Tags: nader | obama | corporate

Nader Jabs Again at Obama's Corporate Views

Sunday, 29 Jun 2008 09:53 PM

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Third-party US presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Sunday accused Democratic contender Barack Obama of touting "corporate" interests that benefit the wealthy to the detriment of ordinary Americans.

Speaking on ABC television, Nader said Obama's positions are ones "that corporate America are very congenial to."

"If you want to give 100 million Americans a break in terms of their livelihood and wages, you would go for labor law reform. You would ... give them opportunity, low-income workers, to organize and collectively bargain."

Nader, whose third-party candidacy was blamed by many Democrats for costing Al Gore the 2000 presidential election, said that Obama has become a more centrist, conventional politician since locking up the Democratic nomination earlier this month.

"He's backed off on so many things. He voted for the war except once, funding for the war. He voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act (anti-terrorism legislation)," Nader said.

The longtime consumer advocate charged that Obama also has "pandered" to Israeli lobby groups and espoused "the militant part of the Israeli approach to oppressing and colonizing and occupying the Palestinians."

Nader added that "he says he's against the Iraq war, but his plan would keep 50,000 to 80,000 troops there and bases."

The accusations reprised remarks made last week, in which Nader accused Obama of brushing aside problems in the black community to appeal to white voters.

For his part, Obama, the first African-American nominee of a major US party, has dismissed Nader's remarks as a desperate bid to grab headlines.

"Ralph Nader's trying to get attention. He's become a perennial political candidate," Obama said last week.

"There's a better way to get some traction than to make an inflammatory statement like the one he made."

In the disputed election of 2000, when George W. Bush prevailed by beating Gore in Florida by just 537 votes, many Democrats believed Nader siphoned off votes from Gore.

Standing as a Green party candidate, Nader won about 97,000 votes in the Sunshine State.

In 2004, he won just 0.3 percent of the national vote as an independent and was not seen as a factor in shaping the outcome, with Bush winning re-election against Senator John Kerry.

© 1994-2008 Agence France-Presse

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