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. Tony

    Nader apparently has a pathological need for attention. He screwed up the 2000 election and now he's thinking of doing it again – and just like last time, he has NO chance of winning. But he can siphon off enough votes to affect the outcome. I truly hope this guy doesn't do it.

    I wish Bloomberg would run – I would support him. He's a straight-shooter. Barack and Hillary just don't do it for me.

    January 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. james, newport, KY

    Nader only took about 3% of the popular vote in 2000. A much bigger spoiler was Ross Perot in 1992, when he took about 19% of the popular vote.

    Get real....8 years of Clinton was far worse than 8 years of Bush. But anyway, Al Gore would have won in 2000 had he won his home state of Tennessee. No one has ever been elected president and lost their home state.

    I say, Go Nader!

    January 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. irma

    See, heres the problem Mr. Nader; with all you high ideals against corporate America, your involvement in elections helps the Republicans win. Are you sure you're not working for them? Because so far, thanks to you, we have been majorly screwed by Bush. So help the American People you claim to care about and stay OUT OF THE RACE, please...... A lot of us are begging you. If your ego needs some energizing, go on the news with your comments.

    January 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Beck

    Why not?

    But, but, but; Nadar put Bush into the WH! He is a spoiler!

    Well, Perot put Clinton in the WH. So he was a spoiler as well.

    It is time to end the two party stranglehold on America.

    PS: Hey Ralph, see if you can get Perot to run again as well.

    January 30, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  5. Jud

    Thank you Ralph Nader for giving me a chance to vote for something other than the Demopublican party.

    This will be my third election, with just as many votes for You.

    If all of you democrats would quit stealing the election away from REAL progressive leaders, we would have REAL change in Amerikkka.

    January 30, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. Mike

    Mr. Nader, if you really cared about pushing your agenda forward, you wouldn't run. Anyone who thinks that his agenda has been pushed more in Bush's administration than if we had a Gore administration is off their rocker. He's of course allowed to run, but who wants him? I would only be okay with it if Ron Paul were allowed to run too.

    January 30, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. Carl Wren

    Go Ralph! We need you!!

    January 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. Mike

    I've notice many that have commented on this is frustrated with his possible presidential run. And it's your right to free speech and won't say anything about it, but look at what he has said. Both candidates have leaned away from the issues for America and recently been back and forth attack campaigns and low blows during candidates. And I agree with his statement about Obama. Now I'm a Independent, backing Ron Paul at the moment, but if I was a Democrat, I would look more into both candidates and see what they say is what they mean.

    January 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  9. seth, minneapolis

    I'm confident that Obama will win the presidency, even if Nader runs. I welcome the issues he'll bring to the table this fall.

    Democrats should be grateful Ralph Nader is out there working to make America better.

    Nader didn't lose the race for Democrats in 2000. Apathy did. And you can't blame him for 2004. What happened then?

    January 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Dave Ingleman

    If the Dems stood up for what their base wanted, this wouldn't be an issue. The conservatives run the GOP but the progressives have no voice in the Democratic party.

    January 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  11. marilee

    Oh for goodness sakes! Here comes the spoiler again! Wasn't it bad enough that Ralphie helped Little King George steal the election in 2000 by being so freaking Pig Headed as not to quit when it was apparent he could not win? Now he wants to run again!?!?!?! Isn't the country messed up enough!?!?!?! Let's hope he A) Can't get enough money together to run, B) If he does, and cannot win, BACKS DOWN. C) Gets lost in the woods. Do this country a favor, Ralphie. Flush your ego and DO NOT RUN. JERK!

    January 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    It seems on the surface that what he's doing is laudable, bringing up political and executive policy questions that should be aired and entered into public dialog. And so he accepted a couple million contribution from the Republican party to campaign last election - that's tough to turn down for someone without the fiscal and political network of a national party machine.

    But how does that look when you compare what he talks during election to what he actually does when he's not compaigning? If he's not just a spoiler paid for by the GOP, and he really is the man of his convictions, surely he's accomplishing things the rest of the time?

    January 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. irma

    Oh my goodness....is this actually a time when Clinton and Obama supporters are actually in agreement. No way! There Ralph, you did something, now scram.

    January 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. Eric

    Here we go again– What it is really about Ralphie, is your own oversized ego.

    January 30, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Seymour

    If Nader really cares at all about the causes he supposedly stands for he would stay out of the race. He has NO chance of winning and the only effect that he can have is to take votes away from the Democratic candidate, causing him or her to lose the election to the Republican nominee. He might not be happy with the records of Clinton and Obama on social justice, poverty, the environment and other issues, but they are both a lot closer to his position than any Republican nominee would be.

    If Nader had not run in 2000, Gore would be finishing his second term. By costing Gore the election, Nader allowed Bush to win and Bush's presidency has caused significant set-backs in civil liberties, environmental protection and a dismantling of the social safety net.

    Nader needs to step aside and support the Democratic candidate, even if it is the lesser of two evils.

    January 30, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. larry


    January 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Singh

    Ron Paul has a better chance of winning than you!!!

    January 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. Dave MacKay

    Nader is a pretentious windbag whose time in the sun has come and gone. Without Nader in the 2000 contest, the U.S. and the rest of the planet would not be suffering through the administration of Dubya and his gang of criminals. Please America, convince this buffoon to not even consider this divisive plan.

    January 30, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. The truth will set you free!

    RUN NADER RUN!!!! You count too! Again I shout RUN NADER RUN!!!!

    January 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Bobby

    Finally! Someone entering the race who is not backed by corporate lobbyists!

    Please enter, Ralph! We need you now that Edwards dropped out!

    January 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |

    Ya know, it amuses me when I hear people refer to Nader as Al Gore's downfall in Florida back in 2000; I'm sure rigged...I mean "electronic" voting machines, millions of vanished ballots, the governor being a brother of the Republican nominee and Fox News had NOTHING to do with that.


    January 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. The truth will set you free!


    January 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. Decline to State


    This will likely be three strikes for you. The people who you think are "at least interested in having major areas of injustice, deprivations, and solutions discussed in a presidential campaign" will like waste their vote. Instead, use the $10 mil. exploratory fund directly for those who suffer from injustice or are deprived.

    January 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. jim

    Ralph Nader is worse than any Republican. He only serves to destroy the Democrats ability to access the Whitehouse. Booo Nader, climb back under your million dollar rock

    January 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. joanna

    Rather Nader than Obammer!

    January 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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