McAuliffe Campaign Brushes Aside Nader Bribe Accusation

Consumer activist says ex-DNC chair offered him money not to campaign in battleground states

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia gubernatorial candidate and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is essentially ignoring consumer activist Ralph Nader's accusation that McAuliffe tried to pay Nader not to run for president in certain places.

When McAuliffe was chair of the DNC during the 2004 presidential campaigns, he offered Nader an unspecified amount of money to stop campaigning in 19 battleground states but to keep campaigning in the rest of the states, Nader told the Washington Post.

McAuliffe didn't deny the accusation Thursday.

"As chair of the DNC, Terry was concerned that Ralph Nader would cost John Kerry the election as he did Al Gore in 2000 and give us another four years of George W. Bush," the McAuliffe campaign said in a statement.

McAuliffe was campaigning in Petersburg and Richmond Thursday evening and was reluctant to pay attention to Nader's accusations.

"It's clear that Ralph Nader misses seeing his name in the press," the campaign said. "But Terry's focused on talking with Virginians about jobs, not feeding Ralph Nader's ego."

McAuliffe is running against Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds for the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Bob McDonnell is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.

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