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Ralph Nader on Principles & Values

2004 Reform nominee; 2000 Green Candidate for President

Republicans help get Nader on state ballots

In Michigan, after Nader volunteers had collected only 5,000 of the 30,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot, Michigan's Republican Party came to the rescue with 43,000 Nader signatures. A Nader campaign spokesman initially said that the campaign would not accept the GOP's help: "We won't take any signatures from them." But the campaign later said they would accept the "independent" ballot line provided by the Republican signatures in case they fail to get the Reform Party nomination: "We have to get on the ballot somehow," said the spokesman.

In Oregon, another swing state, Republicans enlisted the Oregon Family Council and the Citizens for a Sound Economy to recruit rightwingers to sign Nader's ballot petition. The CSE's phone script asking Republicans to put Nader on the ballot explained the need to "pull some very crucial votes from John Kerry." Nader's Oregon coordinator said he saw nothing wrong with rightwing help: "It's a free country. People do things in their own interest."

Source: Jeff Cohen, "AlterNet" blog Jul 20, 2004

Ad: Nader helped by Republican donors

AD ANNOUNCER: Right-wing Republicans will do anything to stay in power. Remember Florida and the 2000 election? Well, the same right-wing Republicans that are anti-choice and anti-environment are suddenly pro-Nader! Bush donors are pouring tens of thousands of dollars into Nader's campaign. Why? Because the right wing knows that helping Ralph Nader helps George Bush....After all the good he's done, Ralph Nader's legacy could be reduced to four more years of George Bush. Mr. Nader, declare your independence from the right-wing extremists.

ANALYSIS: anti-Nader groupÿstaffed by former Dean, Clark, and Gephardt campaigners-released a radio ad saying Nader is getting help from Republicans in hopes of stripping votes away from Kerry. The ad's use of the terms "right wing" and "extremist" are debatable. But it is well documented that some Republican-leaning groups have worked for Nader, and that a few wealthy Republican donors have given money to the Nader campaign.

Source: Ad-Watch analysis by Jul 14, 2004

Don't know right-wing groups helping in my campaign

DEAN [to Nader]: The Oregon Family Council, which is virulently anti-gay, right-wing group, called up all their folks to sign your petition. I don't think that's the way to change the party. I agree with much of what you say, but the way to change the country is not to do it with any means to the end, the way to change the country is not to get in bed with right-wing, anti-gay groups to get you on the ballot. That can't work. I think there's a big difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

NADER: What you said about that group was a legitimate smear. Do you know what a legitimate smear is, Howard? It's a smear premeditated and knowing. We don't even know this group. Don't try to tar us with this.

Source: NPR, "Justice Talking" Dean-Nader Debate Jul 9, 2004

Polls can be wrong; we're building beyond this election

The polls were wrong about Howard Dean. They all said he was going to win in a landslide against his Democratic primary opponents. We're building beyond November. An oak tree always starts with an acorn. And we are determined to give this younger generation of Americans a horizon for a better country and a better world and show them how to do it. Because the older generations have conceded two-party monopolies and narrow choices and low expectations and least- worst mentality far too long.
Source: NPR, "Justice Talking" Dean-Nader Debate Jul 9, 2004

Starts 2004 Presidential Exploratory Committee

If anyone has doubts about Ralph Nader's plans for 2004, his new website should erase those doubts. Yup, it appears Nader will make a fourth run for President in 2004. The site-which was registered October 24 by the folks at (his official 2000 campaign site)-went online this week in a very nascent form. The site also carries a disclaimer stating it was paid for by the "Nader 2004 Presidential Exploratory Committee, Inc." of Washington, DC. The committee is so new that it is not yet registered with the FEC. However, the committee does not need to register until it raises or spends at least $5,000. A mailed notice from the committee implied Nader planned to run again. Interestingly, the note gave the impression Nader was possibly looking to run this time as an Independent instead of a Green. Nader-the former two-time Green Party nominee-is a registered Independent. If he wants it, Nader remains the perceived frontrunner for the Green nomination next year.
Source: Dec 3, 2003

Decision on run to be based on Kucinich & Dean's standing

Ralph Nader said he would decide later this year whether to seek the White House again, as a Green Party candidate or an independent. Nader has run three times for president, faring best in 2000, when he won 2.7% of the overall vote.

