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. Deak

    Hey Ralph,

    RETIRE ALREADY! Spend those dollars for Obama's campaigne instead of your own. Is your EGO to BIG to RETIRE?

    January 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. tomdavie

    Yeah baby. I hope teddy kennedy and John Kerry have some strong booze on hand now.

    John McCain here we come. Obama cant even get the democratic base to support him.

    January 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Sam, Chicago, IL

    Please come back and take vote from the left. Those of us on the right love you.

    January 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. jason agne

    i was sort of hoping he would understand that this year we very definately need to get the republicans out of office.

    if hillary were running, i would understand – because she's basically just a republican. But barack? He seems genuinely interested in getting the people interested in politics. This is a crucial "baby step" to turning around america, in my opinion. I completely respect nader, and have voted for him every election, but I know he won't be elected this year... because people are not interested enough in politics to hear what he has to say, which is why i support Barack...

    January 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. kamenwati

    Let the egomaniac run. Nobody will listen. Nobody will care. The nation has moved on. His days as a spoiler are over.

    January 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Kelly Stephens

    Is Ralph a rupublican shill? What can he possibly hope to gain by entering this election? Maybe he thinks the dem win will be too easy. If he wants to increase visibilty for his pet issues, there are certainly better ways. What an ego he must have. He was relevant 25 years ago. Today – not so much.

    January 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Chris, Orlando, FL

    ohhhh, brother....

    January 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. Anthony

    Arrogance at its finest. Just go away, Ralph.

    January 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Angelique

    You are the reason we are in this mess now. Your ego has hurt this country to the core. Stay home Ralph.

    January 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. James, Cleveland Ohio

    Ralph Nader is one of those people who is obessed with their own self promotion.

    January 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Anthony

    Anyone who votes for Nadar is a traitor to the country. Yes, that sounds harsh, but the only person his run will benefit is the Republican candidate, who will keep this country on the path it's on – the path to nowhere. Therefore, a vote for Nadar is a vote against this country.

    January 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Drew, NJ

    Go away Ralph Nader. Go away!

    January 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Catherine Jo Morgan

    Someone who calls any opponents names will not get my vote. If I don't want Ralph Nader to hinder Obama's chances, I'm a political bigot? I don't think so! Obama's vision for the country is bigger than Ralph Nader's, and can inspire unity as well as change. Nader knows he can't get elected - and that another campaign could have terrible consequences for the country.

    Please, Ralph, stick with consumer adovcacy - you're good at it - and leave the Presidency alone.

    January 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Bob

    Run, Ralph, run! If the American people are saying anything in the scream for genuine "change", it's for leaders who aren't owned by Washington lobbyists, the extreme edge political special interest groups, and one issue fanatics! We desperately need someone not pandering for votes then blowing us off, but will attempt to get the people's problems addressed.

    January 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. Amanda

    This solves the problem as to where all the Edwards supporters will go.

    January 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. June (California Voter)

    Another Ross Perot.
    Will you run in November or as early as the primaries.
    Of course you don't change my vote.
    I already voted for Hillary Clinton by mail.
    Go Hillary '08

    January 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. TJ

    I voted for Nadar in 04 but now I support Ron Paul. I would like to see him support Paul. I believe the far left and far right have common ground in Amercia and wish they could come together on some things.

    January 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. JUDE CT

    Though Nadar has every right to run, please people, don't throw your votes away for this guy.

    January 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  19. Lisa, Des Moines IA

    Great...someone to vote for if Hillary receives the nomination. For a sec, I thought I might have to vote republican.

    January 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  20. Travis

    And I disagree about what he said regarding Obama. Ralph nader cannot criticize anyone. He sucks and should leave President Obama alone.

    January 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  21. George from Minneapolis


    How much money are the conservatives paying you ??

    The only reason you would be in the race is to take votes away from liberals to pave the way for conservatives to win.

    If you were not in the election last time we would have a democratic president now.

    Stay on the sideline where you belong and quit selling out !!!

    January 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. Jay


    January 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Onari

    Nader your antics gave us GW and it has cost the America people 8 years of anguish...You at it again...just go and sleep.

    January 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. frank

    Im glad he is running ... i am never voting for the gop (crooks sobs ) I am never voting dems (wimps and dont speak for me ..)

    I like the phrase above "accountability" now there is none and now nobody is held up to it

    I will vote for him if he runs or i will not vote for anyone ....
    I used to vote the lessor of two evils
    i used to vote for none of the above

    after 57 years i have not seen an honest politician okay maybe carter

    Nader is not stealing my vote he is earning it and he gets my trust .(.so far)

    January 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. WT

    Awesome...truly awesome...does anyone else think he is actually a Republican?

    January 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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