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Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader, who is making his third attempt to win the presidency, this time as an independent,was Monday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On his plan to nudge Senator Kerry on the issues:

"I have described him ... as like a political accordian. The stronger citizen support or pressure on him, the better he becomes."

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On how he may collaborate with Kerry against President Bush:

"Bush needs to be taken apart in ways the Democrats are not willing to. Number 1, he is sitting on the biggest, most wasteful, redundant military budget in American history."

On Kerry and Iraq:

"The question is whether he is going to go through one of history's great ironies - that, having fought in the war in Vietnam and become one of the leaders against the war, he is now bogged down in the quicksands of Iraq."

On the Democratic party:

"The Democrats cannot be relied on to win exclusively anymore. They have been losing for 10 years to the worst of the Republican Party."

On Bush's character:

"We are dealing here with a basically unstable president. You have to understand that by just watching [the new book by] Bob Woodward.... We are dealing here with a messianic militarist. A messianic militarist, under our constitutional structure, is an unstable office- holder. Talk about the separation of church and state: It is not separated at all in Bush's brain, and this is extremely disturbing."

An expanded report is available at: http://blogs.csmonitor.com/cooks_capitol/