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."
You know, there are still some folks out there who blame Ralph for Algore losing in 2000, claiming he siphoned off votes, and they may be looking at this with more than slightly jaundiced eyes.
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.
If Ralph can get himself on enough state ballots this November (and that might be a big "if"), things could turn out to be just a bit more interesting.