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. Robert

    Nader is an ego maniac. What a nut case! If he enters the race, then we get 8 more years of a Republican President. Good. He must be on the GOP payroll.

    January 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Terri Hamilton

    Will you please stop trying to demonstrate your overexaggerated self-importance at the expense of screwing up another election? Thank you very little for screwing up the past elections and giving the country George W. Go away for God's sake!

    January 30, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. ronnie, palm desert CA

    Ralph pls do everyone a favor and go to another country (any one will do) and run for president there. we have you partially to thank for the mind numbling & corrupt years of bush in the white house, instead of having at least an intelligent person – gore – in charge of this country. stop trying to "fix" things .. we cannot afford having republicans run this country any longer. take your ego & stuff it in the attic .. no one wants you to muck up another election. what is it about that that you don't get?

    January 30, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. mike kaplan

    Those of you defending Nader: let me tell you something that should be obvious:

    1. The idea of a Presidential election is to decide who is going to be the next President. Obvious, no?

    2. Ralph Nader has no conceivable shot of winning even a single state, let alone becoming the next President.

    It's not whether he has a RIGHT to run. It's about whether it's SMART to run, given his likely effect and the huge difference between any Democrat and any Republican this year. The last 8 years were conclusive proof that Ralph was WRONG when he said there's no difference between Dems and Reps. However much you can criticize the Clinton years, the Bush years are another thing altogether.

    On the bright side, he's so discredited at this point that very few people will be foolish enough to care whether he runs or not.

    January 30, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    AT one time Ralph Nadar was a respected man, now he is a joke. He has the worlds largest EGO and doesn't care how bad he hurts this country. 8 years of bush proves he doesn't care. He is the one that put him in the White House and he plans on trying to put a Reublican in office again. Go crawl back under the rock you came out from under. You are lower then a snakes belly and if you get in the race again, you will certainly prove it AGAIN. GO AWAY FOREVER...Please people, do not send him a dime....he is a jerk.

    January 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  6. Remy

    YAY CONFORMITY!!! lets all criticize the people who try and make a genuine change, lets persecute the visionaries like we have so many times in the past! it makes me wonder how the civil rights movement even saw the light of day

    January 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. Marcel

    PURE EGO! Obviously only a few crackpots will vote for him (he ran in 2004 too, but you wouldn't know it with the handful of votes he got), so don't be too concerned. Just laugh at this crazy old man.

    January 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Robert Schlaff

    Oh good, the person that gave us the worst President in the history of our country, is thinking about running again. Please save us.

    January 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. draka

    After going through all these responses, it is clear that Dems want Nader to stay out.
    Nader, in case you forgot, this is what spoiler means:
    "A candidate with no chance of winning but who may draw enough votes to prevent one of the leading candidates from winning" (http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=spoiler)
    I think that this a futile exercise in self-aggrandization. If you want to feel important, please work on other pressing problems. Just leave running for President out of your plans for "bettering" America. Dems will have their fight drawn out with McCain even without Nader's "help". If he wishes to ensure the well being of those workers, the poor whose cause he is championing, he would do well to stay out of the race.

    January 30, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. H Eugene Morgan

    We need a uniter for the country not a divider. The only thing Nader has to offer is turmoil. He needs to get a life and let the voters live theirs.Any money he receives for a campaign,he should donate to the homeless.

    January 30, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Bill

    Thanks to this idiot we have another one in the White House. How can he even think about running. He's a loser and a spoiler!!! Give it up like Dennis did and sit quietly on the sidelines for once!

    January 30, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Jason Chase

    Mr. Nader,

    For the sake of all of us, do the right thing and don't run.

    January 30, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Ann

    Please don't do the insane thing again.

    If you were a serious candidate you would already be in.

    You just like to support Republicans. Admit it Ralph.

    You're a Republican.

    January 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Man Bear PIG

    GO AWAY!

    January 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. Tyler

    Ralph, America does not need you to run for President now or ever! Stay home and do what you do best, be a consumer advocate. If we didn't have voting fraud and you in 2000 we would not be in this huge global mess. That is the truth whether you chose to believe it or not.

    January 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. Colbert

    Hang up your Birkenstocks Nader. The shows over!

    January 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. Ken A.

    Oh, Ralph, I love you! Thank you for running again. You're the best!

    January 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Erik

    I very much hope he does run. I've voted for him in the past, not because I thought he would or wouldn't win, but because he was the best candidate.

    January 30, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. time after time

    This may be unfair, illogical, and downright wrong, but I feel Mr. Nader, who is a champion of the American people, does not quite deserve to be in the same league as Edwards and Kucinich. Mr. Nader, while a strong contributor to the well being of the public, has not spent the thousands and thousands of hours talking with the people about their problems and the way the "system" currently oppresses them. Kucinich and Edwards have walked the walk and have inherent credibility. Perhaps that is why they are willing to find ways to remain effective outside of presidential politics. Mr. Nader, on the other hand, may have a reasonable idea–that there should be a voice for those who don't believe in or benefit from the current political process–but he doesn't have that connection with the people he supposedly wants to represent. He represents an "idea" not the people and in this way, he comes across as much a part of the system "elite" as the other players, the self-important intellectual who thinks only he knows how to lead the cause. My guess? Edwards and Kucinich hate this guy.

    January 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  20. Kate

    Nader is getting very, very tiresome. He enjoys being a spoiler.

    January 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Larry Meza

    I love you Nader but STAY OUT OF THIS RACE. PLEASE!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Randolph Monroe, Chicago

    Nader could screw up a wet dream.

    Stay on the sidelines loser.

    January 30, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. PSK

    What a doofus. Hey Ralph, your ego called and said it needed a rest.

    January 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. ryan

    Nader is republican plain and simple. He is put by the republicans so the democrats will lose. Stay with what you know and be a consumer advocate.

    January 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. PLM

    He can't honestly believe he'd ever have a chance of being elected. All he will do is split the liberal independent and Democratic votes and throw the election to a Republican....again, and I'm sure he doesn't want that.

    I hope he doesn't anyway...

    January 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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