by Rick Pearson
Sen. Hillary Clinton, suggesting that Ralph Nader's Green Party candidacy cost the nation the "greenest president'' it could have had with Al Gore in 2000, said today that Nader's new candidacy for the White House poses an unwelcome distraction.
“Obviously it’s not helpful to whoever our Democratic nominee is,'' said Clinton, coming back on her campaign plane to speak with reporters. "But it’s a free country.
"I don’t know what party he’ll run on,'' she said. "Where did he run on last time? Does anybody remember? ... Was it on the Green Party?''
He was Green in 2000, an independent in '04.
"Well, you know, his being on the Green Party (ticket) prevented Al Gore from being the greenest president we could have had, and I think that’s really unfortunate,'' Clinton said. "I think we paid a big price for it.”
The impact of Nader's role in the 2000 election was not good for the country, said Clinton, who has spent considerable time campaigning against the policies of the Bush administration.
"This time I hope it doesn’t hurt anyone,'' she said, acknowledging that Democrats pay a higher price for Nader's candidacy than Republicans do. "I can’t think of anybody that would vote for Sen. McCain who would vote for Ralph Nader.''