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May 20, 2004
After Meeting Nader, Kerry Refuses to Drop Out
by Scott Ott

(2004-05-20) -- After meeting for an hour to discuss issues related to the upcoming presidential election, independent candidate Ralph Nader said that Democrat John Forbes Kerry should withdraw from the race and rally his party around Mr. Nader's candidacy.

"If Al Gore had pulled out and endorsed me in 2000," said Mr. Nader, "George Bush would be a full-time brush cutter in Crawford, Texas today. John Kerry knows he can't win, but he's staying in it just for the publicity. He's the classic spoiler."

Mr. Kerry rejected the allegation, saying he remains in the race to foster a national debate on some important issues.

"If it weren't for my candidacy," said Mr. Kerry. "There would be no discussion over my role as a Vietnam war hero or my valiant efforts after the war to reveal the atrocities that I, and others, committed against innocent civilians."

Although he acknowledged that he might "steal votes" from Mr. Nader, the Senator from Massachusetts added that "without a Kerry campaign the excitement would drain out of the political process. People need a candidate who sets their hearts on fire with enthusiasm and hope for a better tomorrow. If I quit, all that charisma is gone."

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