June 25th, 2008
04:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Nader: Obama trying to 'talk white'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.nader.gi.jpg caption="Nader is taking heat for his latest comments."](CNN) - Ralph Nader's presidential candidacy has received little media attention, but his latest critique of Barack Obama has come under fire for it's seemingly racial overtones.

Speaking with Colorado's Rocky Mountain News, Nader accused Obama of attempting to both "talk white" and appeal to "white guilt" in his quest to win the White House.

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader told the paper in comments published Tuesday. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."

Obama's presidential campaign called those comments disappointing, and his communication's director, Robert Gibbs, said Tuesday they were "reprehensible and basically delusional."

"I don't think he's spent a lot of time looking at the record of Barack Obama," Gibbs said on MSNBC.

Nader, the longtime consumer advocate who was blamed by many Democrats for Al Gore’s loss in the 2000 presidential election, said Obama's top issue should be poverty in America, given his racial heritage.

Watch: Why is Nader running for president

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Ralph Nader
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Bendo

    Listen if your a true democrate/independent, not happy with the last 8rs, are you better off today than you were before w was selected by the supreme court... is your financial situatrion better or worse and just think hanging chads and President Gore...answer these questions and you know who you will vote for...all this other stuff...dobson, mclaim, nader...doesnt matter, ait gonna make a difference, put HRC on the ticket and let the right wing howl!

    June 25, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. patricia

    Not only are Nader's statements totally wrong, but he's an idiot if he doesn't see how good Obama as president will be for this country. He has "sour grapes". He knows he'll never be president so he tries to ruin the other guy's chances. He does it every four years.

    June 25, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Greg

    Ralph Nader, in my opinion, is someone who just refuses to just... go away. It seems as though once every four years he rears his little head in order to recapture his 15 minutes of fame. Okay we got it: Nobody drives Corvairs anymore!!! Now just go away.

    June 25, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. kj from west palm

    I'm a 41 year old african-american. Right now we all have the same problems. So i guess if we have a white president he should care about only white issues first?? Obama will win because he understands white, black, dogs, cats, parrots, asian , mexican, bahamian, jamaican, i think you get it. WE ARE ALL HURTING NOW!! And who is ralph Nader??

    June 25, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  5. Sharon Kitchen

    Get real !!!!!!!!!! Maybe, just maybe a person is being themself.......I thought Nader was a grownup......

    June 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. newbie pawns for Obama

    That is what Obama does.

    He manipulates people to get his way.

    He skillfully played the race card against Hillary Clinton.

    Who'd have thunk that it would work?

    But the newbies who did not know better DID indeed fall for the bull.

    Pawns for Obama

    June 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Not again!

    Ralph Nader was respected for his integrity in the '60s but with each destructive venture into politics he has diminished his reputation.

    June 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. UhhBama

    Why is it that Obama can bash all white people and people just nod their heads in agreement?

    But if anybody criticizes Obama, it's all considered 'racism'.

    June 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. TRUTH

    he has done plenty for the black community and plans to help ALL people. Obama has been talking like an AMERICAN.

    OBAMA '08

    June 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Jaime

    Nader talking stupid.

    Ralph, your name is spoken everytime someone is sick to their stomach or has had too much to drink...

    Where's the toilet, I think I'm going to Ralph....

    June 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. bridgette

    Obama has not been rich all his life so he understand the inner city problems probably better than anyone who has ever ran for President. I think too say he is talking white is just a silly thing too say. How do you speak white or how do you speak black. There are two ways too speak. One is with correct grammar and the other is uncorrect grammar.

    June 25, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. lisa

    Wow! I have been waiting for all the racist remarks would come out.
    Only in America. Thanking God for freedom.

    June 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Well for a candidate trying to get the black vote,,,he called everyone else a racist trying to knock out Hillary. Now he is trying to get the white vote. People who can "see thru his little capers". So what did you expect him to do with white voters...TALK WHITE.

    June 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. franco

    Hello American People!

    Mr. Pseudo is just another typical Chicago-made, Chicagoan style politician.

    Therefore, Mr. Pseudo will do anything, will say anything to get power.........That includes manipulating words, facts, values, religion, public image, feelings, and, of course, us, the common people.........

    God Bless America!!!

    June 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. ber6964

    Okay, Next...........

    June 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Stacy

    Nader needs to make such kind of comment to be in the spotlight.
    With all the problem this country is facing we are going to be worried if Obama is talking white or black.
    Nader needs just to talk about how he is going to fix thing in this country.

    June 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Mary

    Ralph Nader is a politician I would not vote for and seldom believes but I do believe that Obama is playing on the White Quilt of some Americans. I will not vote for Obama because I can not believe him and he is a far left radical, a socialist.
    CNN has done America a disservice for promoting Senator Obama and not telling the truth about him and his policies.
    CNN should just report the news, not try to influence it.

    June 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Nadir

    Nader is an IQ test. If you voted for him once, you're stupid. If you voted for him twice, you should be deported.

    If you vote for him now, then you, your brothers and sisters, your parents, and all of your children should be executed. Because having your genes around are a long-term threat to humanity.

    June 25, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. steve from NY

    america!!!! – get over the race thing

    June 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Mike in Columbus


    Your opinion doesn't make you racist... just foolish.

    June 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Linda31

    Okay, I really get upset at this taking white/black business. How about the man is speaking like himself. Maybe, just maybe you need to meet more African American people Ralph Nader. Then you might find out that their really is no one type of "talk". And you want to be President? Why? Because you talk white???

    Obama is speaking about issues that affect the AMERICAN PEOPLE and that means all of us.

    June 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Crush Rush

    He should be checking the tomatoes as head of the nonexistant FDA we now have not running for office or playing spoiler.

    June 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Jeff Long

    Obama's not even black. He's half African and half white. Obama is not even a quarter black. He is a straight up African! LOL!!

    June 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Birdman of PG

    Nader is absolutely correct. The Obamaites are wearing blinders and cannot see the unvarnished truth. The emperor has no clothes.

    June 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Ben

    Does anybody with an ounce of sense really care what this man says?

    June 25, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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