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. Amy TC


    January 30, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. wheimann

    I agree with everyone who has said "please god, no". Ego, ego, ego, ego. Nadar, do what's best for this country and stay out – please.

    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. L Baker

    Nader should stay the hell out. He lost the 2000 election for us -without a doubt and he has no reason to run. Is there anyone he has ever supported or liked -- for anything. He has been coming in to elections for nothing but attention – to keep his name alive. He may have served a purpose at one point in his career, but he does not need to be around to ruin any more elections. Stay away -PLEASE!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. Jay Lowe

    G.W.Bs momma gave you G.W.B.Looks like you will need more new voters,like the 60% that dont vote at all and could care less.I would vote for G.W.B just to teach you people that did vote for him a real lessen and see if he could clean up his own mess without raising taxes and selling our kids futures down the tubes.

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

    Nadar is not the problem. The true issue is that Americans are ruled by fear politics. The majority votes for whichever candidate frightens them enough to think that they would be the "only savior" for our country and voting for the other party (with the 2 major ones in mind) would be the ruins of the country! In my opinion, the only 100% sincere non-selfish candidate just called it quits today because of the media's refusal to acknowlege him as a real candidate and their failure to give him the airtime that he and the public viewers deserve. If he had truly had the opportunity to be heard then I have to believe that John Edwards would be the ONLY democratic to have enough delegates to this point to survive till the end. May G-d Help Up!

    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  6. Colleen

    Please Mr. Nader stay out of this race. We don't need another Republican in office to take our right away!! You cost Gore and Kerry the White House and we can't afford another 4 years with the economy the way it is!! PLEASE stay away!!

    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Shelley Thomas

    It seems that both of the Democratic candidates have made some mistakes in the past couple of months, let that go. Both groups were negative, but nothing overboard in my estimation. It amazes me how easy it is for people to jump on the bandwagon and "hate" Hillary Clinton, yet few have taken the time to even listen to her speak. She has been as eloquent as Mr. Obama, the difference is that she is speaking about what she will actually DO. He's a great orator but I'm hearing little of substance and I agree with Mr. Nader about his record. We need more than talk of hope people, we need action.

    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. bear


    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. Mark Anderson

    Are you kidding? A story on Nadar and not a word on Ron Paul? It doesn't matter the news agency, they are all corporate owned and carry out the the corporate agenda. The media's silence on Ron Paul rings very loud. The news agencys are kept by their owners and have no guts or integrity and are complete cowards. Ron Paul is so strong and is gaining so much strength by the minute they are even afraid to be critical because his responses ring with so much truth it exposes the dull status quo of candidates from both parties. His message exposes how far our supposed leaders have strayed from representing the people of this county and shines the light on their slavery to the new world order corportism/facist agenda. Notice the candidates no longer challenge Paul in the debates because every time they have tried they have all had their noses bloodied. The only thing they can resort to is to stand there with stupid grins on their faces.
    I don't see how anyone working in today's news media can even look themselves in the mirror. No job to a real american or anyone with self respect would be worth having to everyday sell their soul by ingnoring the only candidate that is remotely interesting to listen to.
    I am so embarressed by the spinless behaivor of the news agencies of this once great country. Those poor kids dying in those stupid wars. The only people with guts in this county are being sent to their deaths and misery why cowards cash their paychecks and focus their efforts on keeping the working people focused on Britney Spears. History will expose you all and my God have mercy on your soul if God is in fact judgmental. I for one, if given the opportunity will show you no quarter.

    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. AlexanderT!

    I am glad Nader is forming his committee. I hope he runs!

    January 30, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. John

    I applaud the work that Nader has done that benefited the public. But if Nader were actually "for the people", he'd back off from running. But he won't. Nader has always has been and always will be " for Nader. "
    It is unfortunate that most people don't see that.

    January 30, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. XBuckeye

    Ah, Nader, still unsafe at any speed........... thanks for the trip thru history .....

    January 30, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. joe m.

    look, nader may not have a snowball's chance in hell, but if people advocate stopping him from trying to be part of the election process, then this is no better than the repressive policies that people in this counttry recoil so violently from. people from either side need to be willing to allow these types of candidates jump into the fray. the party's job is to give people a reason to participate. but to quash a nader run is no different from policies that existed in nazi germany, communist USSR, or any other number of repressive leaders of the world. the parties need to focus on giving the voters reasons to support them and participate, rather than try to stop men like nader from getting involved.

    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Russ C, Seattle, Wa

    Fasten your seatbelts its going to be a bumpy ride!

    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  15. Joe Nada

    Now now, Gore lost because he ran an awful campaign more preoccupied with getting his Rolling Stone picture airbrushed than with intelligently debating issues. I say more power to Ralph. If he runs I'll give him all the money I can spare.

    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |


    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Deanna

    Maybe if the Democrats learned to respect voters, they might win more votes. Ralph Nader didn't put Bush in office. I voted Nader, and I would have NEVER supported Al Gore. I really didn't care much one way or the other about Nader. He was just the 3rd party candidate most likely to accumulate votes and send a message to DC that not everyone is satisfied with politics as usual.

    Both the Democrats and the Republicans are puppets. I hope they both lose. I hoped it in 2000, and I still hope it.

    Ralph, I already have another candidate this year who is more in line with my personal political views, but I wish you the best in your run.

    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Mitchell Payes

    Nader is nothing more than a selfish egotist and jerk with an underserved sense of self-importance who in a large part can be directly blamed for the mess that this country is in today both domestically and in the foreign policy arena. May the pox be upon him.

    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. cate anderson

    give me a break. get this guy out of politics. i am so disgusted with his irrational and destructive ventures into politics. a wise man knows when he does harm. he is neither wise or helpful. please don't support him/.

    January 30, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. Dakota, Lake Stevens, WA


    Ralph Nader's chances of being elected president of the United States, are the exact same as him becoming the next Pope, or Czar of Russia, or a Super Bowl quarterback.

    More than likely, Ralph is suffering from Presinoia. That is a mental illness where unqualified and unelectable people actually believe they can become president.

    I remain hopeful that Ralph can get some help through comprehensive counseling and good quality medications.

    The sad part about it would be all the money being frittered away on a futile effort.

    January 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Andrew K.

    Hilarious - great time for a laugh in all this rumble and tumble politics. Thanks Ralph.

    That said, he should run if he wants to (even if I question his ego and think the idea in general is just plain stupid).

    Just becase he runs doesn't mean we have to vote for him.

    January 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Kate

    His time has come and gone! Stay out of it Nader.

    January 30, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. Mikey

    While I respect Ralph Nader and his positions, as a left-wing Democratic voter I would vote for him. But in the presidential elections, 2 left wing candidates and 1 right wing candidate means the right wing candidate wins (Republican)

    With Ralph running this will give us 4 more years of the Republicans, so I'll vote Democrat. What many people don't realise is that Dubya got in because of that guy. What people need to realise is that a vote for Nader is a vote for a corporatist, Iraq war hawk, wealthy tax-cutting conservative Republican.


    January 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. seek help

    Ralph...you need help: shave your head and go club-hopping without your underpants on...maybe Dr.Phil will come to your rescue too.

    January 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Susan Knoxville, TN

    Ralph is either 1. Delusional 2. A Republican or 3. A Jerk. Then again, maybe he's all three. Grow up Ralph.

    January 30, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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