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Nader: Greens considering backing Democrat in 2004

Party has to build local, state support, he says

From Larry Shaughnessy

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Green Party's candidate for president in 1996 and 2000 confirms that some in the party are considering not running a presidential candidate in 2004.

"That's still a minority position, but they are discussing it around the country," Ralph Nader told CNN on Saturday.

Recent news reports have said the party has considered supporting a Democratic candidate for president in the hopes of ousting President Bush from the White House, but the idea remains a matter of discussion, Nader said.

"I think the future of the Green Party has to be built on local and state candidates," Nader said, adding, "although presidential candidates can give a small third party more visibility."

Nader, who never registered as a Green Party member despite running on the party's ticket, says he hasn't decided if he wants to run for president again.

"It's too early to decide; I don't like long campaigns," he said.

He also said he opposes seeing a two-party campaign in 2004.

"I think there's got to be a third or fourth or fifth political party because the American people are not given adequate choice of agendas, of futures for the country, of candidates, and the two parties run a money campaign," he said. "Basically they spend more of their time trying to raise money from the fat cats than [they] do to try to raise the expectations and the involvement of the American people."

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