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. Megan

    YES!!! I was wondering where Nader the Crusader was!!
    He, and no one else, will be the change that this country needs.

    January 30, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. John

    This is extremely bad news. On a day when John Edwards and Rudy Guiliani announce their exits because they have NO shot at winning, this wing-nut jumps in the pool. He lost the election for Gore in 2000. It could happen again. The only hope is that Bloomberg also jumps in and pulls Republicans his way. Ralph, time to sit in the rocking chair, buddy. You are about 30 years past being relevant.

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

    It's like he has a destructive streak in him, like a child who tries to get attention by breaking things.

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. PJ

    Ralphy – You're "unacceptable"! Please don't waste our time or yous for that matter and find something to do that will REALLY make a difference.

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Chris

    Please. Don't.

    Don't give us another "four more years" by running.

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Cathy

    Ralph: Your time is over, please do NOT run in 2008.

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Hillary is intolerable, Obama is playing it safe, but at the end of the day, a Republican in office will only pour salt on the wounds that have been inflicted on this great country over the past two terms. Please Ralph, not now.

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Lewis

    NO, Not Again! Please stop Nader!!!

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    what a JERK! If you are only PARTIALLY responsible for bush's "election" in 2000 you should be ashamed of yourself for your colossal ego. And now you have the nerve to even THINK about this again? Like you have a prayer of winning? Listen, Ralphie, if you run again, run as a Republican..... you'll fit right in!

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    What kind of a game is this man playing? He stopped being an advocate for the poor a long, long time ago. Otherwise, why is it only when we have an election that he surfaces? Go away, old man. It was your fault we had to endure 8 years of horror under the present WH resident. Didn't you cause enough harm to the country already?

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Kevin

    To the people who say he is egotistical, arrogant and self-serving, I ask which presidential candidate isn't? To the information-challenged individuals who call Nader a 'loser,' you should really 'get a life.' The only attractive candidate left on either side is Obama, and Nader is exactly correct when he says Obama is beholden to 'corporate powers.' To shut him out of the process would be dictatorial in nature. He is an honest voice in a dishonest process, and has every right to run he wants to. Oh, and one more thing. Nader was not a spoiler in 2000. People are so quick to forget Gore actually won that state.

    January 30, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Shawn

    Mr. Nadar:

    Your one horse crusades are banal, irritating, and self serving. Just another blowviator who needs to hear himself speak.

    Shawn – Fort Bragg

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Caligirl

    Please run

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Tony

    Keep running Ralph!!! Right off the face of the earth. You were the one who helped Geo Bull. . . . Bush screw up our country for the past 7 years. Stick to things you know best like you did many years ago. Got the Corvair off the market, and for many years the convertable. Do us all a favor and stay home.

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. John, Dallas, Tx

    Ralph Nader cost the Democrats the White House in 2000 and (by extension) again in 2004. Can't believe he's thinking about running again – what a nightmare.

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Samuel

    This article is wrong! Gore in fact was the winner in the state of Florida! Bush got 100 more votes in the places tthey did a recount BUT when they counted the votes of the entire state! Al Gore won by more than 500 votes! Al Gore actualy won the U.S presidential election and had a Whopping half milion more votes total than Bush had! It was the electorial count and the strangely mis-placed and lost votes that were not counted that really would have put Al Gore over the top!
    It is amazing how so many forget and after just 7 years! Look at the horrors of what Bush did to this country! How many dead troops (kids) are a result of Bush being put in office! It is heartbreaking that the voters of today forget what can happen when the wrong person is made President!
    And these same people are touting Barack Hussein Obama! Forget the war- forget the dead kids- forget the lies and cover-ups! Forget the mid-east terrorists.
    Just vote for who the big guys tell you to vote for! Obama is the Republicans ticket back into the Whitehouse! They know if he gets the Dem. nomination not a single conservative will vote for a black guy named Hussein- for President! and half the dems won't vote Obama either! Thus we have another 4-8 years of Republicans in control!! Do not be fooled young voters! These old man politicians are dirty and Sly!! They have you Obama Worshippers just where they want you!
    Obama himself is already to blinded by the Rock Star image these Old Republican farts and the Slick Men of Media have created for their own benefit! Don't fall for it!! Look ahead at the big picture- not just at the "Cool Guy " with Stars in his eyes ! He is the biggest fool of them all!

    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Ray


    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Tim Abel


    The overwhelming majority of people on this planet think of you as a Geek with money seeking attention. You have lost all credibility. Your stance on the issues doesn’t matter. You will be doing irreparable harm to this nation, if you run again. By the way, I am a Republican. Let the best 2 fight it out in the end. The Nation will be more willing to support our next president, if you just Go Away!


    January 30, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. steel

    nader's claim that he is not a spoiler is ridiculous.

    in my opinion he is no more than a republican shill.

    he seems to have lost his vaunted intelligence not realizing that the 2 party system
    is the way to get elected.

    the only way to get elected.

    so if ralph nader is going to run he should commit to one of the parties and take his chances like any of the other viable possibilities for the 2008 election.

    otherwise ralph is unsafe for any creed...

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Ross, Manlius, NY

    Nader again wants to hand this race to the Republicans, how arrogant he is, he should leave this country.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Dez

    GO AWAY! GO AWAY! GO AWAY! That's 3 votes

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. JohnS

    As an Independent, I can certainly choose Ralph over Hillary at any SECOND; this choice is as easy as drinking water!!! This race is for the Dems to lose by putting Hillary out there as a Nominee.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. Amana

    Nader does it again! He's a professional interrupter!

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Nap time... Cookies later.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the Repubs bank roll Nader to run when they know they can't win by themselves. Nader would take votes from Hillary and Obama, no matter who the nom is... but typically not the Repubs.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. Douglas

    I am sickened by most of the comments here. The Sheeple are once again all voting for the 5 or 6 CFR Corporate & media approved of candidates instead of voting for a policy platform and conviction. The notion that our vote is "wasted" by voting for a candidate who "cannot win" is the worst logic imaginable. When we vote for the candidate who best represents our views, we get the opportunity to express our political will and only then does this get incorporated in the "winner"'s platform. The military-industrial complex will be quite happy with Barack, Hillary, Romney, McCain, or Huckabee. You will "waste" your vote by acquiescing to the power structure that does not care about you or your family. The fact that the best and clearest platforms are all expressed by the candidates with lesser poll numbers is surreal and a sad commentary on the American People. I say, therefore, speak courageously Mr. Nader!
    The only substantive and honest people in this election amounted to a grand total of three (Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Ron Paul). Nader's addition to the discourse can only be good. I think people are in denial of their deep shame for going along with the status quo and it manifests in the rude comments about Nader. He has deep convictions about making sure government does not run amok and trample people. How is this not worthwhile? Look what your government is doing around the planet. Neither Barack nor Hillary will bring the troops home anytime soon. They have said this. Why would you vote for them. Romney wants to "double Guantanamo" and McCain wants World Wars III, IV, V, VI, and VII all before the end of his second term. Why not vote for a peace candidate? There are still two of them in the race.

    January 30, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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