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Nader, still in the presidential ring, sees in Obama a decline in 'fortitude'

Low-income Americans, civil rights activists 'expect more of him,' says the longtime consumer advocate, pursuing his fifth bid for the White House.

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Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader charged that Democrat Barack Obama has developed a "fortitude gap" and would not make the kind of president that civil rights veterans had worked to make possible.

At a Monitor-sponsored breakfast with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Nader also predicted his own White House bid would be much stronger than his 2004 campaign, in which he garnered 0.38 percent of the national vote.

The longtime consumer advocate spoke the day after the release of an Associated Press-Ipsos national poll showing him with support from 3 percent of likely voters. Senator Obama led with 47 percent, while the GOP's Sen. John McCain was favored by 41 percent.
Support for his fifth bid for president "will be much greater than" in 2004, Nader predicted. In the last presidential election, "the Democrats filed 24 lawsuits in 18 states in 12 weeks to get us off the ballot and harassed our petitioners. So we didn't get on a lot of ballots." The ticket of Nader and vice-presidential candidate Matt Gonzales, a civil rights attorney from San Francisco, will be on 45 state ballots this November, he said.

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