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. Antiglobalist

    Well, Kucinich is out, and if Paul drops out then Nader will be the only sane one on the table.

    January 30, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. HD

    We are attacking the wrong person. We should be attacking his 'FUNDERS'!!!

    January 30, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. Sean

    McCain + Clinton + Nader = the only way the Republicans can keep hold of the White House. Go Nader!

    January 30, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. China

    "Don't drink the Kool-Aid"? Dear sir, it was Flavor-Aid they drank in Jonestown and why compare the Obama to Jim Jones? Intelligent people have had enough of slur politics. Now onto the subject at hand. Yep, it's true, Mr. Grinch stole not only Christmas but now he let the 2000 election get stolen. Nader's not running for anything but ego. He knows he won't get elected and he knows he can make his points in more effective ways. He's a throwback to the curmudgeonly New England bachelor who likes no one in town; think Edgar Allen Poe or Nathaniel Hawthorne type character.

    January 30, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  5. mike towers

    you fn idot!

    January 30, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. Tim

    Right or wrong, spoiler or not, Ralph has never held elected office, and therefore he is not qualified for the most important public office in the world.

    January 30, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. Deborah

    Well then it must look like the democrats are poised to win in November, whomever the candidate may be.

    The only time Nader gets involved is when it looks like we might actually be able to move our country forward and get it on its feet. Whenever the democrats start making progress the spoiler jumps in to try keep the U.S. under the republican thumb. I do wonder if he didn't just recently get a big contribution from the right wing. They kept funding him against Al Gore when Gore looked like a shoe in and the country lost.

    January 30, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  8. Nora, D.C

    One Word Ignorant. Ralph Nader is what got this country into the mess that it is in with the Bushhhhhhhhh its

    January 30, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  9. Kat, Huntington, West Virginia

    STOP! Please spare us another election where we have to listen to this mysogynist with his holier than thou attitudes. Don't we have enough of that already?! By the way all you Obama fans-you really want to talk about divisive politics now? Obama calling Clintion calculating and divisive? Hummm, what would you folks say about Hillary if she said that about him?

    January 30, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. Michele in SC

    To those of you who blame the Iraq invasion and occupation on Ralph Nader, have you forgotten all the Democratic senators who voted yes, like Obama and Clinton to authorize this war? They didn't have the conviction to fight the war propaganda. They were too afraid of being called "traitors". I don't think it was a lack of "intelligence", it was a lack of conviction. So why would they be different as a president? Would they have different pressures, different PAC's and corporations controlling them? Think about it. For the first time in 32 years, I was actually considering NOT voting. Voting is sacred, even with the electoral college nullifying the idea of one person-one vote and SC's use of magic machines that other states have rejected, with no paper trail. I vote my conscience. I vote for what I believe in and I won't take part in this corporate popularity contest that has NO candidate calling for immediate withdrawal and an end to our occupation in Iraq. Meanwhile, we are building permanent bases. Ya'll can howl like wolves, but don't forget recent history. Do you think Obama and Clinton would ever dare to defy AIPAC? Have they? Think about it.

    January 30, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Mike

    Enter the egomaniac...

    Nader won't be a factor. He never was a viable candidate and never will be. All of his votes will come from contrarians who probably wouldn't have voted anyway. Worst case scenario is that undecided voters will cast votes for whoever they interpret to be the lesser of two evils (between the Republican and the Democrat), but no one will waste a vote on him. He won't even find support amongst Dems who hate Hillary and conservatives who hate McCain if they manage to walk away with their nominations. Enjoy your once-every-four-years 15 minutes of fame Ralph, and thanks for wasting our time.

    January 30, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. Mike

    Aw, crap, not again?

    Is there an antibiotic for the electorate, or has the Nadervirus mutated beyond it?

    Nader makes me want to Ralph, even more than Hillary or McCain! Where's a bucket?

    January 30, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. NextPresident

    Nader give it a rest. How many times have you thrown you hat into the wind and get a rock. Funny how Nader likes to appear when someone on the Dem ticket is ahead. But when Bush ran where was he on the second time. What has he said about the BUSH/Cheney debacle.

    January 30, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. befmed

    The best thing John Edwards can do at this point. Is tell Nader that he should stay out.

    January 30, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. Miles

    He has every right to run if he feels that ANY of the candidates aren't representing the issues that he cares about. Anyone who begs, pleads or otherwise excoriates him for wanting to run with his own platform is, in his own words, a political bigot. Yet all of you replying to this story just don't seem to understand, or don't want to understand. Instead, you are all petulant crybabies worried more about what it will mean for your favorite candidate than the rights of all Americans to run for office if they so choose.

    January 30, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. EatMoreChicken

    Good god, if Nader were a true patriot, he'd stay home and shut-up.

    January 30, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    1. Man alot of hate going out to the republicans. I for one support Bush and think that he did a decent job. With the situation at the time, he made the decision he thought was best.

    2. If you don't like Nader, than just don't vote for him!

    January 30, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. Robert


    How about an exploratory committee to run in IRAQ?

    You caused this mess!

    January 30, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. Alice in Florida

    Mike – LOL – Nader makes me want to Ralph also

    (Wish I had been clever enough to think of it before you did)

    January 30, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. SetItStraight




    January 30, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. Anaheimbruin

    NADER go away. You are the cause of the Bush years, the recession, and so many dead young Americans. How do you sleep at night?

    January 30, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  22. noway

    Nader: Run as a republican this time. You get attention and the repubs can split their vote. It's a win, win.

    January 30, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  23. Hello from Warsaw

    oh my Gawd..........Stop, Ralph....STOP RALPH!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  24. Random

    What a pitiful democracy this country has become when so many folks seem to treat choosing the leadership of this nation more as a football match than a test of ideas and visions.

    You probably don't even know the voting history of your "team" or their platform; worse, you probably don't care.

    Who voted FOR the war? Who voted FOR the Patriot Act? Who voted FOR "No child left behind?" NAFTA? CAFTA? To block perfectly rightful impeachment proceedings against the Vice President?

    Why did they do that, and why shouldn't they vote in like fashion and sentiment again when wielding the line item veto magic marker?
    Is or is not history a good indication of the future?

    Gore hardly moved on his champion issues while V.P. and was cited by many for making surprisingly few references to the environment while campaigning so perhaps we would not have "solved" climate change even had he been elected.
    Maybes abound.

    But all you can do is make asinine statements totally lacking in logic regarding whether Nader should be running.
    Well why should Obama? He's too young and inexperienced.
    Why should Hillary? She's riding her husband's coattails. This isn't India.
    Why should McCain? He's too old and shellshocked.
    Why should Romney? He was just lucky to get elected gov. of MA

    Wow, this not thinking thing is pretty easy! And we're heading straight into the loo if this is any indication of the voting public's brainwidth.

    January 31, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  25. Shamed

    Nader "caused" Bush? I bet half of you didn't even vote in 2000. Some of you were probably too young and others were too lazy. The first group can be forgiven completely because they probably don't understand what Ralph Nader means to this country in the first place and ultimately had nothing to do with Bush being elected.

    The latter group though... shame on you all. Half of "us" didn't vote, which means a good percentage of "you" didn't either. So stop with the theatrics and put your vote where your mouth is.

    January 31, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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