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.

___

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

23 Responses to "Nader launches another Presidential run"

  1. Timr  February 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    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?

  2. Mrs. F.  February 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    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!

  3. RSW  February 24, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    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

  4. RelayerBob  February 24, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    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.

  5. RelayerBob  February 24, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    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.

  6. WWWexler  February 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    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. Janet  February 24, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    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.

  8. WWWexler  February 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Sorry, but if you think Nader is an egomaniac, you don’t know Ralph.

  9. keith  February 24, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    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.

  10. Klaus Hergeschimmer  February 24, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    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!)

  11. mary cali  February 25, 2008 at 9:56 am

    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.

  12. JudyB  February 26, 2008 at 2:17 am

    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..

  13. WWWexler  February 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

    The problem with the “took votes away from Al Gore” argument is that Al Gore and the Democrats don’t own the votes, they belong to the people who cast them.

    Go Ralph! This is one of the most honorable men to ever throw his hat in the ring, a true champion of the American people.

    He gives me someone to vote for if Hillary wins the nomination, otherwise Barack gets my vote.

    -Wexler

  14. Sandra Price  February 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Nader is way too old, and I speak from experience.

  15. griff  February 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    The Supreme Court cost Gore the Presidency, not Nader.

  16. rury  February 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    After eight years of Republican misrule, Dubya gutting the
    constitution and two razor-thin Democratic losses in 2000 and 2004, I think progressives will be too wise to award the megalomaniacal Nader with any votes.
    In Barack Obama, we have a forward-looking candidate who can turn the page and set the nation on the corect course.
    Let’s don’t blow it people!!!!

  17. keith  February 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    As much as I admire and encourage third party candidates, Mr. Nader’s (continuing) candidacy has a definite Harold Stassen-esque air about it.

    How many times has he now run…and lost? His isn’t a candidacy…it’s an obsession. The American people have told Mr. Nader on multiple occasions that they do NOT want him to be their President. Yet, he simply doesn’t seem to get the hint.

    I suggest he and Mr. Huckabee might now want to get together to form their “ticket” as BOTH of them are legends in their own minds.

  18. Flapsaddle  February 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    The Nader crutch was a rationalization. It’s true that he took some 95,000 votes in Florida that would probably have gone for Gore, but that’s just an excuse to cover his poor performance elsewhere.

    Gore could not even carry his home state of Tennessee, nor could he carry West Virginia – a state whose tendency to vote Democrat borders on being a pathology – either of which would hardly be classified as the harbor of a sigificant number of Naderites. Had Gore carried either state, then the question of hanging “chads” in Florida would have been moot.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  19. JudyB  February 24, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Nader has no intenton of winning, but he does have hopes of causing some changes in the end results by making people think..in cruder words..”stiring up the shit”! I heard him this morning on Meet The Press and agreed with what he had to say about the Bush/Gore fiasco..he was absolutely right on all points, but I will not be votng for him or McCain.
    What I am really wondering is how this will affect the Obama/Clinton battle… if at all. Stay tuned folks, as the mud starts being slung at & by all of them, it’s going to get even more dirty and more interesting.

  20. incog99  February 24, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    The Margin will be greater this time, non-event. I still think Nader has lost his “marbles”. Stassen-esque is a good comment. Perhaps he will run in every election until he passes on? I still think he does it for the money.

  21. Timr  February 24, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    No, I don’t blame Nader for giving the 2000 election to gwb. I blame those who threw their votes away by voting for someone who could never win, who figured that their votes would not count anyway, so why not cast a protest vote. It is your fault. Shredding the Constitution, signing statements, an outlaw president, an out of control republician congress, 26,000 wounded and almost 4,000 dead in Iraq. The Iraq war itself, Katrina with over a thousand dead, government authorized torture,a politicized justice dept., the rise of the military industrial complex, $$9Trillion in debt that will be still owed by your great great grandchildren. Yes, I blame each and every one of you who voted for Nader in 2000.You.There is no excuse, no reason that you can give that will change the facts. Its your fault, and only your fault. Now why don’t you just stay home in 2008, your horribly bad judgement in 2000 is the only reason that gwb is president. 95,000 protest votes, the my vote doesn’t matter, the well Gore is the smartest man in the race, but never mind, I’ll cast my vote for Nader-even tho I know that he could never win. You people should hang your heads in shame. I dare you to go and look the parent or wife of a dead military member who went to war in Iraq because of what you did, and tell them, I voted for Nader in 2000. Yes, some friends of mine had kids who died or were wounded in Iraq. My son served, luckily, he was neither wounded or killed. I Blame You, for thinking that your vote would not matter, for casting a protest vote in one of the closest elections ever. For having incredibly bad judgement, lack of knowledge, and understanding of what was at stake in 2000.

  22. Flapsaddle  February 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Faced with the fallacy of the false alternative – that there really is a difference between the to halves of our political – the voter can ethically do three things:

    1. Hold his/her nose and cast a ballot for one of the two piles of crap masquerading as distinct parties and hope for the best, hoping that – this time – the parties and their pimps will actually make an effort to live up to their alleged principles.

    2. Cast a principled vote for a third-party candidate, in the knowledge that the candidate probably has no real chance, but that the ballot will register as an affirmation of principles abandoned by Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

    3. Accept the all-too-obvious conclusion that the system is corrupt beyond redemption and the only principled thing to do is to not participate and thereby exempt yourself from the consequences of such association.

  23. old_curmudgeon  February 25, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Just wondering…why the blame always goes to Nader for the 2000/2004 dem loss? I wonder why no one ever blames those that voted for Dubya, especially in 2004? Didn’t we get what they thought they were going to get? And in 2004 did they really expect that Bush would, after all he did in the first 4 years, all of a sudden change into that “compassionate-conservative” thing he told them he was?

    But, that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion…

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