WASHINGTON &

Ralph Nader on Sunday announced a fresh bid for the White House, criticizing the top contenders as too close to big business and dismissing the possibility that his third-party candidacy could tip the election to Republicans.




The longtime consumer advocate is still loathed by many Democrats who accuse him of costing Al Gore the 2000 election.




Nader said most people are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties due to a prolonged Iraq war and a shaky economy. He also blamed tax and other corporate-friendly policies under the Bush administration that he said have left many lower- and middle-class people in debt.




Nader, who turns 74 later this week, announced his candidacy on NBC's "Meet the Press." In a later interview with The Associated Press, he rejected the notion of himself as a spoiler candidate, saying the electorate will not vote for a "pro-war John McCain."