Nader launches another Presidential run

Ralph Nader said Sunday he will run for president as a third-party candidate, criticizing the top White House contenders as too close to big business and pledging to repeat a bid that will “shift the power from the few to the many.”

Nader, 73, said most people are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties due to a prolonged Iraq war and a shaky economy. The consumer advocate also blamed tax and other corporate-friendly policies under the Bush administration that he said have left many lower- and middle-class people in debt.

“You take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut out, marginalized and disrespected,” he said. “You go from Iraq, to Palestine to Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bumbling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts.”

“In that context, I have decided to run for president,” Nader told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Nader also criticized Republican candidate John McCain and Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton for failing to support full Medicare for all or cracking down on Pentagon waste and a “bloated military budget. He blamed that on corporate lobbyists and special interests, which he said dominate Washington, D.C., and pledged in his third-party campaign to accept donations only from individuals.

“The issue is do they have the moral courage, do they have the fortitude to stand up to corporate powers and get things done for the American people,” Nader said. “We have to shift the power from the few to the many.”

Nader also ran as a third-party candidate in 2000 and 2004, and many Democrats still accuse him of costing Al Gore the 2000 election.

Obama, responding Saturday to Nader’s earlier criticisms that he lacked “substance,” praised Nader as a “heroic figure.”

“In many ways he is a heroic figure and I don’t mean to diminish him. But I do think there is a sense now that if somebody is not hewing to the Ralph Nader agenda, then you must be lacking in some way,” Obama said.

Clinton called Nader’s announcement a “passing fancy” and said she hoped his candidacy wouldn’t hurt the Democratic nominee.

“Obviously, it’s not helpful to whomever our Democratic nominee is. But it’s a free country,” she told reporters as she flew to Rhode Island for campaign events.

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, speaking shortly before Nader’s announcement, said Nader’s past runs have shown that he usually pulls votes from the Democrat. “So naturally, Republicans would welcome his entry into the race,” the former Arkansas governor said on CNN.

Nader vociferously disputes the spoiler claim, saying only Democrats are to blame for losing the race to George W. Bush. He said Sunday there could be no chance of him tipping the election to Republicans because the electorate will not vote for a “pro-war John McCain.”

“If the Democrats can’t landslide the Republicans this year, they ought to just wrap up, close down, emerge in a different form,” Nader said.

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Associated Press writer Beth Fouhy in Providence, R.I., contributed to this report.

Comments

  1. JudyB

    Voting for Nader can be looked at a few ways..
    Throwing your vote away.
    Making someone who really cares who wins vote useless.
    Perhaps electing the one you like least.
    A waste of your time and energy..you could just stay home.

    I take voting as a serious opportunity and this year more than ever a much welcomed one..

  2. mary cali

    I may be disenchanted with the Rs and the Ds, but I am more disenchanted with Nader. How can anyone who said there was no difference between Gore and Bush have any credibility? I may have respected Nader had he told his supporters in 2000 not to vote for him in states that were close, such as Florida. Those supporters would likely have voted for Gore and we would not be stuck in Iraq now. With a President Gore we would be more advanced in confronting global warming and other environmental issues.

    Nader has totally lost it for me. In his quest for the “purist”, himself, he helped put the country in the mess it is now. He and his supporters can rationalize that fact, but the reality is he helped usher in the Bush presidency which has sent the world backwards and from which we will have a difficult time recovering. Thanks Ralph. I think even your loyalsists supporters can’t be dumb enough to vote for you again.

  3. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Pillary Dillary Crock -Yuk Tooey! Obama, with a corparate health care plan -Yuk, Tooey! Obama also stated he would have on problem invading Pakistan to go after Osama Bin Boogie Man -No! No More Neo-Con appeasing by dip-thong military adventures in foreign countries.

    The Democrats need to be punished for going along with Bush’s occupation of Iraq. The Democrats need to be punished for aiding and abetting the Telecommunications industry by granting them immunity retro-actively.

    I WILL VOTE NADER, THE DEMOCRATS MUST BE PUNISHED!

    The Jack-Ass party can’t do any worse then they are now. Whether the Jack-Ass gets into the White House, they will aid and abett the occupation of Iraq. Down With Jack-Assess!!! Throw a Pie At A Jack-Ass Congresshuman today.

    DOWN WITH THE JACK ASSESS!!! (HEE-HAW!)

  4. keith

    This nation is built on immigration, most of it really “illegal” (after all, who required the non-Natives who invaded this continent to come here speaking English, dragging along with them slaves and servants from every other land?), and this wave will be absorbed as has every previous one.

    Blaming others for your own prejudices isn’t going to solve anything.

    Bingo!

    Substitute “black” or “homosexual” for “Mexican” in these “illegal immigration” arguments, and the bigotry that underlies all of it becomes painfully clear.

    Ours is a nation that was built on the sweat and tears of millions of immigrants. Many of our great (or great-great) grandparents simply showed up on our shores and, after some minor formalities, were granted residency and then went right to work. Back then, they also didn’t have to endure layer upon layer (spelled “years and years”) of bureaucratic “red tape”, not to mention all manner of US Government goon squads, each trying their level best to find any reason, no matter how trivial, to keep everyone but a “specific kind” of people out.

    There are plenty of jobs (and plenty of room) in our country for those who aren’t content to simply sit on their asses and let the “nanny state” take care of them. Right now, we have far too many native-born Americans blissfully willing to do the latter rather than the former. And since when has competition from people who truly want to work at jobs that nobody else wants become a dirty word?

