WASHINGTON (AP) - For months, Democrats, longtime friends and former supporters of Ralph Nader have urged him not to make another run for president.
Now that the consumer advocate has formally declared his candidacy as an independent, many Democrats fear a repeat of the 2000 race, when Nader was blamed by some for taking just enough votes away from Al Gore to secure a razor-thin victory for George W. Bush.
Nader rejects the spoiler label as a "contemptuous" term used by those who want to deny voters a choice. Declaring Washington a "corporate-occupied territory," he has accused both Democrats and Republicans of being dominated by corporate lobbyists who care little about the needs of ordinary Americans.
"It's a question between both parties flunking. One with a D-, the Republicans, one with a D+, the Democrats, and it's time to change the equation and bring millions of American people into the political arena," Nader said on NBC's "Meet the Press," where he made his announcement Sunday.