Presidential candidate Ralph Nader accused Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic Party nominee, of downplaying poverty issues, trying to “talk white” and appealing to “white guilt” during his run for the White House.

Nader has been a thorn in the Democratic Party’s side since the 2000 election. Many democrats (and some Republicans) believe his presidential bid cost Al Gore the White House and delivered it to George Bush. Pull out those little violins y’all!

Nader, tired of being the scapegoat for democrats, has taken various shots at Obama in recent days while ramping up his own umteenth run for president as an Independent. He said he is running because he believes Democrats, like Republicans, are too closely aligned with corporate interests. YAWN.

So how did this latest dust up happen? Nader was asked by a reporter if Obama is any different than Democrats he has criticized in the past, considering Obama’s pledge to reject campaign contributions from registered lobbyists. Hopechangery!

Nader then said:

“There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He’s half African-American,”

“Whether that will make any difference, I don’t know. I haven’t heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What’s keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn’t want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We’ll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.”

But wait! There’s more.

Nader has said he is not impressed with Obama and that he does not see him campaigning often enough in low-income, predominantly minority communities where there is a “shocking” amount of economic exploitation.

“He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician,” Nader said. “He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he’s coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.”

So did Team Obama come out swinging?

The Obama campaign spokeswoman, Shannon Gilson had only a brief response.

“We are obviously disappointed with these very backward-looking remarks.”

Ralph Nader has plans to be in Denver for the Democratic Convention. He sees it as an opportunity to “highlight” an alternative agenda that he thinks the party should pursue.


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