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Now to the 2016 presidential campaign.
The vast amount of attention in this election year, by far, has gone to the two main party nominees for president, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But there are a few third-party candidates competing as well.
Tonight, we hear from the woman who is the nominee of the Green Party for the second election in a row. She is Dr. Jill Stein, and I spoke with her a short time ago.
Dr. Jill Stein, welcome to the "NewsHour."
JILL STEIN, Green Party Presidential Nominee:
Great to be with you, Judy.
So, let me just start by asking you, what is the main difference between what you and the Green Party offer voters from what, say, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have offered?
So, maybe the main difference is that I'm the one candidate in the race that is not corrupted by lobbyists' money, by corporate money, or by super PACs.
So, I'm the one candidate that can really stand up for what it is that the American people are really clamoring for. And that means jobs, an emergency jobs program. We call for the creation of 20 million jobs, to solve the emergency of climate change, and we call for 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2030.
We call for canceling student debt. And, you know, Hillary and Bernie talked about free public higher education going forward, but not dealing with this burden of debt, which has really locked a generation into kind of a hopeless future right now. And we also call for free public higher and health care as…
Free public what? I'm sorry?
Free public higher education.
And for health care as a human right.
And I think we differ on foreign policy as well.
Well, let me just stop you there with domestic policy, because you said a jobs program, a job for anyone who doesn't get one in the private sector, the government should provide it, forgiving student loans.
You talk about free child care, free health care, Medicare for all. How much is all that going to cost? How do you pay for it?
So, fortunately, most of it pays for itself.
So, for example, providing jobs to transform our economy to the green energy economy of the future, it actually gets rid of what is causing 200,000 premature deaths a year, that is, through fossil fuel. It turns out we get so much healthier when we convert to a green energy economy that our health savings alone are enough to pay for the cost of the energy transition.
So, it wouldn't require, say, a tax hike, maybe even a tax hike for those in the middle class?
So, the other piece of this is that moving to 100 percent renewable energy means we no longer need and can no longer justify wars for oil, which, mind you, have cost us $6 trillion since 2001, when you include the cost of caring for our wounded soldiers, $6 trillion.
You said wars for oil.
That's right, wars for oils, because we have been fighting these regime change wars, which are not making us safer. In fact, arguably, we are much less safe.
With each new war on terror, we actually have created a new wave of even more difficult terror. So, we call for actually a weapons embargo and freezing the funding of our allies who are sponsoring terrorist enterprises around the world, according to Hillary Clinton's own leaked e-mails from the secretary's office.
We will be cutting our military budget, which is one thing we can do when we are 100 percent renewables and heading for it. Enables us to bring hundreds of billions back into true security here in our own economy.
Well, I want to ask you about the military as well, because you would cut, you said, the military budget in half. You would close down many, if not all overseas U.S. bases. You said you would cut aid to U.S. — important U.S. allies like Israel, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
So, do you see the United States pulling back and not really playing a global role?
Actually, I see us playing more of a global role and a more impactful global role, because we would have a consistent policy.
It's not about specifically defunding Israel or Saudi Arabia or Egypt. It's about having an even-handed policy that says that we as the United States, with all due humility, are asking our allies to turn over a new page, where our foreign policy is based on international law and human rights, and that we will not sponsor the governments of countries or their militaries where they are systematically and, importantly, violating human rights and international law.
So, very quickly, if Russia, say, went into Eastern Europe, would the U.S. respond, if you were president?
You know, the laws of war right now say that we can respond when our country is threatened. That is what international law says.
So, we would need to establish that there is actually imminent danger to the United States. I think…
So, North Korea going into South Korea, the same thing. If that's not imminent danger to the United States, then the U.S. wouldn't necessarily…
Well, what we would be doing is trying to preempt these conflicts before they occur through a vigorous policy of engagement.
So, we would be sitting down to negotiate, to actually reduce conflict on the Korean Peninsula right now, because there's never really been a cease-fire. Or there's been a cease-fire, but there hasn't been a formal cessation of the war on the Korean Peninsula.
Jill Stein, I also want to ask you about — as you know, your campaign has drawn parallels with Ralph Nader in 2000. Virtually everybody who has researched that election says that Ralph Nader, who got over, what, 97,000 votes in the state of Florida, cost Al Gore the state. Al Gore lost the state by 537 votes.
So, my question is, if this race gets close, why isn't it safe to assume that you're prepared to see Hillary Clinton lose to Donald Trump, because most of your votes would come from Hillary Clinton?
Well, I think it remains to be seen where our votes would come from.
Remember, the majority of Donald Trump supporters don't actually support him. They're mainly motivated by not liking Hillary Clinton. So how about we give those dissatisfied Clinton opponents someone else that they can vote for?
In fact, many of Bernie Sanders' supporters — let me put this another way. Many Trump supporters used to be Sanders supporters, and when Sanders was wiped out, they moved over to Trump.
So, we're trying to bring in the majority of Americans. We're in a very different moment now historically than we were in 2000, because the majority of American voters have rejected both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They're the most disliked and untrusted candidates for president in our history.
And the American people are clamoring for another choice. I think before we try to shut down the discussion, it's really important, you know, to let that discussion go forward and let people see. I think, in America…
Let me just ask you this. You have made it clear you think both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would be terrible presidents for the country. So, are you saying literally that Hillary Clinton is every bit as bad for the country as Donald Trump, that there's no difference?
I wouldn't say there are no differences, but the differences are not enough to save your job.
We feel that, in this election, we're not just deciding what kind of a world we're going to have, but whether we're going to have a world or not going forward. And knowing that the majority of Americans is unhappy with those two party choices, this is the time for us to open up.
So we're pushing for opening up the debates. And then let's see how the chips fall.
Dr. Jill Stein with the Green Party, we thank you.
Thank you, Judy.
And you can watch our extended Facebook Live interview with Dr. Stein online. She answers your questions on Syria, vaccines, and the Black Lives Matter movement. That's on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/NewsHour.
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