Nader said his decision would depend, in some measure, on the fortunes of two of the nine current Democratic contenders whose politics would appear to resemble most closely his own - Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean. Nader said growing support for Kucinich, one of the most liberal members of Congress, would give him "less reason to go into the election," adding: "Not, no. Just less."

As for Dean, Nader says he likes what the former governor says in speeches but fears that he will ultimately move toward the center to broaden his appeal. Nader also had a kind word for Senator John Edwards for opposing caps on damages in liability cases, but he did not indicate whether Edwards would influence his decision.

Source: Michael Janofsky, New York Times Jul 13, 2003

In 2004, would do "just about everything" differently

As for his own presidential aspirations in 2004, he is noncommittal. In this one way at least, he has become a typical politician. It is worth noting that most everyone who has ever known him predicts that he will run again. It is also worth noting that Nader is quick to warm to hypothetical questions regarding things he would do differently, in the event that he runs. "Just about everything," he says.
Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 281 Oct 1, 2002

"Priceless" ad caused lawsuit but got priceless attention

Nader's "priceless" ad starts off with assorted photos of Bush & Gore, accompanied by the song "Hail to the Chief." This is followed by a montage of images of Nader over the years. A voice-over intones: "Grilled tenderloin for fund-raiser: $1,000 a plate. Campaign ads filled with half-truths: $10 million. Promises to special interest groups: over $10 billion. Finding out the truth: priceless. Without Ralph Nader in the presidential debates, the truth will come in last."

The 30-second spot caught the attention of MasterCard CEO Robert Selander, who called Nader directly while vacationing in the tropics. Back came MasterCard with a lawsuit, claiming trademark and copyright infringement. The company demanded $15 million in damages. The Nader campaign pulled the ad, pending the outcome of the lawsuit. But it was remarkable how much mileage Nader got out of a single ad. Countless articles about the debacle appeared. Nader campaign headquarters received hundreds of cut-up MasterCards.

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 244 Oct 1, 2002

Nader "stood" for president in 1996 (didn't "run")

Ever the lawyer, Nader attempted in 1996 to run and not run at the same time. He approached this latest political flirtation with a whole set of hesitations, qualifications, and disclaimers. He did not register as a Green, nor did he adopt the party's platform. His campaign purchased no ads and took no contributions. He promised not to spend more than $5,000 of his own money, thereby avoiding federal regulations regarding disclosure of his personal finances. And he traveled virtually nowhere. In Nader's parlance, he "stood for president" in 1996 as opposed to actually running.

Nader received 580,627 votes in 1996, good for 0.6% of the electorate. He came in fourth behind Reform Party candidate Ross Perot (8.5%) and just ahead of Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party (0.5%). Considering that Nader had merely "stood" for president, it was an impressive outcome. He began to wonder what would happen if he ever ran in earnest. So, too, did the Green Party. The stage was set for 2000.

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 229-230 Oct 1, 2002

Political systems benefit from outside competition

Nader points out that competition is a venerated business principle. No one would expect a high-tech startup to back down, he argues, simply because it is taking profits from a larger established corporation. So why are presidential candidates held to a different standard? "No political system can regenerate without outside competition," he said. "Agendas throughout history have been pushed by third parties. Yet somehow the two political parties have expected to reform themselves without external jolts.
Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.270-1 Sep 1, 2002

Dems will lose until they become more progressive

Nader says he has no problem with Greens picking off a Democrat here or there. In fact, he appears to savor the prospect of Dems facing the wrath of the "Green hammer," as he terms it. "You can't pick and choose. Once you do, you perform like a fusion party. And whenever there's a good Democrat you find yourself saying, 'We're not going to grow our party in this district for this office, because he's okay.' Certainly they would never show us that kind of solicitude."
Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.281 Sep 1, 2002

Bush intensifies contradictions and galvanizes progressives

Nader indicates that he relishes the fact that Bush is now in office. His reason: a so-called intensify-the-contradictions theory. Remember, Nader had some of his most conspicuous successes with Nixon in office, and by contrast he felt stymied under Carter and Clinton. Often he has benefited from the stark relief provided by Republican politics. Unquestionably, a Bush presidency threatens Nader's agenda on everything from antitrust to torts. But Nader has actually suggested that the threat might help galvanize progressives. " Both parties do the same thing, one covertly, one overtly," he said in 2001. "Which one is going to get more people mad? Which one is going to get more people organized?"
Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.271 Sep 1, 2002

Ran because unable to get hearing with president or Congress

What made Ralph run? For the first time in his experience, Nader found himself ignored thoroughly by a Democratic administration. Nader and Clinton did not meet a single time in the course of eight years. Al Gore also turned a cold shoulder.

