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U.S. consumer rights advocate Nader enters presidential race as independent candidate
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08:57, February 25, 2008

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· U.S. Presidential Election 2008
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U.S. consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader announced Sunday that he is entering the 2008 presidential race as an independent, which is his fourth straight bid for the White House.

"In the last few years, big money and the closing down of Washington against citizen groups prevent us from trying to improve our country. And I want everybody to have the right and opportunity to improve their country," he made the announcement at NBC's "Meet the Press."

Asked about his motive, the longtime consumer rights advocate said, "Because I got things done."

He cited a 40-year record, which he said includes saving "millions of lives," bringing about stricter protection for food and water and fighting corporate control over Washington.

Nader, who turns 74 this week, complained about the "paralysis of the government," which he said is under the control of corporate executives and lobbyists.

Nader was criticized by some Democrats in 2000 for allegedly pulling away support from Democrat Al Gore and helping George W. Bush win the White House.

He has long denied that portrayal of his candidacy.

Long-shot GOP contender Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, said Nader's entry would probably help his party.

Democratic presidential front-runner Senator Barack Obama criticized Nader.

"My sense is that Mr. Nader is somebody who, if you don't listen and adopt all of his policies, thinks you're not substantive," Obama said.

Nader was born to a family of Lebanese immigrants in Connecticut in 1934.

He first drew national attention by taking on the auto industry in the 1960s on behalf of consumers.

Nader won 2.7 percent of the national vote as the Green Party candidate in 2000 presidential election.

In 2004 presidential election, he won just 0.3 percent as an independent.

Source: Xinhua

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