Bernie Sanders is still nominally a candidate for the Democratic nomination, though he has turned his efforts to shaping the party’s platform after losing in both delegate and popular votes to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said she would consider letting him lead their third-party ticket.
The former doctor and likely Green Party nominee told Guardian US that she emailed the Vermont senator after the end of the Democratic primary season, offering to consider him leading the ticket if he was interested in continuing to run for president.
“I’ve invited Bernie to sit down explore collaboration – everything is on the table,” she told the paper. “If he saw that you can’t have a revolutionary campaign in a counter-revolutionary party, he’d be welcomed to the Green Party. He could lead the ticket and build a political movement,” she said.
Sanders has not yet responded, she said, adding that he would disappoint his supporters “if he continues to declare his full faith in the Democratic Party.”
“That political movement is going to go on — it isn’t going to bury itself in the graveyard alongside Hillary Clinton,” she told Guardian US.
Stein’s campaign clarified in a statement Saturday that though they had reached out to say they would “discuss... the possibility of creating a united ticket,” Stein was not offering Sanders the lead slot on the ticket outright.
“At no point however have we simply offered that we would just step aside and give the Presidential nomination of the Green Party to Senator Sanders without serious discussions of issues and strategies,” the statement read. “And of course ultimately the nomination decision rest in the hands of the delegates to the Green Party convention, though most of them are pledged to Jill Stein.”
Stein said to Guardian US she is hopeful the Green Party can gather enough support in national polls to qualify for the general election debates with Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, noting that Sanders supporters are considering her candidacy as an alternative to Clinton’s.
“I’m not holding my breath but I’m not ruling it out that we can bring out 43 million young people into this election,” she told Guardian US. “It’s been a wild election; every rule in the playbook has been tossed out. Unfortunately, that has mainly been used to lift up hateful demagogues like Donald Trump, but it can also be done in a way that actually answers people’s needs.”
According to Guardian US, she currently polls nationally between 4 and 6 percent.
This story has been updated with a statement from Stein’s campaign.