Interview with Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, broadcast by Truthdig, Sept 1, 2016
Jill Stein’s presidential campaign has gone through some seismic changes over the past few months. For one thing, she named a running mate, noted human rights activist Ajamu Baraka. Stein and Baraka have started to garner mainstream media coverage—for example, they held a town hall on CNN, the first time a Green Party town hall has been broadcast on prime-time television.
With the positive change, however, some negativity has also come. Stein has been criticized for her position on vaccinations, despite making clear that she supports the use of vaccines. Baraka has received intense scrutiny for some of his language on race.
Stein and Baraka also have ramped up their own campaign to further the distance between themselves and mainstream Democrats by aggressively contesting Hillary Clinton’s political history, scrutinizing her email scandal and publishing open letters on issues like whistleblowing and the presidential debates.
On Thursday, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer and his team talked with the Green Party standard-bearer in a live conversation streamed directly to our Facebook page.
A recent Truthdig poll found that a vast majority of readers preferred Stein over any other candidate, yet her national poll numbers remain in the single digits. As Election Day draws nearer, we want to know: What makes Jill Stein qualified to be president of the United States?
The conversation began with a discussion on mainstream media bias. Stein was asked what needs to change about media coverage of the election: “We need to open up our media so we can have more Truthdigs,” she said at one point.
Then the discussion turned to the topic of political experience. Scheer remarked that Stein is “smarter than most people.”
“I think it’s insulting for the media to question your credentials,” Scheer said, arguing that the news media are “trivializing [her] campaign.”
As to accusations that Stein does not have the necessary political experience to become president, Stein said, “What we need in this political climate is the experience of democracy. Experienced politicians have brought us to the brink of disaster.”
The conversation moved to the racially charged comments made by Stein’s running mate, Ajamu Baraka. “I’m not here to whitewash our dialogue,” Stein said, explaining that Baraka’s words were not what she would use.
Then it was on to the Supreme Court and campaign finance.
Finally, Stein was asked about other progressive media outlets and how they’ve changed their coverage since Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic presidential race. “The so-called progressive media is very confused and very uncertain,” Stein said.
Watch the interview with Jill Stein here on YouTube, or click the screen: