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Effects of Ralph Nader's presidential campaign

BY IAN WILLIAMS
07/02/2004
by IAN WILLIAMS on 7/2/04.

NBC News Transcripts

SHOW: NBC Nightly News (6:30 PM ET) - NBC

July 2, 2004 Friday

LENGTH: 391 words

HEADLINE: Effects of Ralph Nader's presidential campaign

ANCHORS: BRIAN WILLIAMS

REPORTERS: ANDREA MITCHELL

BODY:
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor:

Now to DECISION 2004 and the man the Democrats fear could be the x-factor in the election, Ralph Nader. With his own poll numbers barely cracking the tiny margin of error in most polls, an increasing number of polls are asking why is Nader running? Is it an ego trip or is he the last true believer? Our report tonight from NBC's Andrea Mitchell.

ANDREA MITCHELL reporting:

Ralph Nader once again running for president. Without entourage or campaign plane, at 70, no longer the boy wonder leading his Nader's Raiders, but definitely a player.

Mr. RALPH NADER: The two parties are proxies for the corporate government here in Washington.

MITCHELL: Democrats are worried that he will pull votes from John Kerry. Kerry Democrats call him a spoiler, and Howard Dean is about to debate him on public radio.

Senator HOWARD DEAN: He may have the effect of again of re-electing George Bush, and that would be a tragedy for America.

MITCHELL: Many of Nader's former allies and fellow Democrats blame him for what happened four years ago and fear it will happen again.

Representative BARBARA LEE (Congressional Black Caucus): I told Mr. Nader today that a vote for Ralph Nader is really a vote for George Bush.

MITCHELL: They say if not for Nader's votes in Florida alone, where Al Gore lost by only 537 votes, Gore would likely be president. In fact, every recent poll shows Nader hurting Kerry more than Bush.

Mr. PETER HART (Democratic Pollster): For every vote that he gets from President Bush, he's taking two away from John Kerry.

MITCHELL: Ralph Nader helped elect George W. Bush.

Mr. NADER: We have to get away from this horse-race concept because politics is too important to the American people to be trivialized in this way. People want more voices and choices.

MITCHELL: Republicans clearly think he helps their candidate. Top Bush fund-raisers like billionaire Richard Egan are secretly bankrolling Nader. And in Oregon, Citizens for a Sound Economy, a conservative group, is asking members to help get Nader on the ballot, saying 'Nader could peel away a lot of Kerry support in Oregon.' Nader got knocked off the ballot in Arizona today, but he only has to get on the ballot of a few states like Ohio to once again influence a tight race. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.

LOAD-DATE: July 3, 2004