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. tomdavie

    I am LOVING THE FACT Nadar isnt bought and paid for, so he can ATTACK Obama's record, calling him the EMPTY SUIT that he really is.

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Robert

    Aghhh. I thought that coffin had been nailed shut.

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Dan S., New York, NY

    Nader: 20th Century Hero, 21st Century Goat. He has a right to run, but an obligation not to. AGAIN.

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Evora Sardinia

    To Jack Hafferty, SHAME on you critizisin Hilary Clinton SHE is a woman and a very inteligent, it is about time that we have one like her. Do something better lets try to change the electoral vote and have all the VOTES count in our country. We need to do this tell me how can it be done. How can we get rid of the electoral vote. This is not a democracy'

    January 30, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. marc from Indiana



    January 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. J.Wheeler


    Nader stay out of this.

    Say what you want, but you are a SPOILER with a huge ego!

    January 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Megan

    While I appreciate that you have things to say, and want your shot at the White House...

    You're the whole reason we never got President Gore. Please just go away.

    January 30, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Marge Mathis

    Mr. Nader.....do your country a favor...........STAY OUT of the race for the presidency!

    January 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. Ralph

    It was Al's fought. He got to deep in the made up global warming thing. He ran a bad campaign. Not me.

    Hillary 08, if not me

    January 30, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Manny

    Way to go Nader! Nader 2008!

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Ignacio, Miami, Fl

    If Hillary gets the nomination I will volunteer for his campaign. The DNC is so completely out of touch with what their constituents want, it is ridiculous. You don't win an election against a Republican by being one, then it doesn't matter who wins. Instead of complaining about Nader running and even going as far as to call him an idealist(which he is not), why not read up on where he stands on the issues? Maybe you'll find that you agree with him and then it is your civic duty to vote for the candidate that you agree with most.

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. marc weiss

    I not only voted for Nader the last time he ran, I made a significant contribution to his campaign. I regret both things now. I will never vote for him again and will certainly not contribute to his campaign.

    Who's asking him to run? Or did he hear a voice in the night?

    All of his former supporters should let him know as quickly as possible that we think this is a very bad idea.

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Dave H., Chandler, AZ

    The two parties are a waste of time. We need at least Nader, Paul and Bloomberg to run.

    Nader didn't give us George Bush. All you silly Democrats who thought you had to run a pro-war Kerry to win the election gave us George Bush. If the Democrats had run an anti-war candidate, they might have had a chance. The fact is Ralph Nader says what most Democrats are thinking. So does Dennis Kucinich. You Democrats are like the kid in high school who disses his best friend to hang around with the good-looking popular kids. Have some spine. Vote on principles. Otherwise, shut up and say hello to President McRomney.

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  14. Denis, NJ

    Many or most of you here said that Nader was to blame for 8 years of Bush...


    Nader's got nothing to do with that. The reason why Bush won is because

    a) there was more support for him in 2000, and Al Gore did not make a good enough case to create a safe gap between him and Bush. If Nader got those votes, it's because Gore did not properly address the issues that Nader did at the time.

    b) we wanted more pain in 2004, and Kerry was the stupidest choice the Democratic nominee in recent history. Again, Nader had nothing to do with this: Democrats shot themselves in the foot by nominating John Kerry who failed to make his case to enough people to get elected.

    This is Democracy! I don't care for Nader, but it speaks well for us as a Democratic society to have more people on the ballot to choose from! The two-party system is beginning to make me sick.

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  15. ronwlevy

    Nader's fine distinctions have little impact on this equation: no Nader in 2000 would have meant 3000+ fewer dead Americans in Iraq and untold numbers of other averted deaths and other tragedies. And the idea that Nader was nobler and better than Gore–the new Nobel laureate–in 2000 now also looks particularly ridiculous.

    January 30, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Bob

    Doesn't this guy have anything else to do? What a waste of time.

    January 30, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Alex

    What a joke. In a political environment where we are forced to make the choice between the lesser of two evils there is in fact room for a spoiler and unfortunately in 2000 Ralph Nader took that roll. Fortunately it seems we won't have a choice as dismal on the ballot this year as Bush but still..find another forum to have your topics discussed. A joke presidential bid is a waste of money and in some cases can cause serious damage.

    January 30, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Randy

    Naders a clown who in their right mind would vote for him, he's just trying to upset the voting process.

    January 30, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. Diana

    If everybody who is posting that Nadar is going to ruin the chances of the Dems would STOP rambling on about how they like him but he wil ruin things... would just VOTE for NADAR instead of "going along with the crowd", then READ MY LIPS!!! "Nadar COULD WIN!" Do you hear what I am saying? Nearly everyone on here has the mindset that they have to vote for the lesser of 2 evils to avoid another bush calamity... however... why instead not vote for what you know is the RIGHT thing to do.. not as a tactic to stop someone else!

    January 30, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. Gil - California

    Welcome to the presidential race Ralph. If my democrats pick Hillary I will consider voting for you if it is a Clinton Romney choice. Hillary will NEVER get my vote and I don't care for Romney. I'll even send you a donation to help out.

    -Obama Edwards 2008/2012

    January 30, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Tom

    Ralph. Take your medicine. Then tell us you were kidding.

    January 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. Hawk,Texas

    I wonder how much the republicans are paying him this time. go away nader. far away.

    January 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Mike

    Ralph Nadar and Ron Paul should both consider running as independents. We need more good Americans to run outside of the Repubs and Democrats.

    This country needs 4 real parties not 2.

    January 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. joe p.

    joe m., you are an idiot.

    January 30, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. John, Lakeland FL

    Mr. Nader is clearly starved for media attention. Was he not rebuked by the voters the last time he ran? Has he no shame?

    January 30, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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