In an interview published Thursday, June 9, 2016, Democracy Now! asked Jill Stein, contender for the Green Party nomination for president: “You’ve been trying for months to reach out to Bernie Sanders, because you acknowledge that there are many similarities in your program and his, to join forces. What’s been the response from the Sanders campaign, and what are you hopeful for now?”
Well, the response over the last several weeks has been the same as the response over the last several years. And in fact, the Green Party reached out to Bernie Sanders before the last election to see if he might be interested in running on the Green Party ballot line. And that was in 2011. And basically, we haven’t heard back yet, so I’m not holding my breath that we are going to.
And in fact, I think it was just yesterday that Senator Sanders announced that he would be meeting with President Obama to basically stay the course and to essentially move his campaign inside of the Democratic Party, which I think is a mistake and would be essentially an abandonment of the movement that has been built. We’ve seen many very principled and powerful efforts to reform the Democratic Party from within over the course of many years, and Democratic Party keeps marching to the right.
So, you know, 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. 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—to run a joint ticket…
You can read the letter Stein sent to Sanders after the New York primary, calling for “possible collaboration,” here.
Democracy Now! reminded her that Sanders, in July 2015 and elsewhere, promised not to run third party, fearing that would steal votes away from the Democratic candidate and hand the White House to the Republicans.
Yet there may be evidence Sanders’ stance is softening. Salon reported one week ago:
Before a rally in Santa Monica, Senator Bernie Sanders was asked by KABC-TV 7 News political reporter Elex Michaelson about the offer by Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, for him to run with the Green Party. Sanders response left open the door to running as a Green. He could have easily rejected the offer of a Sanders-Stein ticket, instead he said: “Right now, our goal is to win the Democratic nomination.”
Stein told Rolling Stone that Sanders “has been really quite consistent in expressing disinterest in independent third parties over the last many years. After the beating that he is getting — this real, purposeful, I think, sabotage by the DNC — we’ll see if he’ll have a change of heart. I don’t know.”
Stein is heavily courting Sanders supporters, as the Green Party platform closely aligns with Sanders’ beliefs and principles.
Bernie Sanders, for now, refuses to drop out of the Democratic contest.