This is not original reporting. All information was taken from The Washington Post and Associated Press news sources
Consumer-rights activist Ralph Nader announced Sunday that he would run as an Independent for the 2004 presidency.
Nader announced on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he would enter as a third-party candidate to challenge President Bush and the Democratic nominee. Nader gained notoriety during the 2000 election when he ran under the Green party ticket— Al Gore's close defeat is blamed on Nader's presence on the ballot, according to The Washington Post.
Nader remained undaunted at the label of a "spoiler," calling it a contemptuous term, according to the Associated Press. Nader does not distinguish between Republicans and Democrats and frequently adds that corporate lobbyists dominate both parties in Washington.
Nader, who turns 70 this week, has had to shrug off criticisms that his campaign will serve no purpose except to take votes away from any Democratic nominee. Nader has always maintained that there are no distinguishable characteristics between the Republican and Democratic nominee and has pushed himself as an alternative.
Nader's decision to enter the presidential race set off a fury of responses from the Democratic Party. Senator Joseph Lieberman, former presidential candidate Howard Dean and Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe all spoke out against Nader's decision. McAuliffe contacted Nader before he went public with his announcement, asking him to reconsider his decision. Although Nader continued with his announcement, Nader did promise McAuliffe that he would focus his candidacy on the downfall of President Bush.
Nader's first challenge as a candidate will be to get on the ballet in all 50 states, according to the Associated Press. In 2000, Nader had the support of the Green Party and was able to collect the necessary signatures to enter 43 ballets. However, Nader has suggested that he would only run in ten of the closest-contested states, something that would be easier for his campaign team to pull off.
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