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Edwards, Clinton Chided for Exchange

In Utah on Friday, Richardson said voters should decide the election based on debates in which all the candidates can discuss issues unfiltered by big-money politics.

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READING, Pa. (AP) _ Ralph Nader told the Green Party's national convention Saturday that he is considering a 2008 presidential run and accused Democrats of trying to shut smaller parties out of the political process.

"No other country comes close to providing voters with such a small number of choices and making third party candidates hurdle an almost insuperable number of obstacles just to get on the ballot," said Nader, the Green Party's 2000 presidential nominee.

Later, addressing a few hundred conventioneers who chanted "Run Ralph Run," Nader exhorted Greens to focus on raising money to boost their competitiveness.

In 2000, Nader got 2.7 percent of the votes in the general election. Democrats say he siphoned votes from the party's nominee, Al Gore, in Florida, New Hampshire and elsewhere, giving the election to Republican George W. Bush. In 2004, Nader was much less of a factor.

He ran as an independent in 2004 but was removed from the ballot in Pennsylvania and other large states after Democrats challenged his nominating petitions.

Nader said before jumping into the 2008 presidential race he would have to put together an organization of thousands of volunteers and pro bono lawyers to defend him against the "Democratic quadrennial assault."

"We're going to be ready for them. We will confront them on every level," Nader told a news conference. "They better have clean hands."

Nader said there should be a single federal statute to govern ballot access for candidates for federal office, which he said would make it easier for independent candidates.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Elizabeth Edwards reiterated her support for gay marriage in a speech Saturday, saying the idea that it threatens heterosexual marriage is "complete nonsense."


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