As for the Clinton-era Congress, Nader found that he was a pariah, even among the most liberal members. In 1997 Nader was invited to speak before the House Progressive Caucus, but only 5 of the 50 caucus members even bothered to show up.

From Nader's standpoint. the icy reception in Washington was proof of a serious drift among Democrats. They had pilfered the Republican agenda and called it their own--a process he termed "protective imitation."

The doors were shut, tighter than ever. As he did during the Reagan years, Nader went to the grassroots, but there were limits to what could be accomplished. Nader wanted to have a say on weighty national issues. But more than ever before, he found it hard to get any political traction.

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.226-7 Sep 1, 2002

Suffers from Bell's Palsy

In 1986, Nader developed a condition called Bell's Palsy. It affects the nerves in a person's face. Common symptoms include various ticks and twitches, and even partial paralysis of facial muscles. The condition is often unilateral, affecting only one side of a person's face. The cause is still unknown, although it is suspected to be a virus. Nader was sure he contracted the condition from recirculated air while traveling on a plane.

In Nader's case, Bell's Palsy initially froze the left side of his face, although that gradually abated. But he had continued difficulty controlling the muscles on that side. His left eyelid also began to droop. For some, Bell's Palsy lasts only a few weeks, but in Nader's case it would linger. He took to wearing dark sunglasses and began to joke with audiences that he could no longer be accused of talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 214 Sep 1, 2002

Experience to run government comes from suing most agencies

Bush and Gore were asked about experience and leadership qualities.

NADER: ‘Well, I’ve been a full-time citizen for 40 years. I think the auto industry knows what I can do in terms of safer cars. We’re almost experts at how to make government and corporations accountable.“

Q: Do you have the experience to run the vast agencies of the US government?

NADER: I don’t know anybody who has sued more of them. I don’t know anybody who has participated for over three decades in the process.

Source: Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe, page D1 Oct 8, 2000

Focus on broader distribution of power

The focus on fundamentals of broader distribution of power is the touchstone of this campaign. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis declared for the ages, and I quote: “We can have a democratic society, or we can have great concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.”
Source: CNN: “Burden of Proof” Aug 9, 2000

Spoiled political system spawns spoiled candidates

“I don’t think you can spoil a political system that’s spoiled to the core. Nobody’s entitled to votes. We all have to earn our votes. George W. Bush is basically a conglomerate political corporation running for president. He has a terrible record when it comes to children, consumers, pollution control in Texas, poor people’s access to the courts, and I think all that’s going to come out.”
Source: John Mintz in Washington Post Jul 17, 2000

Uses personal income as societal change agent

Aside from modest personal expenses, I have always treated my income [estimated at over $300,000 per year] as a de facto philanthropic fund for many projects and institutions that serve the interests of consumers, the environment, labor and more accountable business and government. In short, the monies I earn are for strengthening civil society.
Source: Mike Allen, Washington Post, page A01 Jun 18, 2000

Opposes concentration of power & monied interests

The progressive Green Party, founded in 1996, shares Thomas Jefferson’s and James Madison’s view of government as “a public check against the excesses of monied interests,” Nader said. The abolitionist, trade union, environmental and consumer movements all have targeted the same evil -- “excessive concentration of power and wealth,” he said. Nader said too many working Americans have been left behind in the booming economy.
Source: Associated Press Mar 13, 2000

Counter “democracy gap”: raise expectations in politics

Source: Green Party Announcement Speech Feb 21, 2000

New populism: citizen participation over commercialism

As befits its name, the Green Party, whose nomination I seek, stands for the regeneration of American politics. The new populism which the Green Party represents, involves motivated, informed voters. When citizen participation flourishes, as this campaign will encourage it to do, human values can tame runaway commercial imperatives. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis declared, “We can have a democratic society or we can have great concentrated wealth in the hands of a few. We cannot have both.”
Source: Green Party Announcement Speech Feb 21, 2000

Expand agenda to voter, worker, consumer, shareholder

Q: How much pressure has been brought to you to drop out of the race?

