Ralph Nader is sounding even more like a crotchety old man lately. The 75-year-old consumer activist turned perennial long-shot presidential candidate sometimes sounds, dare we say, like your crazy old uncle.
But when he told the Washington Post that then Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe tried buying him off during the 2004 election, he was perfectly lucid, and seemingly correct.
Nader said that McAuliffe, fearing that Nader would steal vital votes from John Kerry, called and offered him an undisclosed amount of money to stay off the ballot in 19 battleground states.
"When you get a call like that, first of all it's inappropriate,'' Nader said in an interview. "The other thing is if you don't immediately say no, it's like taffy, you get stuck with it."
Funny thing is, McAuliffe, who is running for Virginia governor, doesn’t deny the claim. McAuliffe’s spokeswoman Elisabeth Smith released a statement saying that he "was concerned that Ralph Nader would cost John Kerry the election as he did Al Gore in 2000 and give us another four years of George W. Bush."
"It looks like Ralph Nader misses seeing his name in the press,'' Smith told the Post. "Terry's focused on talking with Virginians about jobs, not feeding Ralph Nader's ego."
Nader may be making the claims now because his campaign manager, Theresa Amato, just released a new book. The same accusations are detailed in “The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny.”