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. Bletch Cornbuckle

    What good would it do Ralphie- Nothing
    It could only do harm
    It would hurt the country
    Jeez like you didn't get it after you mucked it up last time.
    Unfortunately there are so many people who think that a vote for Nader is standing up to Washington. Right now we just need to get the white house back and try to fix what GW and the Elephants have messed up. Sure I would love if a Third party could really sriously challangeth e establishment, but that's not going to happen now. Nader you would only risk giving us 4 or more years of misery and shame.

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

    No! No! No!

    January 30, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Charm, San Diego CA

    I totally agree with Nader on Obama, but seriously, Nader jumping will only ensure another Republican President. Nader is in part responsible for the mess the US has been in with two Bush terms. And I doubt the third will be the charm. Please keep out Nader. There's no way you would be ever elected President, which means you are the SPOILER.

    January 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. Democrat

    Though Ralph does not talking about how his running for President ended up delivering the office to Bush... it did. Stay out this time and simply comment on the election – don't ruin it again.

    January 30, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. earl

    Ralph needs to get off his ideological high horse and take a whiff of reality. He is very indirectly responsible for the Iraq war and all the pain and suffering wraught by George W. Bush ( vis a vis Florida). If he can't learn from his mistakes, or is too stiff-necked to deal with reality and the consequenses of his actions, then he is not qualified to lead this nation!

    January 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Rex Piscator

    Dear Ralph,

    Thanks for all you've done in the past for the American Consumer. Now, from all us, 'ordinary' citizens, 'Please leave the stage, you're 15 minutes are up'.....

    It's sad to see you attacking windmills in the sunset......and sadder still when to see someone desperately grasping at the last threads of fleeting fame.

    ...is it really for America? or yourself? that you are doing this? intending to 'fix' politics???

    Go away.

    January 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Howard

    832 comments as of now and not one person has mention Instant Runoff Voting? The problem here is not Nader himself, but the election system which allows for spoiling. However where Nader is at fault is that he rarely talks about this!

    We desperately need a reform to our election system so that 3 or more people can run for office without splitting the votes and having a person win without a majority. People are working on reforming election systems that way around the country.

    Pressure Ralph Nader to talk about the need for reforms like Instant Runoff Voting so that his candidacy can have some constructive result.

    January 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Chappy

    Nader gave us Bush and the Iraq war. He has blood on his hands.
    He can "Brush" aside all he wants, but he gave the Rethuglicans the
    2000 election.
    As a Floridian, I hope and Pray he stays out of my state.

    January 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. doro, USA

    Nader for you to say that you need to run because the candidates are not raising pertinent policy and governance issues, is disingenuous. You have the ability and access to expound on all those issues as a high-profie citizen. Where have you been since 2000? Do you have to run to discuss those issues.

    Certainly it is your right to run. But is it prudent? How effective was your last run for your agenda? Have you learned anything then that should inform your thinking this time? Please find a different platform to address your concerns.

    The promise of a better future is with OBAMA.
    GO OBAMA !!

    January 30, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Democrat

    NO Ralph NO!

    January 30, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. John

    You're wrong about Obama and you know- I used to have respect for you – but you've lost all credibility mentioning Obama in the same breath with Hillary regarding corporate allegiance. Get your facts straight- his money comes from where yours used to. The only people you'll be able to raise money now are Republicans hoping you can spoil the election again. I thought you'd be endorsing Obama, not trying to unfairly discredit him. You need an elephant stamped on your forehead.

    January 30, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. JC, Hot Springs, Arkansas

    Please don't Ralph, please! We may never recover from the last time you ran.

    January 30, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. Michael in Paducah

    Every since he put down my Corvair I never have liked this man.

    January 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. Chad C.

    The man we can blame for George W. Bush now wants back in??? Hasn't Nader done enough already?

    January 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. lorena

    the people who actually want change in this country now have nobody to vote fr, thanks to edwards and kucinich dropping out.
    why not, nader?
    go for it.
    i wish you the best.
    and ultimately, it doesn't matter who gets the majority vote- we all know that. so if its all for show, then good for nader. at least he's bringing up the issues that matter, and isn't sidestepping or dancing around like the obnoxious dems, clinton and obama.
    at least he has integrity.

    January 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. Rick in Oxnard


    Nader in '08!

    I love to see the Democrats squirm....

    In the long run, Ralph's presence is and has been good for the country.

    January 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. DAYork

    It's clearly time for Nader to just go away. We can thank him for Bush and all that means. Rather than provide an alternative he muddies the waters yet again.

    January 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. come on now

    oh good god.
    dont do it.
    we're BEGGING you.

    January 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. Kevin

    What's to explore, Ralph?!?! Please stop toying around with such an important event in our history, as you seem to thrive on and do something more useful with your time. There's no majority out here wondering, "Gee, the US and the rest of the world would be such a better place if Ralph Nader, Pat Paulsen or Lyndon LaRouche would only jump into the race!"

    January 30, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Jen, Boston MA

    If the Dems offer a meaningful alternative to GOP, there will be no contest in 2008, with or without Nader. As it is, Clinton and McCain could switch their parties and no one would notice it. Obama could go either way, too. That's where Nader comes in.

    You people will get exactly what you deserve, again.

    January 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Carol Cox

    Nader should stop being a spoiler and stay the heck away from any consideration of putting his name on any presidential ballot. Because of him we have had 8 damaging years of a George Bush presidency. Someone needs to track him down and knock some sense into his head!

    January 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. geoff

    Ah yes, the liberal hate mongers rear their ugly heads again! Why do you not want Nader to run? Is it because you know that hillary will get beaten by a larger margin than if he didn't get in. Why do you libs hate choice so much (except for the baby murder thing)? Another choice for anything is good especially the President's job. I wonder if you are going to whine this much if Bloomburg gets in? I bet not.

    Get ready for another 8 years of the GOP in the Oval Office!

    And Nader didn't cause Bush to be elected, that is a very ignorant statement.

    January 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Harold

    Upon reading the these comments, it's clear that the naysayers are unable to think for themselves, spewing out one-liners they've picked up from newsbites. Get a brain, folks - stop scapegoating Ralph Nader. What Ralph's doing is not the cause of Dems being unable to get elected to the White House.

    January 30, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. Ken

    Someone at CNN needs to send this list to Mr. Nader for a reality check.

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. bb

    I hope that this is a nightmare and that tomorrow, we will wake up and Ralph Nader will have crawled back into his hole. He is too old to be president and he is not the leader we need. He is a spoiler. Go away. I am sure the Republicans will be pouring money into his campaign.

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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