A: I’ve heard from emissaries from the Democrats, from some members of Congress, and their question is always, why are you doing this? And I’ve given them the answer:

This is a broad political effort to enlist young people, broaden the agenda, and focus relentlessly on expanding the tools of democracy -- for the five roles we play in our country: voter, worker, taxpayer, consumer and shareholder.
Source: National Public Radio, interview by Diane Rehm Apr 3, 1996

Struggle against commercialism based on priceless things

Q: What’s the most important childhood memory you have?

A: I think of little homilies by my parents. One day, I came home and my parents were in the back yard and my mother said, “How much is a dozen oranges?” I knew. “How much is a dozen eggs?” And I knew. Because my father had a restaurant, so I knew the prices. And then they said, “How much is that breeze that’s caressing our faces? What do you think that sun is worth right now? And you hear those birds? What’s the price of those birds?“ And they were trying to teach me that there are things that are priceless. You don’t always measure things by the dollar. And I remembered that as I embarked in my struggle against commercialism and the overwhelming spread of commercial dictates into universities, into government, even into religion, into areas far removed from traditional market place venues.

Source: David Frost interview Oct 21, 1994

Sacrificed personal life because civic work is a joy

Q: Wouldn’t you like to have sons to pass on your thoughts to the way your father inspired you?

A: [Not having] sons and daughters was a sacrifice. It’s [a choice] I have to bear [because] I don’t believe in being an absentee father.

Q: When was the last time you had a whole day off?

A: Sometimes when I’m traveling I take a day off simply because there’s nothing to do. And I do take about a week off during the summer.

Q: What’s your idea of a good time?

A: Reading is a good time. Conversing with friends. Seeing new things and new experiences. When traveling, I like to go see plants and factories, like a meat processing plant. Or a coal mine.

Q: Your work schedule is what? 80 hours a week?

A: It’s pretty much all the time except eight hours to eat and sleep. But I enjoy it. The definition of work implies something you’d rather not be doing. [Civic work] is a joy. If more people would involve themselves in civic action, they’d discover an important formula for personal human happiness.

Source: David Frost interview Oct 21, 1994

Power corrupts, unless it fears loss of power

Q: Do you think power inevitably corrupts?

A: Power that is not afraid of losing its power will inevitably corrupt. And that’s why a dictatorship is so dangerous, that’s why monopolies in the corporate area are so dangerous. Power is necessary, but power has to fear losing its power to be responsible in its exercise. I don’t like concentration of power. Whether it’s in Wall Street or whether it’s government ownership of the means of production which is the definition of Socialism.

Source: David Frost interview Oct 21, 1994

Pushed consumer protection in “Nader’s Raiders”

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader will announce his third campaign for the White House. He ran as a write-in presidential candidate in 1992, and as the 1996 nominee of the Green Party. Nader won 684,902 votes in the 1996 presidential election and 2% of the vote in California.

Born to Lebanese immigrant parents in Connecticut, Nader is a Harvard-trained lawyer who has taken on a vast range of issues, ranging from an unsafe General Motors car, the Corvair, later withdrawn from the market, to banning smoking on airline flights. He was named by the LA Times as one of the 50 people who most influenced business this century.

He and his team of investigators, popularly dubbed “Nader’s Raiders,” have pushed for legislative change and raised public awareness. Nader works out of the Center for Responsive Law in Washington and lives nearby in a studio apartment. A bachelor, he does not own a television or car and has few interests outside his work.

Source: Feb 17, 2000

Ralph Nader on Green Party

Won't run as a Green-maybe as an independent

Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate viewed by many Democrats as the spoiler of the 2000 election for taking votes away from Al Gore, has decided not to run on the Green Party ticket next year, a party spokesman said. Nader, who garnered nearly 3 percent of the national vote in the last presidential election, has not ruled out running for president as an independent. He plans to decide by January. Nader, a consumer activist, appeared on many Democrats' hate list after the 2000 election. Gore, the former vice president and 2000 Democratic nominee, lost decisive Florida by fewer than 600 votes, while Nader received nearly 100,000 there. Many Democrats are convinced enough of those voters would have swung the election to Gore if Nader had not been on the ballot. Nader said running as an independent would not hurt his campaign. "As an independent, you can do more innovative things because you don't have to check with all the bases," he said.
Source: (South Carolina) Dec 24, 2003

Green nominee, but declined rival Green Party USA

A philosophical schism developed between Greens who wanted to stick to local activism and those who wanted to delve into presidential politics. By 2000 these two schools had formally split.

