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. Dave

    Nader is getting kickbacks from the Republicans...Seriously though, this has nothing to do with ideology or pragmatism. Since the U.S. system doesnt elect presidents in a logical and populist way (we use the electoral college) it is incumbent upon those running to act responsibly to allow the will of the majority of people to be determined. That is not act as spoilers etc. We have seen responsible behavior in both Edwards and Giuliani recently. Too bad this moron cant learn from those around him.

    January 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Ken

    Ralph, your considering another run for the presidency is an unspeakably selfish, and thoughtless act. Can you sleep at night knowing that your running in 2000 gave Bush the White House? For a man whose career began as an advocate for the unprotected, you must realize that the legacy of your running may be yet another Republican administration, with its leanings toward the very things you spent a career opposing. It is sad that you will throw away all that you have accomplished a pathetic attempt to grab the spotlight at this stage of your life. If you have a shred of decency left, don't run.

    January 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Cali

    What is Wrong with this man?

    Is Spoiler the legacy he really wants to leave? Because that's what it's gonna be, especially for young people who mostly know him from 2000. What does a consumer advocate do? Well in this case he gave us a President that's mismanaged the economy AND been hostile to consumer rights, health care issues, global warming and food safety concerns. Some consumer advocate.

    Maybe Nader is rightfully looking for a career change, but president ain't it!

    If people fall for this Nader garbage twice, well, then as that saying goes, shame on you.

    January 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. strut2k

    Nader is responsible for 8 years of George W Bush in the White House. Does he have more he wants to contribute to America?

    Oh, woopie...

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. WeHaveEnoughDeathsAndInjuries

    I really respect Mr. Nader and have forever been as progressive in my personal and political beliefs and activities as he is, and of course have not contributed anything near what he has to solving problems in our society – however...

    Is Ralph nuts? If he runs, he will siphon off enough votes to probably hand a victory in November to the Republican candidate, and more people will die in Iraq. More people will come home to the US with chronic injuries and illnesses, including many with brain injuries and PTSD. The war machine will continue unencumbered. We got George W. the last time Ralph ran. I remember Ralph calling corporations 'nihilists.' What he effectively was, when he ran for president, was a nihilist. He guaranteed that decent and good things that needed to be done could not be done. He's educated and aware enough to know that.

    He is not so naive as to not realize this.
    It is unconscionable that he is considering running for president in '08. The greatest thing he could do to help guarantee that the slaughter in Iraq does not continue would be to shut up. It is a monstrous ego that allows him to consider running. I now think he is a contemptible human being. I have been around long enough to know that there are delusional people in all walks of life and that purported progressive beliefs are no guarantee that destructive and exclusionary actions will not take place and that the people supposedly holding progressive beliefs will not also simultaneously hold beliefs that allow them to be extremely harmful to others.

    Ralph is nuts to run. I hope he understands the blood that's already on his hands. I cannot tell you how very much I hold his supposed 'exploratory efforts' in contempt. He is just another example of someone who holds himself in higher regard than the value of the lives, and the quality of those lives, of other people both in this country and in other areas. Figure it out, pal.

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Angelo Pittsburgh, PA

    It's ABOUT TIME!
    I was afraid you'd given up the fight for truth and justice.
    I'm sure you will interpret the negatives comments of the naysayers on this thread as just a lot of disloyal, Democrat party, blind mice.
    Give 'em hell Ralph. I 'm supporting Ron Paul and I support you in your efforts because you don't play politics. You love America and I will donate to your cause in every way I can.

    One by one the criminals in the GOP are dropping. Help us expose the crimes of McCain and Huckabee. And help America see that when a guy like Romney spends $100 million to get a $250,000/yr job, something bad is up.

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Stacy, Colorado

    Don't do this, please!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. David

    Nader needs to lose the ego and understand that he WILL NEVER be president. Ever.

    Nader's like the baseball team that's lost 100 games in a season, and their only shot at having any meaning whatsoever is to see which playoff contender they can derail. This guy's going to ruin the country for everyone else.

    His policies are irrelevant; look at what happened in 2000. Some far-left liberals voted for him, and as a result, they got Bush. These guys need to understand that Nader's not a viable candidate and that they should vote for who they perceive as the lesser of evils in order to be happy at all.

