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Nader invokes race to criticize Obama

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
In an interview with the Rocky Mountain News, Ralph Nader says this on Obama:

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader said. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards." ...

VIDEO: Ralph Nader accuses Obama of downplaying poverty issues.

"Asked to clarify whether he thought Obama does try to 'talk white,' Nader said: 'Of course. ... I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law,' Nader said. 'Haven't heard a thing.'" ...

" 'He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician,' Nader said. 'He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.'"

The Obama campaign responded to the paper this way: "We are obviously disappointed with these very backward-looking remarks," Obama campaign spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said.