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  August 7, 2016

Jill Stein Defends Her Decision to Meet with Putin

Newly nominated Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein speaks about her nomination and the allegations that she is anti-science
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KWAME ROSE, TRNN: Kwame Rose here in Houston, Texas at the Green Party National Convention.

I’m joined by the newly nominated and accepted Green Party presidential candidate. Our friend here at the Real News, Dr. Jill Stein. Dr. Stein how are you feeling today after accepting your nomination? And first off congratulations.

DR. JILL STEIN: Thank you. I feel like history is about to be made because the American people have had it with a rigged economy and with a rigged political system, and we’re watching the Democrats split apart. We’re watching the Republicans melt down before our very eyes. We’re looking at the fusion of the two in this Demo-Republican Party that Hillary Clinton is now heading. Receiving all these endorsements from everyone from A. Whitman to Brent Scowcroft and Republicans of all sorts. Robert Kagan for example, the neocons are coming to Hillary. So it’s time for a second party. A party that represents everyday people. Not just the war profiteers and the predatory banks and the fossil fuel giants. It’s time for a party that’s of by and for the people.

ROSE: Are kind of hopeful like with the Bernie Sanders movement, you were able to take some of those supporters and bring them to the Green Party? Are you hopeful you can take some of those Republican votes and bring them to the Green Party as well?

STEIN: In fact, I feel like we’re offering, we’re not taking and in fact you know the American people have rejected these campaigns. Even the majority of Hillary’s supporters actually don’t support Hillary, they just don’t like their other choice of Donald. And the majority of Donald’s supporters actually don’t really support him they just don’t like their other choice of Hillary. So people are begging for other options and what we’re doing is giving the American people choices. We’re supposed to have choices in this democracy. We’re not supposed to have to just vote against what we fear. If we can’t bring our values into our democracy, if democracy has no moral compass, we have a moral vacuum and in rush the corporate predators and we get the kinds of policies that we’ve been getting; throwing the American people under the bus on trade, on jobs, these low wage and part time jobs, on the climate that’s melting down, and the wars that know no end.

ROSE: Well you have a lot of corporations, pharmaceutical corporations. You hit them in the stomach a couple days ago when you made some comments. Now they say they only spread rumors about you when you’re doing something right. Are these rumors true? Are you anti-vaccine, anti-science? Tell us your stance because you are a medical doctor.

STEIN: That’s right, I’m a medical doctor that thinks we need to be able to trust our regulatory institutions. And I don’t know what kind of opposition research they were doing but I think they really got it wrong and they’re trying to smear me as an anti-vaxxer because I stand up to get the big money out of our regulatory boards so that people can trust them. Right now when you have Monsanto that’s one of the major administrators. Monsanto lobbyists who move on the revolving door between the FDA and Monsanto, you know, people aren’t so trusting of the FDA. When you have a crisis of what happened with Vioxx when the pharmaceutical industry flexed its muscles through the FDA and the FDA suppressed science. Talk about science. We don’t want corporations suppressing science and the FDA sat on studies for 5 years while over one hundred thousand people developed heart disease from Vioxx because the FDA would not inform either physicians or the public. So we need regulator boards we can trust. Somehow they want to make that out to being anti-vacer. I’m not anti-vacs. I support vaccinations as a foundation of a public health system. But there are difficult value judgement calls that have to be made when you weigh risks and benefits on any vacation. So any medication requires a regulatory board that consumers can trust.

ROSE: Well I hate to keep to keep talking about the negatives that have been out this week. But right now there’s some Hillary Clinton supporters and a couple even of her staffers, that are floating this picture of you in Russia a couple of years ago at a dinner with Putin. Can you talk to us a little bit more about that trip, why you were there, what your conversations were with the Russian President?

JILL STEIN: Great. I was actually in Russia, in Moscow for a conference. I participated in a panel of foreign dignitaries, politicians of various sorts. My contribution to that panel was to tell Putin and everybody else that it was time for a peace initiative in the Middle East and we needed to stop the war in Syria. We needed to stop the bombing, we need a weapons embargo, and to freeze the funding of those countries that continued to fund terrorism. So I think they ought to. Hillary Clinton ought to pay attention to the kinds of policies I was actually talking to Putin about. And interestingly, Putin watched our conference and our panel, and his remarks that night at that dinner was that he had heard the foreign politicians and he was shocked to find that he agreed with us on the need to create a peaceful path forward on Syria.

The problem is that US foreign policy is too often representing the war properties and the weapons industry. They’re the only ones who are making out like bandits in this policy in the Middle East. We need a peace offensive. We need to stop having a foreign policy that is essentially a public relations campaign for the weapons industry. These problems are not so difficult to solve if we sit down as human beings. And we find common cause around common issues, And that includes not only terrorism, global terrorism, which is also a grave threat to Russia. But it also means climate. Climate catastrophe and nuclear weapons. Those are the three issues. I would like to sit down and move forward on Russia. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton has been very busy just provoking Russia and not moving forward to a dialogue and solutions that serve us all.

ROSE: Well thank you Dr. Stein. Just lastly I want to end it on a great--on a good note. Any chance of a rock band reunion if this candidacy doesn’t work out?

STEIN: We’ll see. I’d say you know look forward to a really rousing rock band party at our victory celebration in the White House and come on down let’s make some music.

ROSE: Alright, here with the now confirmed Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein. Always lovely to talk to you and thanks for joining us on the Real News.

STEIN: Thank you so much Kwame.

ROSE: Thank you all for joining us as well.




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