Jill Stein Says She'll Step Aside If Bernie Wants to Run for President in Green Party

(ANTIMEDIA) Presumptive Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has invited Bernie Sanders to run in her place, offering him the opportunity to continue in the running as an alternative to the much-reviled Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Sanders “political revolution” lost steam in recent months as the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party employed manipulative measures to flout the wishes of many voters, leaving swaths of his support base disillusioned with the Democratic Party.

In an interview with the Guardian published Friday, Stein went so far as to accuse the Democratic party establishment of “psychological warfare” against Sanders, claiming they “sabotaged” his chance at the nomination. In light of this, she said she had invited Sanders to join the Green Party:

I’ve invited Bernie to sit down explore collaboration – everything is on the table.

“If he saw that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he’d be welcomed to the Green party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement.”

Jill Stein issued a press release clarifying her invitation to Sanders, noting she had asked him to collaborate multiple times.

We have repeatedly asked to meet with Senator Sanders to discuss the possibilities for collaboration to continue to build a progressive revolution in the US,” she wrote, adding that her offer of the Green Party nomination was conditional and would be contingent on a “joint program moving forward”:

We have always been clear that the path to a progressive revolution does not go through the Democratic Party, a position that Senator Sanders had shared through most of his political career. And while we agree with Senator Sanders on many issues, including both analysis and solutions, there are also some significant differences that would have to be addressed. This starts with foreign policy and the role of the US military, but includes specific domestic issues including the abolition of student debt and the need to transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.”

Stein told the Guardian she extended her offer to Sanders directly via email at the end of the primary season last month, but that she has yet to receive a response. Instead, he has increasingly signaled he will align behind Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party.

Though pro-Sanders factions on the Democratic draft platform committee fought (unsuccessfully) to secure opposition to the corporatist Trans-Pacific Partnership anti-“free trade” agreement, Sanders has faltered on other issues.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post after he met with Clinton and President Obama last month, he addressed many pressing issues, from mass incarceration to oligarchic control of America’s government. However, other pertinent issues he stressed during his campaign were noticeably absent; unsurprisingly to some, he made no mention of military spending and intervention and conspicuously failed to discuss government surveillance — both issues he stressed during the campaign in contrast to Clinton’s warmongering, police state policies.

If he continues to declare his full faith in the Democratic party, it will leave many of his supporters very disappointed,” Jill Stein told the Guardian last week. “That political movement is going to go on – it isn’t going to bury itself in the graveyard alongside Hillary Clinton.

Indeed, nearly half of Sanders supporters recently said they would refuse to vote for Clinton — an increase from a poll conducted in March. Many of his supporters are now splintering off to third parties, including Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, and of course, Stein herself.

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Jill Stein is currently polling at 4 percent to 6 percent nationally. With a platform centered around environmental issues, criticism of America’s military presence around the world, and opposition to mass surveillance, her perspectives have attracted voters disenchanted with the two-party system. Though she does not expect Sanders to accept her offer to take over the Green Party ticket, she remains optimistic.

I’m not holding my breath but I’m not ruling it out that we can bring out 43 million young people into this election,” she said. “It’s been a wild election; every rule in the playbook has been tossed out. Unfortunately, that has mainly been used to lift up hateful demagogues like Donald Trump, but it can also be done in a way that actually answers people’s needs.”

Stein has also been an unabashed critic of Hillary Clinton. “Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and ignoring the climate. Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things,” she said last month.

Nevertheless, Sanders has gradually inched toward endorsing Clinton. He is expected to formally do so Tuesday at a rally in New Hampshire.


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