The Denver convention [which nominated Nader] was held by the group that coveted national elective office, known as the Association of State Green Parties. The rival faction-known as Green Party USA-remained focused on grassroots activism. To confuse matters, it held a convention anyway, in Chicago, where it endorsed Nader. The issues on its platform included abolition of the US Senate and 100% taxation of income above $100,000. Nader refused to accept the rival Green party's endorsement. But throughout his campaign, many voters and journalists were justifiably confused.

To clarify the record: Nader ran in 2000 as the candidate for the Association of State Green Parties. He did not support abolition of the Senate, nor did he adopt a number of other positions advocated by Green Party USA.

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 236 Oct 1, 2002

Waited 16 years; Dems no different than GOP about power

Many accuse Nader of basing his entire campaign on a much more substantial whopper than Gore’s story about his arthritic dog or Bush’s claim that he pushed for a patients’ bill of rights in Texas. They question Nader’s insistence that there is no real difference between the two major-party candidates. “It’s what do they stand for versus what do they fight for-I discount the rest as linguistic differences,” Nader said. “Anyway, my phrase is that there are few major differences.”

Nader said he was not impressed by pressure warning that he could hurt his reputation as well as his causes if he was seen as having helped elect Bush. “I waited in 84, 88, 92, 96,” he said bitterly. “It’s as if the Democrats are telling us, ‘Wait another four years, then ask our permission.’” Then he said the way the two parties cozied up to special interests and encouraged a concentration of power made all other distinctions meaningless. “I don’t care if they’re different on everything else,” he said.

Source: Melinda Henneberger, NY Times Nov 1, 2000

Goal is 5% of vote, to qualify Greens as a recognized party

Nader knows he’s not moving into the White House, but he has a concrete goal: 5 percent of the vote so the Green Party will become a recognized third party and can reap millions in federal campaign matching funds in 2004. He defines victory as “getting tens of thousands of people into political activity and hundreds of candidates running. We become the third political party in America, with the fourth way behind.“ Nader says his chief aim is a ”shift of power,“ which would help him achieve his agenda: universal health insurance, public financing of campaigns, and the shifting of tax dollars from ”corporate welfare and a bloated military budget“ to services for people.
Source: U.S. News & World Report Oct 25, 2000

Tactical voting: if Gore leads your state by 9%, vote Nader

Nader hinted that anxious Democratic voters could practice “tactical voting” this year. If Gore is nine points ahead of Bush“ in polls the day before the election, Nader counseled, voters ”can vote for the Greens and have it both ways. They can help build a watchdog party after November 7 by depleting the vote totals from both parties.“
Source: Thomas Edsall, Washington Post, p. A1 Oct 23, 2000

Attract new voters to build future party

Q: How do you explain polls that say you have very little support?

NADER: In recent days I’ve been 7 percent, 6 percent, 17 percent in Alaska. We’re going to draw from a lot of young voters for the first time. We’re going to get millions of votes in November to build for the future a strong party.

Source: Nader-Buchanan debate on ‘Meet the Press’ Oct 1, 2000

Vote conscience rather than choosing between drab and dreary

Nader asked supporters whether the town had made any progress under eight years of Clinton. “One of the greatest disemployers of Flint, Michigan, is William Jefferson Clinton.” Urging supporters to “vote your conscience,” Nader warned residents against picking the lesser of two evils. “If you reward both parties, those parties will only get worse every four years. We’re not going to hear much about issues in the upcoming presidential debates between the drab and the dreary.”
Source: AP Story, NY Times Sep 21, 2000

One purpose of campaign is moving Democrats Left

Nader said a central purpose of his candidacy was to move the Democratic Party left on labor and other issues. To make it easier for unions to organize, Mr. Nader called for making it legal for a union to boycott not just the company it is striking against but other companies that do business with it. (Such boycotts were banned by the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947.) He also called for requiring employers to pay triple damages when they illegally fire workers for supporting a union. Asserting that he should be included in any presidential debates, Nader said he would seek to force Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush to address work-related issues, like occupational safety, that have been largely ignored during the campaign. “Gore will tell you, ‘I’m for you. I’m going to fight for you. I’m for a ban on using replacement workers in strikes.’ But what has he done in eight years? I don’t care what you’re for. I want to know what you’ve done. Talk is cheap.”
Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times Jul 23, 2000

