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. chris

    I despise all you who dares say he shouldn't get into the Presidential run. You have no respect for Democracy! You want a freakin king again, or a Queen. All you who think he was responsible for Gore's loss, have failed to hold Gore's campaign accountable for focusing more on Nader (wasn't going to win) instead of Bush (whose record would have been easy to beat).

    If you think you respect Democracy, then you should have room to watch anyone run who wants to. I loathe racist mongers like David Duke, but I can applaud our system if he's allowed to run. I will never vote for a Communist Party candidate, but would applaud our system if they could run.

    If you hate Democracy because you would rather have a easy system, an uncomplicated system, then just admit it.

    And to refer to Nader in terms of "arrogance"...is a laugh. The most arrogant party now is the Democrat Party. They think they deserve the vote of anyone who isn't a Republican, and they are wrong. They have to earn the votes they get.

    January 30, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. sceptical

    And where has he been for the past 8 years? Why does he only pop up when it's presidential election season? This man's ego knows no bounds. Where is he when it comes to doing the actual work of progressive politics? Where is he when it comes to providing the very basics to our people?

    His 'progressive organization' is nothing more than a method for stroking his own ego. He needs to shut up and go away. He sure as hell hasn't done anything constructive for this country so it's not like he should be throwing any stones.

    January 30, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Beans

    How about you wait until it's down to the final 2, and then decide whether to get in or not? If Hillary runs, please get in.

    Wonder who's going to pay the $10 million you need to get started? Hillary herself?

    January 30, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Gerald Boyette

    Only Nader's twisted ego would cause the man who gave the Supreme Court the opportunity to appoint George W. Bush to the Presidency of the United States to think he has more to contribute to our society. Wasn't that enough for one person's conscience to deal with, why add more destruction to decency and civilized society? Go home and watch events, you are not needed or wanted you did your part to increase Corporate power, now stop.

    January 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Hako

    What a disingenuous phony Nadar is. He waited till the field of candidates thinned out so he would have greater opportunity to garner the personal attention he so desperately needs. He has used, and continues to use, our political system to bolster his ego.
    He knows he doesn't have a snow-balls chance in the ovens of Hell. He can't compete with, or defeat , the legitimate candidates. All he can do is act as a spoiler. He's not the guest of honor at the party, so he wants to drop something in the punch bowl. His run has never had anything to do with fairness for "third party candidates" or anything remotely noble. Nadar is a self-centered ego-maniac that couldn't care less about anything except himself. There is no one I despise more in American politics than this coward.

    January 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. John ny, ny

    please Ralph!!! you know it and we know it and even my dog knows it that you will never win. So do us a favor and stay home.
    You are partly responsible for the mess we are today.

    January 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Cathryn

    I am old enough to remember when Ralph Nader was a figure worthy of respect...that is certainly no longer the case.

    January 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. jacqueline

    please take your EGO and go for a nice long ride in your CORVAIR.
    WE don't need more clowns to make this election a bigger circus.
    stay strong and we'll see you in the WH in Jan!!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Bruce Taylor,Berkeley/Sacramento,CA

    Ralph Nader is a person,I mean ego,whose self-importance is astonishingly vapid. We need change,not narcissism.
    This is even more reason for Obama supporters to leave no voter unembraced,no street unwalked.

    January 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. walter

    Nader...shame on you. Keep your ego in check and go back to your hole.

    January 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. KPM

    Anyone who votes for a Republican or Democrate is a retard. Everyone wants change but nobody will vote for it. Ralph Nader is a genius and should be president.

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

    Nader didn't cost anyone an election. Gore lost the election for Gore. To think otherwise is to lazily find a scapegoat for the Democrat's inefficiency in 2000. It's Nader's right to run and to whine and complain about it makes the whole Democratic party look like it's filled with children who are crying because they didn't get their way.

    January 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. keeroc

    Ralph Nader brings the right message. Seems to me it wasn't Nader but the Supreme Court appointment of King George to the presidency that ruined Gore's election. by the way it has been pretty well established that if the votes had been collected and counted fairly that Gore won Florida convincingly and that old news ushered in the Cheney Bush dictatorship – of course with the help of our lap dog media. What Ralph isn't getting is that Kucinich couldn't break through the stranglehold, neither can Ron Paul, and Ralph has already failed to do so twice. The big corporations have already bought and paid for the presidency, and they are thankful that NBC, Fox, and CNN will deliver for them.

    January 30, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Peter Green

    All Ralph has to do to get the 10 Mil is approach the Republican Party...I am sure they would love to see him run again........

    January 30, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Twinkle Toes Mulligan

    The lesson learned should be that "everyone" needs to go out and vote, not just trash talk about a bunch of nonsense.

    January 30, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Tom

    I don't like saying "I told you so" after the fact, so I'll say it before the fact: No matter who wins, if it's not Ron Paul, we are screwed. Thanks a lot, supporters of McCain, Romney, Obama, Clinton, etc. Just remember you had a hand in our collapse. This country finally has a chance, and you're holding us back.

    January 30, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I persnoally blame Ralph Nader for allowing 8 years of a Bush presidency and the downturn of our nation.

    January 30, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Don


    January 30, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. H.ROSS

    Scott what have you been smoking ?

    January 30, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Me

    I persnoally blame Ralph Nader for allowing 8 years of a Bush presidency and the downturn of our nation.

    January 30, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Charles Lamb

    Ralph Nader is a ego-centric selfish sick man !

    January 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. Eugene

    Italy's government has been defeated in a confidence vote. If the US wasnt so geared towards a two-party electoral system maybe Dubya would have fallen to a similar fate before his destructive reign had wreaked as much damage as it has. Simple: more parties = more democracy. Get with the program US let the people get their way..more impeachments and fewer corporate lackies like Obama and Clinton (he or she).

    January 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    So Ralph, how much are the Republicans paying you to sink the Democrats? Were two George Bush elections not enough for you?

    Seriously... I'm a McCain supporter myself, so I guess I can't complain, but I maintain that this guy is a pathetic, attention-seeking clown. Good news for the Dems is that if Ron Paul decides to run as an independent, things might balance out.

    January 30, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. cjf

    Nader, not you again.

    Sick of the media bashing Hillary and never saying anything negative about Obama. The good ole boys must really not want a "woman" to be President. Never saw such bias sutff. I don't know what makes the media the judge and jury of oh lets see – "everything" on the planet. Sure wish there was some fair (and not one sided) reporting out there. You guys are ad nausaum – you keep repeating the same thing over and over to make sure something negative does not die down. Keep the fires burning hey! Aghhhhhhhh!!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Fred

    Republicans will most likely raise most of that 10 Million just to see him take votes from dems.

    January 30, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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