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. Scott, Los Angeles, CA

    This whole time it was always about Ralph and never the country. We were just dupped into believeing that he actually CARED!

    January 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Go Ralph go. Tell the truth as you see it. If American citizens like what you say and want to vote for you, let them have an opportunity to do so.

    I voted for you once before myself. I must admit that I knew that Bush was going to win Texas and that for me to vote for Gore would not have any effect whatsoever on the outcome. If Texas had been close, I would have voted for Gore. My vote was a tactical vote. I wanted to increase the total vote for a populist candidate.

    If the Democratic Party hires a few hundred lawyers – again – to try and keep you off the ballot, I'll vote for you – again. I'll have no business with those who use legal flummery to deprive American citizens of an opportunity to vote for someone if they like him.

    January 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Steve's one word answer says it all: EGO

    The old man will largely be remembered for helping put one of the most damaging, least intelligent presidents we have ever had, into office. Nader stayed in the 2000 race even though it was clear he was taking votes away from Gore. And now, here we go again.

    If you really care about this country more than you care about yourself Ralph, DON'T RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

    January 30, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  4. Peter K

    This country is doomed.

    January 30, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Tom, Cville, VA

    Go home, Ralph! I love what you've done as a consumer advocate, but the fact is that your bid in 2000 is partly responsible for the train wreck that is the Bush administration. Yes, Gore could have done better, but you were also a factor. If Gore had stayed home, Bush would have trounced you. If you had stayed home, Gore would have beaten Bush. And if you can't see the difference between an Obama (or even a Clinton) and a McCain (let alone a Romney), then you aren't looking closely enough. Do us all a favor. Keep agitating for consumers and stay the heck away from the campaign. It's the right thing to do.

    January 30, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Mark Billingsley, Sacramento, Calif.

    Ralph, do us all a favor and take a long ride in a domestic vehicle circa 1972 and aim straight for the concrete barrier that is your presidential run. You, sir, are the one that is UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED. Don't screw it up for the Dems again Ralph. You'll never be the presdient OK. Get that through your thick skull. All you'll do is draw votes away.

    January 30, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. Kevin, Ohio

    Nader needs to stay out of the 2008 election and leave it to the candidates that are popular among voters. Nader was a spoiler in 2000 election which causes Al Gore the election. Because of Nader we are stuck with Bush in the White (8 years of hell). Nader entering the race is bad for this year election. Nader, my advice to you is to stay away from this election and let it run the course without you.

    January 30, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Ralph Wiggins

    Hey Ralph, try getting elected to dog catcher first, then MAYBE you can run for Prez.

    January 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  9. Jeremy

    Stay out Nader!!!

    January 30, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Joseph

    ralph nader-

    Just another ploy to eff up another election for the dems.

    Way to go. Say, why don't we go ahead and through Kucinich back in?

    January 30, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Jim

    Bush, Cheney, Nader = the axis of evil.... he can say whatever he wants about not being a spoiler, the fact is that he is partially responsible for the war in Iraq

    January 30, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Lisa, Des Moines, IA

    Re: Bukky January 30, 2008 3:45 pm ET

    Lisa, Des Moines IA January 30, 2008 2:44 pm ET

    Great…someone to vote for if Hillary receives the nomination. For a sec, I thought I might have to vote republican.

    Seriously Lady… you sound like the kind of person that voted for Bush…. TWICE

    Actually, Bukky I voted for both Gore, and Kerry.

    Just because one disagrees with the appalling, divisive, win at all cost tatics of Clinton's campaign does not exclude one from being a proud liberal democrat.

    But ,thanks for your input...it has been educational.

    January 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. frank

    I hope he does run along with 2 or 3 more independents and other party candidates. Would send a clear message to the Republican-Democratic monopoly that someone is doing something about changing their two step dance Better than someone just ranting about them and then turning around voting them into office. I voted for Nader in 2002 because I did not like the choices. Go, Ralph.

