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. Jeff - Jacksonville FL

    Oh great...Darth Nader is thinking of running again.

    Why won't he just go away. The only thing he does is help Republicans get into the White House.

    If he wants to do something, stick with being a consumer advocate.

    January 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. KimSC

    Guess I am on the X list for CNN today, not one comment posted...hahaha. Ralph Nader looks like all the rest of Republican candidates and I for one don't believe he can pull it off this time around, it is way too different and dynamic.

    January 30, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. MJF

    You're a great man, but just STOP.

    January 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Medi Marah

    The FEC should stop him now before it get's late.

    January 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. MB, Louisiana

    Oh Good Grief. NO

    January 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. Josep Hussar


    Please try fading out instead of fading in. You are accomplished at what you do best and running for president is not one of them.


    January 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Roger from MA

    Sorry guys, this isn't the Soviet Union. Anybody can run if they have the desire, regardless of whether or not they're a member of one of the de facto federally sanction parties.

    That having been said, liberals are so hungry for change - any change - I think they'll latch on to whomever has the best chance of unseating the republicans. I don't expect this man to be a as huge a factor as he was in 2000.

    January 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. Fred

    Nothing against Mr.Nader personally, but I think we can thank him for Kerry's loss, and the last four years of President Bush's term. Please go away sir, go far, far away.

    January 30, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. JPB

    This hardly seems to deserve a response, but nevertheless: what hubris to call Senators Clinton and Obama unacceptable candidates, and then to suggest yourself as a better example. On what grounds? Your previously failed campaign? Why not raise $10 million and spend it on something other than an election bid–something that will actually matter.

    January 30, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. California voter

    Please, Ralph do not waste money running . . . what really are you trying to prove.

    January 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    I'm not against a third party candidate, in order to provide more choices for people. However, Nader has never been a viable candidate for president.

    Ralph, you have run for president 4 times so far and failed miserably each time...get a clue. Better yet take the $10m and buy one. Why not take the money that you raise and donate it to issue that concern you the most.

    January 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Marie

    Please, NO!

    January 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Mark C. Eades

    After what happened in 2000, I doubt that Nader could make a serious impact on Democratic voters. Furthermore, his rejection of Obama shows a narrowness of vision and a failure to recognize the potential of his campaign to bring a new generation of young people into political participation.

    January 30, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. slimegreen

    Dean's clintonian dominated DNC if not for me!! I relish the though of a third vote for Nader.

    January 30, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. Toronto Girl

    Hey OBAMABOY i feel a CHANGE coming your way – HILLARY !

    January 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Scott

    I hope he runs. If Obama wins the nomination it will give me an alternative to vote for. I will never, ever vote for Obama. Obama is a total slime ball.

    January 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Cliff CA

    If he runs, don't think he'll siphon off many Democratic votes. There's too much at stake this time around.

    January 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Roger from MA

    ps. to my last comment,

    If Mr. Nader actually raises issues that matter to the majority of real Americans, like the skyrocketing costs of fuel, food, and healthcare, the outsourcing o jobs to India, and he promises not to invade Iran unless it's PROVEN that they're an active material threat us the United States (REALLY PROVEN, WITHOUT CIA/ISR LOBBY LIES), he may find a lot of support. The current crop of frontrunners are a bunch of corporate cowards and have yet to address these issues.

    January 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. jim

    to the man who served the progressive cause by swinging the 2000 election to bush, go away!

    i'm sure he will pull in lots of gop donations.

    January 30, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Jelouvri

    There is a simple solution to this. People should just not vote for him. But on the other hand, americans are too silly to know when to take a candiate serious or not.

    January 30, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Mag

    If you could make a difference, people would have followed you already.
    You are not able to make a difference, therefore, do us a favor, stay out of the race and have the grace to serve those who can be elected and will make a difference. Your bitter criticism at Obama is not well taken. He is in the arena, you are not.

    January 30, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Zoe, Corpus Christi,Tx

    Please say it ain't so.

    January 30, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Kim

    Anyone who votes for Nader is just encouraging him to run again.

    If you are a democrat, you should vote for the democratic candidate, regardless. Do you want more liberties taken away with more republican control?

    A vote for Nader is a vote for the republican candidate.

    And as everyone has already said ... I can't believe this guy's ego! Flood the exploratory committee or his website with how you feel, people!

    January 30, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. scgail

    The spoiler emerges.

    January 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. blkjazz

    Ralph Nader lost my respect years ago. Maybe it is true that there is no fool like an old fool. Anyone dumb enough to vote for Nader is also too dumb to understand that only Obama stands a chance against the republicans in November.

    January 30, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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