Green Party's Jill Stein Wants To Be 'Plan B' For Bernie Sanders Supporters "I will feel horrible if Donald Trump is elected, I will feel horrible if Hillary Clinton is elected," says Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She says the two big parties lock out other voices.
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Green Party's Jill Stein Wants To Be 'Plan B' For Bernie Sanders Supporters

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Green Party's Jill Stein Wants To Be 'Plan B' For Bernie Sanders Supporters

Green Party's Jill Stein Wants To Be 'Plan B' For Bernie Sanders Supporters

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As we just heard from NPR's Sam Sanders just a few minutes ago, some Bernie Sanders supporters are considering throwing their support to third-party candidate Dr. Jill Stein. She is a practicing physician making her second run for the presidency as the candidate for the Green Party. Right now she says she's on the ballot in about two-thirds of the country and expects to be on 95 percent of ballots by November. We talked with her late last week in New York before she headed to Philadelphia for the Democratic Convention. And we asked her to start by giving us a sense of the Green Party's platform for those unfamiliar with it.

JILL STEIN: So in a nutshell, the Green Party is the one national party that does not accept corporate money, lobbyist money or have a super PAC. We are basically a party that puts people, planet and peace over profit. And we put forward the real solutions that everyday Americans are just clamoring for.

MARTIN: Now, I understand that you have a number of events planned in Philadelphia next week, where the Democrats are meeting. And it's not your party in either sense of the word, so why are you heading to Philadelphia? What are you hoping to accomplish there?

STEIN: We'll be in Philadelphia to be at the convention in the streets, the people's convention. I will be marching in the March for Our Lives. We'll conclude that march with a Power to the People rally, which is sponsored by my campaign. And we are here especially for the Bernie Sanders movement that does not want to go back into the Hillary Clinton campaign that for so many people represents the opposite of what Bernie was building and what they were building in their movement for an economy that works for everyone, for health care and education as human rights.

That's what our campaign stands for and more, so we are there to provide the support for that campaign. I think so many people learned that you cannot have a revolutionary campaign inside of a counter-revolutionary party. So we're here as Plan B for Bernie to ensure that this fight will go on.

MARTIN: Last week - I'm sure you know - popular sex columnist and the activist Dan Savage provoked - gosh, I don't know how else to - it was kind of a social media uproar when he said on his podcast in no uncertain terms, as only he can, in words that I cannot repeat here, that - but he said - essentially, he was making a serious point.

He said a vote for you is a vote for Donald Trump. And that would be a disaster, he says - - his words. And it would be a disaster, he says, that would be felt most acutely by the people that your party says you care about the most. What do you say when he says that it just isn't true that there's no difference between A and B, and that Donald Trump would be a disaster, and it's the greater issue that has to be addressed?

STEIN: So I do not say there is no difference between the parties. What I say is that there's not enough difference to save your job, to save your life or to save the planet. And put it this way - I will feel horrible if Donald Trump is elected. I will feel horrible if Hillary Clinton is elected. And I feel most horrible about a voting system that says here are two deadly choices, now pick your weapon of self-destruction.

MARTIN: Can I just ask if you see any common cause with the other third-party candidate in the race, the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico? Do you see any common cause with him?

STEIN: Definitely. You know, we both support open debates, for example. We're both calling for an end to the war on drugs and for an end to American imperialism and, you know, being the policemen of the world. But where we differ - the Libertarians - you know, one of their first candidates was one of the Koch brothers. And their agenda, you know, is - in some ways, it is the wish list of big corporate America to get government out of the way.

MARTIN: So there's not enough of an overlap between the two for you all to create a single third-party movement that would coalesce?

STEIN: Well, you know, we'll see. At this moment I don't think so, but perhaps in the future. I think right now Americans deserve to hear from the whole political spectrum, particularly when the two major parties are funded by the same predatory banks, fossil fuel giants and war profiteers. And they have put an entire generation into debt. And my campaign is the one campaign that will cancel that student debt and liberate a generation to move us forward as a society. We think people have a right to hear about this as much as they have a right to hear about the Libertarian vision.

MARTIN: That's Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein. She is a practicing physician. And we reached her in New York before she heads to Philadelphia. Dr. Stein, thanks so much for speaking with us.

STEIN: Thank you, Michel, great talking.

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