    Rather than building miles and miles of useless fence to keep “their kind” out, maybe we ought to be making it easier (nor harder) for those who truly want “in” to once again lend both their brains and braun to make our country the economic powerhouse that it once was.

  5. Janet

    Had Nader not run in 2000, Gore would have won handily and there would have been no need for The Supremes to get involved. There were enough votes for Nader that would have otherwise voted for Gore. Perhaps idiots wasted their votes on Nader, but it still had the same result.

    Nader is wrong in thinking that we are disenchanted with the Democrats. People are excited about having not one, but two great candidates. Obama will get the nomination, and Hillary’s supporters will vote for him. Maybe Nader will get Ron Paul’s supporters. People on the fringe vote on the fringe. A vote for Nader is a vote for McCain. However, I’m betting that this time, he probably won’t even get enough signatures to get on any ballots. Additionally, at 74 he’s just too old.

    Nader has become nothing more than a buzzing annoyance, like a mosquito, but you don’t know whteher it’s harmless or carrying malaria. His only reason for running is his egomaniacal arrogance and increasing loss of sanity. Somebody needs to take him to the back of the woodshed and put him out of our misery. Ralphie – Go away. We don’t want you. Just go away into the sunset.

  6. WWWexler

    The primary cause of the Green Party as it stood 8 years back was to be the voice of the Progressive movement. The idea was to pull the Democrats to the left. There has been some progress, but the party still represents Clinton more than Nader or Kucinich.

    However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t millions of people here who don’t resonate with Kucinich and Nader more than Clinton and the center right of the party. The problem is as it always has been, that the people who wield influence are the people who can get funded. It’s not a good political bet to fight for people in poverty, to fight against corporate domination of the working class and integration with the government, to try to protect the environment, to make radically true statements about US foreign policy and our nation’s real role in the world, etc etc. Look what happened to Edwards, Kucinich, and Dodd. Each had an agenda to try to undo the damage and restore some justice… they’re now footnotes.

    I have decided to support Barack Obama not because I necessarily agree with all of his positions. However, I do think he has terrific leadership skills and can push forward a Progressive Lite agenda by building a consensus. I also think that on Constitutional issues and transparency of government, he’ll be as good as Ron Paul or Nader.

    As far as the Greens, I haven’t heard much of anything about them since they did a massive comeapart over the “safe state” tactic. For those of you who didn’t know about that, the party split roughly in half into the “anybody but Bush” wing and the “scorched earth” wing. I was with the “anybody but Bush” wing but I didn’t like the safe state strategy and I didn’t blame anyone else who didn’t like it, either.

    One of those who didn’t like it was Ralph Nader, who refused to run a “safe state” campaign as a Green. BTW… a “safe state” campaign means that you only run in states that are gimme states for either major party, with the notion of having an electoral presence but not spoiling the Democratic Party’s chances to win. That’s what the “anybody but Bush” Greens wanted to do.

    -Wexler

  7. RelayerBob

    Probably, Mrs. F, because illegal immigration is far, far down the list of real issues. Blaming our problems on Mexicans, as performed on immigrants legal and illegal for decades, is nothing more than scapegoating.

    Americans need to take responsilibity for electing who they have have put into office, allowing the nation’s children to become increasingly uneducated and incapable of competing in the world, allowing the corporations to send the best jobs offshore, and permitting the GOP to tear down the constituion and our image and position in the world. Like a corporation that would rather lay off workers than the overpaid management that lost the millions required to justify layoffs, you and yours would rather take out your frustrations on those least able to defend themselves while sanctimoniously pretending that this behavior is moral.

    This nation is built on immigration, most of it really “illegal” (after all, who required the non-Natives who invaded this continent to come here speaking English, dragging along with them slaves and servants from every other land?), and this wave will be absorbed as has every previous one.

    Blaming others for your own prejudices isn’t going to solve anything. But I’ll happily vote for the opponent of whomever you choose.

  8. RelayerBob

    Probably, Mrs. F, because illegal immigration is far, far down the list of real issues. Blaming our problems on Mexicans, as performed on immigrants legal and illegal for decades, is nothing more than scapegoating.

    Americans need to take responsilibity for electing who they have have put into office, allowing the nation’s children to become increasingly uneducated and incapable of competing in the world, allowing the corporations to send the best jobs offshore, and permitting the GOP to tear down the constituion and our image and position in the world. Like a corporation that would rather lay off workers than the overpaid management that lost the millions required to justify layoffs, you and yours would rather take out your frustrations on those least able to defend themselves while sanctimoniously pretending that this behavior is moral.

    This nation is built on immigration, most of it really “illegal” (after all, who required the non-Natives who invaded this continent to come here speaking English, dragging along with them slaves and servants from every other land?), and this wave will be absorbed as has every previous one.

    Blaming others for your own prejudices isn’t going to solve anything. But I’ll happily vote for the opponent of whomever you choose.

  9. RSW

    Harold Stassen walked away from the political campaigns a winner in another way: He generally had campaign money left over, which he was allowed to keep, given the way the laws are written. How much has Ralph kept over the years?

    Oldernwiser

  10. Mrs. F.

    I would definitely like to see another candidate for President besides the poor choices we have now, but I’m not sure Mr. Nader is the one. I just checked his website votenader.org and found that the biggest issue hurting Americans at home, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, is not even on his 12 Issues That Matter Most in 2008 list. Illegal imigration should be a number one Priority, right up there with the Iraq war. I am looking for an anti-amnesty Presidential candidate, he’d get my vote!

  11. Timr

    BTW, your clock on the comment post time is incorrect. It is 2:15 CST right now, or are you in the Canadian Maritine Provences?