Speed Reads

No Spoilers

Ralph Nader objects to 'politically bigoted' term of 'spoiler' candidates

Ralph Nader, who ran for president as a third-party candidate in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 — and in the opinions of some observers, contributed to George W. Bush's victory over Al Gore in 2000 — is really objecting to a recent New York Times article on the potential impact that third-party candidates could have on some major campaigns this year.

"I take issue with the use of the word 'spoiler,' obviously," Nader said, in a voice mail message to the article's author, Jonathan Martin. "If we all have a right to run for election, none of us are second-class citizens to be degraded by a politically bigoted word, 'spoiler.' If we all have a right to run equally for election, we're all trying to get votes from one another — so we're either all spoilers of one another, or none of us are spoilers."

Nader also said he would contact the Times' editors on this issue, in the hopes that an internal memo would be circulated: "But that word has got to be dropped from the language — unless there's an editorial purpose for it. Thank you. Keep up the good work, though."

Martin's original article did not even mention Nader, or the 2000 election, at all. Instead, it focused solely on the possible effects of third-party candidates in several races for Senate and governor across the country in 2014.