The DemRep duopoly obstructs citizenship

The foundation of our campaign [is] to focus on active citizenship, to create fresh political movements that will displace the control of the Democratic & Republican Parties. They are simply the two heads of one political duopoly, the DemRep Party, feeding at the same corporate trough. This duopoly does everything it can to obstruct the beginnings of new parties including raising ballot access barriers, entrenching winner-take-all voting systems, and thwarting participation in debates.
Source: Green Party Announcement Speech Feb 21, 2000

Ralph Nader on Spoiler Issue

Florida included some (less than 537) disenfranchised voters

Florida got 96,915 votes in Florida; Gore needed 538. Even here, Nader introduces a wrinkle. He brought legions of new, disenfranchised voters into the political process. This is not a matter of mere addition and subtraction, then. Often Nader argues that much of his Florida base would not have voted at all, and thus he cannot be held responsible for actually taking votes from Gore.

Exit polls in Florida showed that about one-third of those who voted for Nader were in fact disenfranchised; otherwise he took votes from both Gore and Bush, by a margin of two to one. That means he siphoned off roughly forty thousand votes from Gore. Libertarian candidate Harry Browne, Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party, and John Hagelin of the Natural Law Party garnered 18,856, 4,280, and 2,287 votes respectively. Some of their voters were most certainly disenfranchised, but no doubt they each snatched a minimum of 538 votes from Gore. So why aren't they considered spoilers?

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 272. Oct 1, 2002

Dislikes "spoiler" label and "strategic voting"

On June 30, 2000, the New York Times labeled Nader a potential "spoiler" and sounded an alarm that he might tilt the balance in key states such as California. The piece urged him to step aside, deeming his campaign a "self-indulgent exercise that will distract voters from the clear-cut choice represented by the major-party candidates."

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins suggested that residents of safe states-where either Bush or Gore held a commanding lead-could afford to vote their "hearts." But in swing states, she urged people to vote their "brains." This came to be known as the "Ivins Rule." The Times editorial and Ivins Rule set the standard for the way the media would cover Nader's campaign.

Personally, Nader did not appreciate either approach. Certainly he did not relish being slapped with the "spoiler" tag. Neither did he approve of the Ivins Rule, with its suggestion that people vote strategically instead of "voting their conscience" as he frequently termed it.

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 240 Oct 1, 2002

"Nader's Raiders for Gore" Nader said Gore would win by 20%

At an August 2000 fundraiser, Gary Sellers, one of Nader's closest associates during the 1970s, challenged his former boss: "You cannot claim there's no difference between the parties," he said. "Why is it that 95% of the time, we used to work with Democrats? We used to celebrate if a Republican signed on to one of your crusades. It's likely to be very destructive.[to Gore's election chances]"

Nader assured Sellers that the election was unlikely to be the nail-biter pundits were predicting. He said. "George Bush is so dumb, Gore will beat him by twenty points."

Sellers then registered a web site under the name "Nader's Raiders for Gore." The group pointed out that Nader's central claim-that the two parties were virtually identical- would not have withstood his own truth tests. Nader in response issued a simple statement: "There are always a few who lose their zest and will to fight for progressive ideas and settle for moderate conservatives like Al Gore."

Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p. 245-246 Oct 1, 2002

Gore beat Gore -- look at TN, AR, and WV, not FL

Since the election Nader has gone on record with a number of different--often contradictory--statements. His most frequent assertion has been a simple but elegant Gore beat Gore. Sure, Nader took votes from Gore in Florida, but had the vice president made a better showing the outcome would have been different. "Let's put it this way," Nader says, "Al Gore slipped on 15 banana peel, and they're picking one." Nader has frequently pointed out that Gore lost his home state (Tennessee), Bill Clinton's home state (Arkansas), and a long-time Democratic stronghold (West Virginia). Florida, he points out, is simply the crowning bumble in Gore's poorly-run campaign.
Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.270 Sep 1, 2002

Wants credit for a Democratic Senate in 2000 election

When wearying of the spoiler issue, Nader takes another tack: If you are going to blame me for a Republican White House, you have to give me credit for the Democratic Senate. It requires a few somersaults to explain this one, but here goes: Nader received 103,000 votes in Washington state from registered Greens. Election Day also featured a senatorial race in Washington between Democrat Maria Cantwell and Republican Slade Gorton. Cantwell won by 1,900 votes. Because there was no Green Party challenger in the race, one can safely assume that many of the Greens who turned out to vote Nader for president also voted for Cantwell in the Senate. This helped produce a Senate 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans. The switch of Vermont's Jim Jeffords from Republican to Independent tipped the balance, giving the Democrats the majority. "I haven't gotten one letter of thank-you," quipped Nader.
Source: Nader: Crusader, Spoiler, Icon, by Justin Martin, p.271 Sep 1, 2002

Nader less spoiler than Buchanan, in state-based analysis

The conventional view is that Nader cost Gore a victory, while Buchanan was not a factor, because Nader won 2.8 million votes to Buchanan’s 450,000. But the key question is which states were so close that third-party voters could have made a difference, had they instead voted for Bush or Gore.

