Ralph Nader said Sunday he will meet with John Kerry next month to discuss the effort to defeat President Bush in the November election.
While stressing that he is still a competitor in the race, the independent presidential hopeful said he views his candidacy as a “second front against Bush, however small.”
Following a speech on the environment at Georgia State University, Nader stepped up his attacks on Bush, describing the Republican incumbent as “a giant corporation residing in the White House camouflaging as a human being.”
“George W. Bush’s values are corporate values,” Nader told reporters. And he said the administration “should spend more time waging peace ... than waging a military conflict.”
At the same time, Nader prodded Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, to push traditional Democratic values of helping working families. He said the Democrats in general need to be reminded of that.
He did not elaborate on the meeting he plans with the Massachusetts senator and there was no immediate response from the Kerry campaign.
In response to Nader’s comments, Bush campaign spokesman Reed Dickens said Bush welcomes debate with Nader and Kerry.
“There’s going to be a clear choice come November between the president’s positive agenda of removing the barriers to growth in order to move the economy forward or raising taxes on the American people, a choice between being strong in the face of terror or backward-looking policies that view the war on terrorism as a law enforcement effort,” Dickens said.
Three percent in 2000
Nader, who garnered 3 percent of the vote nationally as a Green Party candidate in the 2000 presidential election, is an even longer shot to win in November because of difficulties getting on many state ballots as an independent.
Democrats have criticized Nader for his campaign four years ago and have suggested that he siphoned critical votes away from former Vice President Al Gore. Some, including former President Carter, worry the same thing could happen this year and have urged Nader to avoid a candidacy that might ensure Bush’s re-election.
Nader said Sunday he believes if anything he will take away votes that were meant for Bush because more people are fed up with high budget deficits and Bush’s economic policies.
“Members of the other party usually come back to the fold during the next election year,” Nader said of Democrats.