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. No Nader

    For as smart as the guy is he is a complete moron. I am shocked that he can't see the damage he did in 2000 and what damage he might do (though I hope his constituents themselves will have gotten smarter in eight years) in this iteration of the Presidential election if he doesn't go away. Why dilute the left-leaning electorate when a democratic president will be a much better ally in the white house than another Bush? Cripes...go away, please!

    January 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Julia

    If Nader was serious about improving conditions, improving on inequalities, he should put the $10 million directly toward that cause, rather than running a race he is sure to lose. And could potentially lose it for someone who is truly dedicated to those causes despite campaign nonsense.

    January 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Brian Levis

    You have got to be kidding me??!! Ralph, please, just say no and continue your therapy. You're killin' me!!

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

    OK Ralph. Stop. Think for a minute. Put the gun you're holding to our collective heads down. You already helped elect the most disastrous president in our history. If you senselessly enter this race, one of these will likely result: President McCain... President Romney... President Paul... or (Heaven Forbid) President Huckabee... haven't we suffered enough?

    January 30, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. greg

    If Hillary Gets the nomination, I'll welcome Nader so he makes it harder for Hillary to become president. We already had one clinton in office, it's time for america to move on.

    January 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. ash

    We need a miacle for America, the original spirit of betterment to resurface, not the spend forces whose only aim to waste national resources on personal agendas, and agrandisements!

    Let the race be between Hillary and McCain.

    January 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. caywen

    sigh. Nader once again screws the election.

    January 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Anna


    You gave us 8 years of George Bush.

    If you give us 8 years of Mitt Romney, this country may not survive.

    Go away.

    and stay away

    January 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. ginny

    Ralph, didn't you learn anything from the last time you stepped in? You have blood on your hands my friend.

    January 30, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Justin

    This guy has to be a republican plant. No other explanation for him to sabotage the election every year. Dont fall for it people!!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Chris-Tucson, AZ

    May I suggest that you get into your Chevrolet Corvair with the Firestone Tires and
    drive away-far, far, far away from politics.

    January 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Sherry in Kentucky

    This means if Hillary wins the nomination, we really are completely screwed!

    January 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. ABC=Anybody But Clinton

    UGH !

    January 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. jessafina

    I claim no party and have even voted for Nader in the past. I think he's spot on in a lot of his views. I have no animosity toward him, but I do so hope that he stays out of this race. He doesn't stand a chance and will just be a distraction.
    Barack Obama is be best cantidate that has come along in decades. He's getting people to care more than anyone has cared in as long as I can remember. Whether you're for him or against him, at least you have an opinion.
    My vote is wholeheartedly for Obama '08. McCain is a distant second. Hillary will never get my vote simply because I think that she is one of the most divisive figures this country has ever seen.

    January 30, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Dave

    Nader is nothing more than a pest and needs to get out of the way. He has been the democrats' and the country's worst nuisance for several years now. Stay out, Mr. Nader!!

    January 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. jon

    I'm absolutely disgusted reading these posts, you're all sheep-listen to yourselves. Gore lost the election himself- and as for 04, the best candidate the democrats could come up with is John Kerry????????? John Kerry was so bad candidate he couldn't defeat the worst president in the history of this country. I'm not voting for a party, I'm voting for a candidate

    January 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Mercedes Rodriguez


    Hilary Clinton will be on a spanish television interview with (Univision) and has promise to legalise all the hispanics within the first year of her presidency. Well isn't this amnesty? WHY NOW Hillary. Hispanics are just being fooled. I just don't get it. I sorry but I believe you have to get a the end of the line. My family did not come to this country illegally. My mother and one uncle are the only family member that came to this country in the late 1960's from Ecuador. I can't believe that people have the nerve to expect legalization for illegal in exchange for a vote for a candidate. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. susan


    January 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. hugh

    Oh Why? he is in the same company as Ross Perot.

    January 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. jd

    this man so seriously needs to go away and stay away...
    i mean, thanks for the seat belts, ralph, but geesh...

    January 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Ullman

    Although I far favor Obama, either Obama or Clinton have the creds to make a fine President. Can anyone seriously imagine a President Nader? How is a small-minded, self-serving guy like that going to improve the mess eight years of Bush has created?

    January 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Jim Webb

    Nader cost Gore the 2000 election, helping usher in the nightmare dba the Bush-Cheney regime. What the narcisstic Nader needs to explore is "reality" once he has pulled his head from his third point of contact.

    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Len Basileo

    Everyone is mad at Ralph You should be mad at the other candidates if he becomes the "spoiler". People who would vote for Ralph can not find the humanity in the other candidates. His comments encourage people who would not have voted in the first place I wouldn't vote or him, but I welcome his candidacy and the things he brings to the table.

    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Ken

    Political bigot?

    How about: political illiterate? If Nader actually cared about changing this country, he would work to change the winner-take-all electoral system that makes it impossible for the country to support more than two parties. This country has ALWAYS had two parties (except when it had none). When the Republicans rose in the 1860s they merely replaced the Whigs. If the Greens rose, or the Libertarians, they would merely replace one party or the other, and all the same people would go work for them. It is an inevitable by-product of a system where the winner of 50.01% of votes takes the presidential election and Senate elections, and where balloting allows for zero second-choice voting.

    So is Nader politically illiterate? NO. Nader once was a great man. But he is a has-been publicity hound who will gladly spoil another election so that he can be in the limelight once more. More than any other person, Nader is responsible for Bush. I loath him and loath all those who are ignorant and nihilistic enough to support the cretin.

    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. joeb


    Give it up! You have screwed this country enough!

    January 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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