There were 8 states in which no candidate received a majority of votes. In ME and NE, Gore won [by more than Buchanan’s vote], so those are moot. In FL and NH, Bush won, but by fewer votes than Nader received [i.e., Nader was the “spoiler” there].

In the remaining four states, IA, NM, OR, and WI, Buchanan’s vote total exceeded the difference between Gore and Bush. Combined, these four states account for 30 electoral votes, or one more than FL and NH combined. In other words, if Buchanan has dropped out and his supporters had switched to Bush, Bush would not have needed Florida to become president. Click here for state-by-state vote tallies.

Source: Davis Leonhardt, New York Times, p. 4 Dec 10, 2000

Margin of votes is less than margin of error: Toss a coin

Ralph Nader has a simple solution to the stalemate in Florida: Toss a coin. “It sounds kind of arbitrary. But I’m not joking,” he said. Nader said that, ideally, a team of nonpartisan volunteers should recount by hand all votes cast in all Florida counties. But, given the Dec. 12 deadline to pick a winner, he acknowledges that’s not a remedy the Florida Supreme Court likely will hand down.

“It’s razor close, and the margin of error is bigger than the margin between them,” he said. “Whoever wins is going to have half the nation against them. It’s going to leave a bad taste in the American people’s mouths.“ So, Nader proposes that Gore and Bush settle the standoff with a coin toss.

He claimed to be following the Florida standoff ”only casually,“ saying he doesn’t much care who wins. ”They’re just two lookalike candidates from two lookalike parties that are looking more and more alike. Whoever the winner, he’ll just keep hijacking the American governmental system,“ he said.

Source: Denver Post Nov 22, 2000

Gore has only himself to blame for defeat and a bad campaign

Gore ran a poor campaign, failed to attract new voters and remained a captive of the conservative Democratic Leadership Council and the special commercial interests that financed his campaign. He entered the election with every advantage against a marginal, ill-equipped and corporate-dominated Texas Governor. Yet, he mismanaged his campaign into a deadlock and now has only himself to blame for the Democratic fiasco.
Source: Interview in Washington D.C. Nov 10, 2000

Gore needed to run on more than not being George W. Bush

In the end, Al Gore made his appeal on one major campaign pitch - that he was not George W. Bush. That simply was not enough to bring millions of stay-at-home voters to the polls.
Source: Interview in Washington D.C. Nov 10, 2000

Gore has only himself to blame for defeat and a bad campaign

Gore ran a poor campaign, failed to attract new voters and remained a captive of the conservative Democratic Leadership Council and the special commercial interests. He entered the election with every advantage. Yet, he mismanaged his campaign into a deadlock and now has only himself to blame for the Democratic fiasco. In the end, Al Gore made his appeal on one major campaign pitch-that he was not George W. Bush. That simply was not enough to bring millions of stay-at-home voters to the polls.
Source: Interview in Washington D.C. Nov 10, 2000

Nader-Trader: Swap Gore vote with friend in non-swing state

Some Nader supporters are succumbing to the argument that Nader could tip the election to Bush-whom most of them find unacceptable-if he keeps pressing his campaign in key states. But they want to further the Green Party’s goal of qualifying for federal campaign funds in 2004, which will happen if it wins 5% of the nationwide presidential vote.

Their proposal: Ask pro-Nader voters in crucial swing states to vote for Gore in return for promises from pro-Gore voters in non-battleground states to vote for Nader. That way, there’s no net loss of votes for the Green Party, but Nader doesn’t draw all-important votes from Gore in the places where it really matters.

A website called states: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could both vote for Nader AND against Bush? Now you can-become a Nader Trader. If you live in a swing state, contact a Gore-voting friend in a strongly Bush-leaning state and informally agree that your friend will vote for Nader, while you will vote for Gore.”

Source: Charles Babington, Washington Post Oct 26, 2000

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Ralph Nader on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts