Ralph Nader Backs Edwards, Slams Clinton
Ralph Nader, a four-time presidential candidate whom many Democrats blame for costing Al Gore the 2000 election, has endorsed John Edwards’ candidacy.
In an 11th hour effort to encourage liberal Iowans to “recognize” Edwards by “giving him a victory,” the activist and former presidential contender said in an interview that Clinton will “pander to corporate interest groups” if elected.
Nader specifically accused Clinton of failing to challenge military spending because “she is a woman who doesn’t want to be labeled as soft on defense and she doesn’t want to be shown as taking on big business.” As Clinton campaigned through a snowstorm in southeast Iowa, pledging to “bring about the changes we need,” Nader accused the Democratic senator from New York of using empty rhetoric. “[Clinton] has not led the way against the avalanche of military contracting, corporate crime, fraud and abuse,” he said. “We want to inform the people of Iowa about Hillary Clinton because all the focus is on, do they have the experience and do they have the personal charisma, and can they cross the aisle” Nader said.
“The issue is corporate power and who controls our political system and it’s not who has experience for six years or two years,” he said, alluding to an ongoing debate over experience between Clinton and freshman Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). “She has experience in the Senate, and what that experience has meant is going soft on cracking down on corporate crime, fraud, and abuse, soft on cutting tens of millions in corporate subsidies,” he continued.
While one would think Nader would be anathema to most Democrats, has still has some fans, apparently. And he sees Edwards as a kindred spirit.
Nader said he has watched Edwards from afar and sees his more pugilistic brand of populism as an encouraging sign. “It’s the only time I’ve heard a Democrat talk that way in a long time,” Nader said, acknowledging what was, for him, a rare moment of praise for a Democratic leader. “Iowa should decide which candidate stands for us,” he added. “Edwards is at least highlighting day after day that the issue is who controls our country, big business or the people.”
Because, of course, big business isn’t run by people.