Jill Stein Courts Sanders For Green Party Run

Jill Stein wants Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to consider joining the Green Party ticket.

Stein, who is currently a Green Party presidential candidate, spoke with Democracy Now June 9 about the future of Sanders' campaign, since Hillary Clinton acquired enough delegates to become the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Stein said of Clinton’s presumptive nomination:

You know, this is kind of what many people have foreseen all along. It was kind of in the cards. The Democratic machine has very steeply tilted the playing field, from the beginning, by limiting the debates, limiting the exposure of Bernie Sanders, some very questionable election practices, 100,000 voters disappearing from the rolls in Brooklyn, some very questionable things that happened in the Democratic primary in California where independent voters thought they could just show up at the polls and cast a vote for Bernie Sanders but were unable to, by large numbers, and huge discrepancies between the polls in advance and the actual outcome of the elections.

She continued, “So, [...] needless to say, the superdelegates have massively tipped the playing field. And the announcement the night before by major news organizations that Hillary Clinton had already clinched it, you know, hard to call that just a coincidence; seems tailor-made for discouraging people from actually turning out and exercising their right to vote.”

The major news organization announcement Stein is referring to was done by The Associated Press on June 6, the day before Clinton secured enough delegates from state primaries, including California, to presumably acquire the Democratic Party’s nomination.

“AP count: Clinton has delegates to win Democratic nomination,” the AP headline read.

“So, this is what the Democratic Party has done for decades—many decades, in fact,” Stein told Democracy Now.

“And over the years, the party has allowed principled candidates to be seen and heard but has, at the end of the day, sabotaged them in one way or the other, often through fear campaigns and smear campaigns, in the same way that Bernie is being called a spoiler now and has been for some weeks,” she said.

Stein has tried to reach Sanders’ campaign to discuss him joining forces with the Green Party. The Party even asked him in 2011 if he would be interested in running on its 2012 presidential ticket.

“…we haven’t heard back yet, so I’m not holding my breath that we are going to,” Stein said of recent attempts she has made to contact Sanders.

“So, [...] my hope, as Senator Sanders himself said, is that this is a movement, it’s not a man. And my hope is that the movement will continue,” she said. “And we’ve offered -- I’ve offered, basically -- to put everything on the table and to see how we can work together and explore [...] what it would take in order for that to happen.”

Stein thinks a joint ticket between her and Sanders should be considered.

Sanders said last year that he would not run for president as a third-party candidate.

“…what I’m saying is that if Senator Sanders made the case that now he understood, after the very [...] disturbing experiences of the last many months and the way that he’s been mistreated and beaten up by the party, perhaps he has a different view of the potential to create revolution inside of a counterrevolutionary party,” Stein said. “Maybe he has come to see the necessity for independent third parties to actually move this movement forward.

“That would be [...] a game changer, if he made the case that he has come to understand the critical need to build the Green Party as the political voice of that revolution.”

Following the announcement of Clinton as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sanders said he was not backing out of the race.

“Next Tuesday we continue the fight," he said June 8, according to CNN. "We are going to fight hard to win the primary in Washington, D.C., and then we take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia."

"The struggle continues," he added.

Sources: Democracy Now, AP, CNN / Photo credit: Tar Sands Blockade/Flickr

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