MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader warned Democrats yesterday to expect legal action over tactics he called "disgraceful" and "fascistic."
"Stay tuned," he said. "It's not over."
Democrats have tried to keep Nader off the ballot in several states, including New Hampshire. Nader called their efforts "the most disgraceful fascistic practices in the modern history of the Democratic Party." He said his campaign is collecting documents to prove volunteers gathering signatures for him were harassed.
Democrats did not immediately respond.
New Hampshire's state Democratic Party tried to kick Nader off the presidential ballot by arguing that signatures submitted for him were collected through widespread fraud and deceit. Nader remained on the state's ballot.
Nader said he was disappointed in Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts for keeping quiet on such issues, even after the two spoke about it on the telephone. "Senator John Kerry, who told me 12 weeks ago he didn't know about these dirty tricks over the phone . . . He never got back to me, notwithstanding my calling him 25 times in 35 days."
Nader called Democratic National Convention chairman Terry McAuliffe "the chief architect of dirty tricks incorporated."
"They're so stupid," Nader said. "This is why they've been losing, losing, losing to the worst of the Republicans at the local, state, and national level. This is Bush's election to lose, and if Kerry wins, it's largely because Bush significantly self-destructed."
Nader said he had not decided whether he will run in 2008. He said he would consider this year's election in New Hampshire a success if he got more than the 22,000 votes he received from the state in 2000.
Outside, members of the college's Democratic group held a banner protesting Nader, implying he was indirectly helping reelect President Bush. It read, "Welcome Ralph, Best Wishes Dubya."
About 50 people were at St. Anselm College to hear Nader speak about corruption in two-party politics. He also called for a leaner defense budget, better infrastructure, social programs, and public works programs for Americans.
Once, he criticized the group -- made up mostly of students -- for the low turnout. He told them they were less politically involved than their parents. "We need to reassert the sovereignty of the people and take back Washington, D.C., and we're the only campaign that has a dedicated 40-year history of pressing for the subordination of corporate power to the sovereignty of people," he said.