CAIVN: You have shown a lot of sympathy for the grievances of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. In 2009 a lot of the Tea Party protesters were extremely opposed to the Wall Street bailouts. How central of an issue are you going to make corporate welfare in your campaign, and what would you say to Tea Party supporters to get them to consider supporting your candidacy?
Jill Stein: It’s a central issue of my campaign and it’s not just something that happened in the past. It’s still going on now. First there was TARP– and it wasn’t only the Tea Party who opposed it. Most Americans were strongly opposed to it. There were so many people calling in to Congress, and there were reports that the calls were opposed to the bailouts by a ratio of 10 to 1. But the lobbying effort got it passed anyway. And I’m sure you’ve heard about this, but the Fed has doled out $16 trillion since then in essentially zero interest loans, so this is still happening right now.
As for the Tea Party, unfortunately it has been manipulated and hijacked and misdirected by the very corporate interests that it was opposed to, and some racism got folded into it as well. But I think a lot of Americans, including some who support the Tea Party are just frustrated by what’s going on in the economy, what the banks are doing. At the end of the day, I do think we can get beyond ideology, and do what’s best for the community.
Greens, the original Tea Parties, and Ron Paul supporters are united in opposition to the bailout of corrupt failing banks by a complicit, captured government.