The E-News site has been inactive since February 2011 and may contain outdated information and/or broken links. For current and up-to-date Tufts news and information, please visit Tufts Now at
Tufts University e-news

Search  GO >

this site people
Tufts University Logo Bottom Search Bottom  
left side photo

Richardson on Nader: 'Nobody's Backing Him'

Richardson on Nader: 'Nobody's Backing Him'According to Tufts graduate Gov. Bill Richardson, independent candidate Ralph Nader cost Democrats the presidential election in 2000 – and could do it again. Washington D.C.

Boston [02.23.04] On Sunday, Ralph Nader announced his candidacy for president on NBC's Meet the Press, kicking off an independent bid he says will steer the election away from corporate interests. But Nader, the consumer advocate some Democrats blame for spoiling the 2000 election, is already drawing criticism from a number of liberal heavy hitters -- including Tufts graduate Bill Richardson.

"This is an act of total vanity and ego satisfaction," Governor of New Mexico Richardson - who earned and undergraduate and Fletcher degrees at Tufts -- told the Washington Post. "[Nader] cost us the White House last time and he could do it again."

Richardson, a former Energy Secretary under the Clinton administration and United States Ambassador to the United Nations, praised Nader for his record as a consumer advocate - but warned that his candidacy may not be the best next step for his lobbyist movement.

"Now Ralph's made some great contributions to consumer issues over the years, but clearly it's not going to help us now," Richardson told reporter Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "I don't think he'll have a sizeable impact, but it's terrible if he goes ahead, because it's about him...and not about a movement that supposedly he headed for many years."

Nader, 69, has split from the Green Party, which endorsed him in 2000 - causing even more concern about his run. "It's his personal vanity, because he has no movement, nobody's backing him," Richardson told Fox News.

Richardson - who will be the first Hispanic to chair the Democratic National Convention this July in Boston - added, "His friends urged him not to do it. It's all about himself."

But speaking on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, the new candidate said that his campaign is quite the contrary: not about himself, but about the welfare of the American people.

"This country has more problems and injustices than it deserves and more solutions and good willed people applying those solutions," Nader said. "That's because there is a democracy gap. There's just too much power and wealth in too few hands, increasingly giant corporation hands that have no allegiance to our country and communities other than to control them or to abandon them."

But Richardson worries that Nader's liberal stance may tip the election to into the hands of George W. Bush.

In a report for public radio on the recent entrance of Nader into the race, NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson said, "I talked to Bill Richardson this morning, the governor of New Mexico where the Green Party is very strong. He said, ‘Look the Greens get five percent every year,' in every election in the state, and even if Ralph Nader isn't running on the Green Party platform, he certainly will attract some of those votes, so he is a potential factor."

Nader publicly acknowledges that his campaign is part of a broader effort to engage more people in the political process and to try and shift the mainstream platform to address issues majors parties might otherwise ignore.

As Nader told the Washington Post, he hopes that Democrats give attention to his ideas and modify their platform. "It's up to them to grab away my votes and my issues," he said.

Related Stories
Related Links
Featured Profile