don't have a chance. Does anyone really think our country can stand another term of blood sucking?

    January 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Christiaan, Norman, OK

    It's fairly safe to say that the Bush administration's getting elected is Nader's fault. By extension, he's at least partly to blame for all of this mess we're in.

    While I support his right to run, it is unconscionable that he's even considering it.

    Now the onus is on us to not vote for him, hippie or not.

    January 30, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  25. William

    Nader was a spoiler for gore in 2000 and he won't be anything different in 2008. I'm glad he wants to raise the issues he's fighting for and exercise his freedom of speech doing it, but where the heck is he when there isn't a presidential bid going on? Does he only come out into the public eye once every election cycle to spread his Spoiler wings for a few days? Stay out of this one Nader! Let's have an early spring this year.

    January 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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