    January 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. american

    Look folks, playing this old Nader lost the election for Gore this is flat out rediculous. I thought this country was free and free thinking. If it were free and free thinking then shouldn't we expect more than two choices for a person who is going to run our country? If you were told to pick either crap and vomit, which would you chose, maybe a third choice would be better and some people were smart enogh to see that.

    January 30, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Thomas J, Costa Mesa CA

    I used to have a great deal of respect for Ralph Nader, but now he just seems out for his own glory. What ever happened to him being a consumer advocate. Did he run out of things to advocate for?

    January 30, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Dave-o, Honolulu HI

    Ralph Nader is a legend in his own mind. He's so narcissistic, he would create another political scenario that would be like what happened with GWB. He's to blame for GW getting in in the first place. Nader and the neocon sheep of the Republican party.

    January 30, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. skip

    Ralph-Give it up. You will never be anything other than a spoilsport, the child who was always picked last in sports. Your message is stale and dated. Go away. Please.

    January 30, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Rivera

    While RN is right that both parties have major flaws, who doesn't?! Let me begin by pointing out RN's flaw: he doesn't know when to stop! His noble work earlier in life is being degraded because he won't drop the ego and just endorse a viable candidate. Yes he has a right to run and yes he has great ideas, but his ideas aren't the only good ones and he's not the only candidate who has them. I'd LOVE to see a 3rd party or independant win a presidential election, but the time is not now. The only way to bring this hope closer is to begin healing Washington ad weaning it off partisan politics. It seems to me that everyone is going for presidential bids this year. Even though I am not eligible because I am too young, I'd like to join in that movement and declare my candidacy for the President of the United States in 2008! I appreciate all of your votes and hope to create a brighter, better future for America with you in the following eight years!

    Rivera '08!
    Dancing to Victory

    and not

    Nader '08
    Highway to Hell

    January 30, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. Tyran

    Nader is a tool of the Republican machineryy. He only runs to take away votes from Democratic candidates and allow a Republican to win. The guy is a phoney and I hope that people begin to see him for who he truly is.

    db, I agree with you. It is clear that Nader is being paid by the Republican party. Where is Nader during the four years when a Presidential election is not taking place? Is he out trying to help the American people? Nader will never be Noam Chomsky no matter how much he tries to pretend to be!

    By the way, some of you who are supporting Hillary Clinton that have said that you want Nader to stay out of the race but agree with what he says about Barack Obama are truly hypocritical.

    January 30, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    Seems like most of the people wanting Ralph to stay out are Dems. They don't seem to be too worried about Reps voting for him. At the same time, they say he is a crackpot.

    Doesn't that mean the Dems believe their own voters are more likely to vote for a crackpot? What does this say about their other candidates? haha

    January 30, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Hoodi - CA

    Ralph Nader your time is over. I was thinking you arer smarter than that till now. Your message has been tested in the past elections and this one too by Sen. John Edward. Now, let us now what is your real motive behind trying this time. You must be a republican who wear independent mask. Because of you the democrat lost in 2000 election to the republican. Knock it off Ralph Nader. We still do have respect for your last attempts but not this time.

    January 30, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. Dan

    The ultra-left is a cancer to the Dems just as the ultra-right is to the Repubs.

    It ashame we have to pander to the outer reaches of either party to the detriment of the majority of Americans who are in the middle on the issues.

    Whoever figures this out or creates the party that can capture these votes, will be the party of the future.

    Nader is zealout with an enormous ego, but it's his right to run. So bet it if he runs, but as in 2000, he hurts the principals that he says he holds so dear.

    He just doesn't have any more authority in his voice as he keep carrying on.

    January 30, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Russ

    Nader is just as much a part of the problem as those he criticizes...move aside, old man.

    January 30, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. Olakunde

    Please GOD no! Not again! Please Ralph don't send us into another political tailspin! If u do this then I will truly consider you a sadist.

    January 30, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Dusacre

    Ignore Nader, he will fade away.

    January 30, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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