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. Jack

    Ralph Nader your an egotistical fool! Ralph, get a life and stay out of politics!

    January 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    What a stubborn old fart Nader has become ! Quite delusional too !

    January 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Take $10 million and give it to the poor.

    January 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Byron Gordon

    Nader is no spoiler! And all of those of you who consider him as such aren't deserving of living in a democracy! You belong in a dictatorship! Oops, I forget, we live in one already...

    January 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Lazarus, Philadelphia

    Just for the record, I don't plan on voting for Nader. But I am surprised at all the Democrats posting here. The Democratic party usually fights to enfranchise people and ensure that they are able to vote. But it seems that you only believe this so long as those people vote for one of the two parties. God forbid someone should prefer Nader over a slightly left-of-center Democrat. Under your logic anyone who is left-of-center is required to vote for the Democrats. What nonsense. Nobody is entitled to a vote – you must earn them. Arguable, if Gore hadn't run then Gore supporters would have supported Nader over Bush. So Gore cost Nader the election. But no Democrat would ever think this because, after all, the only two options people should have are the Democrats or the Republicans.

    If you don't like Nader, don't vote for him. But don't tell other people that they have to vote one of the two big parties – people should vote for whoever they want to. Anyone concerned that our system requires strategic voting rather then voting your belief should press the Democrats to promote electoral change – ranked ballots would have solved the so-called "spoiler" problem by allowing people to chose Nader as their 1st choice and Gore as their second. Once Nader didn't receive over 50% of the votes then the 2nd choice would come into play and Gore would have won. Problem solved. But the two parties are scared of this because if people thought that they could vote for the 3rd party without fear of "wasting their vote" then a 3rd party might win an election and end the very profitable two-party system.

    January 30, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Dennis

    Nader defeated Al Gore. He is no friend to the poor. And certainly no friend to the environment.

    January 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. I used to be a Democrat

    The comments on this page by "Democrats" show exactly why my former party is lost and just doesn't get it. Today's Demoncrats are pathetic.

    I will never vote for my former party ever again simply because you don't believe in Democracy if you don't want Nader to run.


    January 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Sandy Sanders

    Memo to Ralph Nader:

    Want to raise $10,000,000.00 quick? Hire Trevor Lyman!

    On second thought, Cong. Paul is still in the race – Lyman is not available!

    January 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Koraljka Lockhart

    Tell him to grow up. PLEASE!!!

    January 30, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. patheticpoliticians

    What is it in this egomaniac's psyche that causes him to think he has a chance in hell? Give it a rest Ralph. The typical democrat despises you since 2000. Just go away.

    January 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. Joe

    If Hillary wins the nomination, she will have my vote for the general election. If Obama wins, I will definitely choose Nader or McCain.

    January 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. jenna

    mr. nader, you need rest and plenty of it. stay home and get a hobby. stop being self absorbed and attention seeking. we almost forgot you until now. give rest a chance.

    January 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. jones

    Stop Nader !! Eight years of bush disaster is enough !! Cannot afford another republican mess!!

    January 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Ralph, continue to demonstrate what living in a free country means. Run if you like, speak out if you like....some of the rants on the boards seem to miss the point of freedom. Good luck!

    January 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Thinkforyourself

    Ralph Nader has a right to run independently if he wants. Nobody force you or anyone else to vote for him. He is not the reason for losing any election. The people who voted for him had every right to vote for who they wanted. They did!

    You can't then say it is his fault the election was lost. Thousands of disillusion American never voted at all. Why blame him? The election was flawed in Florida and somehow just because Gore loss, if was Ralph's fault. And the people who voted for him don't have a right to vote for who they wished for. No one told the rest of you who to vote for (Rep's or Dem). I am an independent, and I wish Al Gore had won, but this man has a right to exercise his constitutional rights to run if he choose to do so and it is the American people who should decide if they think he is not worthy of their vote. Not someone else! We are the only Western Democracy stuck with a corrupt 2 -Party system. We get the government we deserve. If you don't like Ralph, Hillary, Obama, Mccain or Rommney, don't vote for them, but don't tell someone else what they should think.

    January 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Joyce West

    I can't stand this. If he runs and splits the liberal vote we are going to be stuck with another Republican and that is too awful to contemplate.

    He is much more useful and effective as a citizen crusader and he will do all of us a terrible disservice if he actually does this.Why are we (liberal humanists and democrats always so adept at shooting ourselves in the foot (or heart/head). For so long the Republicans have not had to work too hard to thrash us and we cannot afford another round of this – politically, economically, and in the world's eyes where we have lost so much admiration and traction.


    January 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. Anne E., SLC

    Ralph Nader finds Senators Clinton and Obama "unacceptable candidates."
    If ANYONE is "unacceptable," it's NADER HIMSELF, as far as I'm concerned.
    I voted for Al Gore, and Nader was a major factor in Gore's loss. (To refresh the memory, let's all remember that Gore actually DID win the popular vote, and could've carried FL had it not been for Nader, not to mention a few unsavory other characters.....)
    So much has been made about the Clintons having had their time in the WH, in the political limelight, call it whatever you will. SAME GOES FOR NADER.
    He had his 15 minutes of fame and it cost us dearly. His attempts at shaking things up are as old as John McCain himself.
    He needs to shut up, sit down, and go AWAY.

    January 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Miguel

    From Senator Obama's website:

    Create a Living Wage: Obama will raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation to make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation, and housing.

    January 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. boston boy

    "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."

    Mr. Nader,

    Maybe he's censoring himself to get to the point where he can DO something about issues. I am disappointed that you equated Obama to Clinton in terms of their alliegence to corporate powers. Didn't Obama raise all his money from ordinary people?! Mr. Nader, if we had a different system, with many parties, more awareness and so on, I would have welcomed your candidacy, because I like your achievements and your message. But don't you think, that your candidacy, might be actually harming our chances to reach such a system?

    Boston Boy

    January 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. JR

    Bush's lack of popularity and his arrogance will create a downfall for the Republicans. Even Nader can not mess this reality up

    January 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. BN

    Ralph Nader is Karl Roves secret weapon.

    January 30, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. bugzy

    I am an independent who has not yet made up his mind on who to vote for. However, I find it weird that people are blaming Ralph Nader for Gore and Kerry losing elections. I mean it is not like Ralph stole votes or held a gun to the voters heads to vote for him or something like that; he basically had some ideas/principles/etc. which won him the votes (and which Gore and Kerry were simply not good enough to do); rather than accept responsibility for badly run campaigns (or for pandering to small groups), the DNC found it easier to blame one guy (always easy to find a scapegoat than to blame oneself). And this is USA, the land of the free apparently. So he has a right to run, and it is up to the individual voter to decide which candidate delivers what is good for the country from his/her perspective. Since I can only speak for myself, I find it very irritating that some highfalutin democratic or republican party follower / leader dictates that Ralph should go away and not play with the big boys and that my vote should only go to either one of the two candidates when November rolls around. It is like somebody telling me that I am only allowed to buy from Walmart or Kmart but not from Nordstrom (or some small boutique firm); guess what, the more shrill such arguments get, the easier it gets for me to think of the third choice as a viable option.

    January 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. carol

    You are responsible for the death and maiming of all the people in the Iraq war. If your narciscistic ego had stayed out of the 2000 elections we wouldn't have suffered through 8 years of George W and his incompetency. Crawl back under your rock!

    January 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. mb

    *yawn* Good Lord, does he really have so much money and nothing important to do with it?

    January 30, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. Dude

    This is why we need instant run-off elections.

    January 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
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