Physician and 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said that her party has been trying unsuccessfully to make inroads with Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders.
“Many of my supporters are also his supporters. I’m asked all the time if there could be a Bernie Sanders collaboration and my answer to that has always been yes. The Green Party has long sought to establish a collaboration with Bernie Sanders,” she said.
However, she told NBC News in an interview published Saturday, “That phone call has not been returned, and I don’t expect that this will happen.”
[RELATED: Green Party’s Stein Predicts DNC Will Sabotage Sanders, Try to Reabsorb Supporters]
Speaking on the Democratic Party’s presidential frontrunner, former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Stein said, “I think we’re polar opposites. Hillary talks the talk, but in my view she is as big a corporatist, as big a warmonger, as big an imperialist as any of the Republican presidential candidates. Her rhetoric is less offensive.”
In a mid-March interview with The Huffington Post, Stein expressed worries that Sen. Sanders’ campaign would ultimately end in his supporters being co-opted by Hillary Clinton.
[RELATED: Judge Opens the Door for Third Party Candidates in Georgia]
“There are many things about Sanders that are great. We agree on a lot domestically. But to allow yourself to be lulled into compliance with the Democratic Party means you’re allowing yourself to be reined in from establishing a real progressive message,” she said.
“Sanders has taken the right domestic positions in the wrong party. They will seek to destroy his campaign if he gets close to securing the nomination. … The DNC installed a kill switch to prevent a true progressive nominee after McGovern got the nomination in 1972,” added Stein.
Stein claimed that the Democratic primary “is over” and that “the party machinery is behind [Clinton].”
Stein said that she entered politics as a Green Party candidate “when the Democratic Party killed campaign finance reform in my state.”
“The Democrats won’t do it for us. We have to establish a political vehicle [for progressives],” added Stein.
She acknowledged that her presidential candidacy is a long shot, but suggested that a Green Party victory is within the realm of possibility.
“We have far more recognition than we did four years ago. And we are in the age of unpredictable events, this presidential election being one of them,” she argued.
Commenting on the unexpected political rise of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, Stein said, “People have been savaged by a predatory economic and political system, and some are turning to Trump. Unfortunately, Trump is just more of the same.”
For more election coverage, click here.