From NBC's John Talty
College Park, Md. -- At a rally at the University of Maryland, Independent Party candidate Ralph Nader criticized the way the media covers the presidential race, citing the fact that Joe the Plumber has gotten more political coverage than the Nader-Gonzalez tandem.
Nader lamented that a third-party candidate has no real chance to win in the current system, he said, unlike the way in Western Europe. The presidential hopeful detailed three mountains that obstruct a third-party candidate, including the way debates are run.
"Every major poll since 2000 wants my name on the debates, but it doesn't matter," Nader said, though he didn't say which polls specifically have showed this. "Because it's a private government, you can't sue it under the Bill of Rights and as long as the networks cooperate and play ball by it…then it's a monopoly."
Nader, who recently set a Guinness Book record for most campaign stops in one day, kept with his roots in consumer protection. Nader discussed commercialization, which, he said, leads to everything and anything being up for sale, including this presidential election.
"Obama has raised more money from Wall St. and corporate lawyers than John McCain has," Nader said. "I haven't seen the people investing in him, looking for there to be change."
Obama has, of course, raised unprecedented amounts from small donors.
The former Green Party candidate delved heavily into the decline of education. He bemoaned schools' lack of focus on civics, economics, geography and government, claiming they focus more on technical skills.
"We've turned our education into either babysitters at the lower level or technical schools at the higher level," Nader said. "[Students] are placed in front of computer screens and told to just stare at the computer."
Nader ended things with a gloomy outlook to the future, stating that without a viable third party, Americans will continue to be disappointed by the candidates that are elected and that the country will deteriorate.
"The British Empire failed," Nader said. "The Soviet Empire failed; and the U.S. Empire will fail."