With Republicans gleefully attacking Hillary Clinton over the latest episode in the endless email saga and with new revelations about the coziness between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state, the last thing the Democratic nominee needed was a broadside from her left flank.
But Green Party nominee Jill Stein went after Clinton this week, telling reporters at the National Press Club it’s no “coincidence that Hillary has the numbers that she has as one of the most untrusted presidential candidates ever,” according to The Washington Post.
In fact, Stein seems to have Clinton in her cross-hairs more often than she does Republican nominee Donald Trump. At a CNN town hall on Aug. 17, she said: “Part of the problem with Hillary’s abuse of the rules — she was sort of too big to jail. And she violated those rules with a sense of impunity and she violated them with a purpose, which she stated herself: She wanted her private information private.”
Stein’s criticism of Clinton goes beyond the email scandal. She told the editorial board of The Washington Post Thursday that more and more Republican officials have “landed in Hillary’s camp … as the consensus grows that she is the vehicle for the shared Republican and Democratic agenda.”
“I think we are at a very powerful moment in an election that represents a political realignment, with Republicans having fallen apart, the Democrats moving substantially to the right and showing signs of continuing to do so,” she said. “We are producing one combined Demo-Republican corporate party right now …”
A harsh Post editorial that came out of the interview, with the headline “Jill Stein’s fairy-tale candidacy,” called the policy proposals of the Massachusetts activist “poorly formed and wildly impractical.” The editorial also ridiculed Stein’s statement that the presidency is not “rocket science.”
The Green Party has managed to get on the ballot in 36 states, but as of now Stein still will not be an official candidate in the battleground states of Virginia and New Hampshire. And with the Real Clear Politics poll average showing Stein pulling just 4 percent of the vote in November, there is zero chance that she will ever be sitting in the Oval Office. So it remains unclear what her purpose is in making Clinton her No. 1 target.
But the potential voters Stein appeals to – many of them young voters whom Clinton and Trump have had a hard time attracting -- include supporters of Vermont Senator and Clinton primary challenger Bernie Sanders, and since he has not yet been actively campaigning for Clinton, more could drift to the Greens.
However, in an interview with AP on Wednesday, Sanders urged supporters not to switch to Stein – who invited him to join the Green ticket when he lost the Democratic nomination -- or Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. Sander said he would be stumping for Clinton in the fall, though he has been preoccupied with the rocky launch of the organization he set up to keep his movement going, Our Revolution.