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

    Stay the hell out nader. This is ron pauls run you fool. You had yours and screwed it up.

    January 30, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Ray

    Should Obama get the nomination, I would vote for him or any Independent.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Candice - TN

    NADER STAY OUT OF THE RACE!!!! Please you WON'T WIN!!! You're just going to end up messing up the electorate because unfortunately alot of people are unrealistic about the possibility of independent candidates winning. PLEASE STAY OUT OF IT!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Nick, Austin TX

    Let's see he is the guy who gave Bush the election because there was "no difference". The "green party candidate". Let us see who has done more for the environment- little why-don't-I-whine Nader or Al Gore??????

    What a jerk. Obama is worth 100,000 Ralph Naders. How does it even help the "progressive cause" to help McCain win in a general election.

    Grow up Ralph.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. SF, CA

    Oh no, not again.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. James D.

    Nader = Megalomaniac !! Nader...please go away...far, FAR away!

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. johnny

    Nadar gets my vote for sure if Gravel or Paul are not on the ballot.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. cari

    Guess Nader is proud of how he helped the Republicans accomplish their goals in 2000 and 2004. Somehow, I am not so sure it was accidental. I am not sure if what he says is what he believes anymore. He served our country well in the 70s with his consumer advocacy crusade... now I am not so sure who is paying his bills.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. robert

    Nader, you egotistic man...I get it, ok, we all get it, you want it to be broader than a two party system..Perot did well...but no one likes you... Go away and stop costing the Democrats the election and letting the neo-cons walk all over everyone.

    January 30, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Rick

    Let the man have his say he only counts as one vote. Don't crucify him for the votes of others. I think the more dialog the better, or do we really only want one idea, one position, one opinion, and one option.

    January 30, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Gillian Bagwell

    What an idiiot.

    January 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Renee

    Please, please, please Ralph..do this Country a favor and DO NOT RUN!!! The people that agree with your philosophies and plans are overwhelmingly on the Dem side. I cannot believe you would want a new President that plans to continue this horrible war. We have to get a Dem in office this time.
    If you love the United States of America, you will not run. Continue to do all the good work you do, but stay out of the WH race!

    January 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Al in Wpg

    To all the people blamming Nader for GWB, while that may be convienient, the truth is, he is only one vote... it is YOU, the voters, who are to blame.

    January 30, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. mjr17

    finally someone willing to openly critique Obama's record!

    January 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Nature Boy

    Com'on Ralph, stick with what works for you. You and the world know you have zero chance of winning the presidency – you're just a spoiler. How is that for a part of you legacy – presidential spoiler, costing democrats 2 presidential elections. It's going to be a tight November, regardless of who the democratic nominee is.

    January 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Chris NC

    What is Ralph Nader trying to accomplish?! He's trying to become the president because he sees a major difference between himself the other candidates! He's pointed out in the past that the only difference between Democrats and Republicans is who bows down more quickly to corporate interests and for the large part he's been right. If you Democrats would wake up and realize that the only reason he's "stealing" votes is because your candidates are lousy you might help yourselves. I commend him for trying to keep the party focused on what matters. And aside from that, it might be nice to actually have a third party in this "democracy". Shame on you selfish democrats!

    January 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Saint Paul

    Whooo Wew! I agree with him all the way but we do have Ron Paul. These could get ugly I donna.

    January 30, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Will2008


    The ads Obama ran in Florida were national ads run on cable all across the country which Florida is not excluded from (like CNN, MSNBC,etc.). Stop distorting and get a life.

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Dee Sturber

    I wouldn't be all that excited to have a Kennedy backing me. I remember what happened to two of them and what is left is no great shakes as a mentor or role model. It will do him no good.

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Ferd

    Hey ! Here's something ALL the democrats can agree on: GO HOME RALPH!!!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. Frank Robertson, Amherst, NY

    Now there's an idea, Nader! How about if you make your ticket even more appealing by adding Dick Cheney (Vader) as your vice-president? By doing so, you could help to condemn this country to another presidental term of idiocy! Please, do us all a favor – take your inflated ego, get into your foreign-made car, and drive off into the sunset....

    January 30, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Dawn

    Even though I do not agree with Nader, he has a right to. I am a centrist and am not happy w/ Clinton(too many scandels), Obama (an empty vessel or "flavor of the month"), Romney (flip flopper), or McCain (too much angst).

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. bob, sunrise, fl

    how many millions of dollars has Nader wasted running for the office of President? It's time for Nader to stop. He knows he will never be President of the United States. And what qualifies him in the first place. No Nader in 08

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Mark - Atlanta


    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Rosie, Crestiview, FL

    I have to say that I want a democrat to win, but I also think that if Ralph raises the money he needs to get into the race than he has a right for his voice to be heard. I also am not happy with Obama or Hillary. I think they are both the status quo.

    January 30, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
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