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. David B

    At least Pat Paulson was a comic. Ralph you are a joke who takes himself way too seriously every 4 years.

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. chopper

    Ralph needs to dry up and crawl back in his hole, The only reason he came out is to pull votes from the democrats and help the republican party, he has never had a chance of winning only stiring the pot. So begone with you and never return.
    Thanks The Chopper.

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. Richard, FL

    If Nader supporters want to cast a protest vote against the existing major candidates, then why not vote for Ron Paul? That way they can vote for him until he drops out and they won't do any harm. Paul's simplistic approach to bring the troops home immediately will NEVER sell to most gung-ho, military, gun-loving Republicans who want the war and killing to continue. Neither Paul nor Nader stand a chance of winning.

    January 30, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. casey

    Vote Ron Paul He is what is best for America Not those stupid liberals

    January 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Mike

    To James: while I appreciate your comment, your potential vote for Ralph Nader will carry the same effect and import as if you voted for Sanjaya last year on American Idol.

    January 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. David

    At this point in the primaries up until today I thought the Democrats had a chance but with the two remaining candidates they haven't a prayer neither are qualified to run there own life's much less the nation. So if Nader can show any definition to the actual problems in this country especially the enviromental issues this government today ignores He has my vote

    January 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Bob

    If Nader and his voters are the scum of the earth for getting Bush elected, what are Bush and his voters?

    January 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. John

    Nader said Obama was mediocre and Cautious I take issue with the first but agree he is cautious does this mean Obama is a safe pair of hands in which to place our trust for the Presidency??
    Nader is a political Pigmy who with only 10 million does not have enough to mount a serious challenge and can only be described as a candidate of last resort determined to hand the presidency to the incompetent Republicans.
    Who have presided over a litany of disasters. including 9/11, economic stagflation,housing meltdown record deficites that wil take three generations to pay for and this disater still has one year to run. I do hope we have more common sense if he tries this tactic again and let him waste his money

    January 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Whitney

    Nader's hardly relevant anymore. I am a flaming liberal, and I resent his intrusion into the game this late in the season. If he really believes he ought to be president, why didn't he start the battle way back when? I doubt he actually stands for his claims of "standing up foir the little guy." I think he's grandstanding. What a waste of a previously very admirable man.

    January 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Sara-in-Dallas

    Oh Please tell me it's all a bad dream!
    Nader running? Again? Get Lost Ralph nobody cares!

    January 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Jesse

    Those who vote and support Nader are wasting their vote yet again! He will not be President and because of him were left with 8 years of foiled Bush Policy. He's in it for his ego and not for America. A vote for Nader is a huge step in the wrong direction!

    January 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Mark Lovett

    Ralph Nader is truly the Don Quixote and Mother Teresa of modern American politics. You have to admire his legacy of as a public interest lawyer. He is responsible for a rich legacy of creating car, workplace and environmental safety and he is never given the credit he so richly deserves for protecting the lives of ordinary Americans. He has tenacity, intelligence, wisdom and moral values far above any mortal politician and thats why people don't like him. For a man who is 73 years, he also truly charged up with juice like an " energizer bunny." He never gives up on doing good!
    Let it be corrected Nader got 35,000 votes in Florida and that the GOP packed Supreme Court "elected" Bush President, not the people of the United States. In Florida, there was widespread voter fraud that disenfrancised thousands of voters and the cowardly Al Gore and Democratic Party did not stand up to what happened. Thats the reason Bush came into power in 2000, Hopefully, we have learned a lot of lessons from Bush Presidency about we conduct politics here in the USA.

    January 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Marley

    Wow. He's going to screw-up this election just like he did in 2000. He needs to shut his mouth and keep his crazy self-centered ego-maniac "butt" out of this election.

    January 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. casey

    RON PAUL is what is best for America before you vote go to ronpaul.com and give the guy a chance

    January 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  23. Charles H Nashville, TN

    It seems strange that Mr. Nader is considering running for the W.H. in 08. Why didn't Mr Nader run for the W.H in 04 like he did in 2000? Sure looks like he's quietly working for the Republicans as spoiler. Go figure!

    January 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. MikeR.

    Do all of us a favor Ralph....stay out of this race....

    January 30, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  25. John

    Will somene call the Vetrenarian and have this Rabid dog euthanised.

    January 30, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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