‘This is a rigged debate controlled by the two corporate political parties,’ the Green Party’s presidential candidate tweeted while also responding to issues raised in the final debate via Facebook Live.
LAS VEGAS — Excluded from the third and final presidential debate by the two-party system, Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein took to Facebook Live and Twitter on Wednesday night to offer an alternative point of view.
Over 932,000 people viewed her broadcast and it had been shared more than 19,700 times by Thursday afternoon.
“Thank you so much for tuning in to the real debate,” Stein told her Facebook audience during the opening moments of her video.
Calling the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debate at the University of Nevada a “sham debate,” she added:
“We are very excited to be able to present to you real answers to the questions after Hillary and Donald continue to duck those questions and mostly hurl mud at each other.”
This is a rigged debate controlled by the 2 corporate political parties. 76% of Americans wanted a 4-party debate. #debatenight
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) October 20, 2016
Third-party candidates like Stein and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson are effectively excluded from debates by the rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, a nonprofit corporation established by the Democratic and Republican parties which has controlled the debates since 1988. Under current rules, a third-party candidate would need to poll at 15 percent or higher in an average of five major national election polls.
Stein and others have argued that this system prevents voters from hearing from and considering all of their options. According to a poll published last month by Suffolk University and USA TODAY, 76 percent of American voters would like to see more presidential candidates on stage during the debates.
Watch Jill Stein respond to the final debate via Facebook Live:
During the livestream, Stein responded to each of the major questions posed to Clinton and Trump. She also shared her thoughts on the two-party system and its deeply unpopular candidates, suggesting the election had become a choice between two criminals.
As president, Stein said she would appoint Supreme Court justices who would “stand up for
labor rights, who continue to protect LGBTQ rights, who support immigrant rights, who support women’s rights, especially women’s reproductive rights, and Indigenous Americans’ rights.” She continued, vowing to appoint justices who would “stand up for the rights of people and to understand that corporations are not people” by opposing Citizens United and other decisions which have created a “false equivalence between money and speech.”
Stein called for some restrictions on firearms, including instituting background checks, changing rules around gun shows, and ending gun manufacturers’ immunity from prosecution.
While voicing her support for upholding Roe v. Wade, expanding abortion access, and rolling back the Hyde Amendment, Stein also criticized Clinton for not doing enough in Congress to improve all women’s access to reproductive health care and abortion. And she used the question of abortion posed to Trump and Clinton as an opportunity to express the Green Party’s continued support for universal, single-payer health care through an expanded Medicare program accessible to all U.S. residents.
In response to Trump’s call for a border wall with Mexico, Stein instead called for major changes to U.S. foreign policy. Stein said:
“We don’t need that wall. In fact, we need to stop invading other countries so that we’re not forcing migration of refugees. And in fact, the most important thing we can do to end the immigration crisis is to stop causing it in the first place.”
A key part of Stein’s platform is a major reduction in defense spending in favor of investment in a “Green New Deal,” which would reduce American dependence on fossil fuels while investing heavily in renewable energy. Stein also noted that climate change, a crucial issue for planetary survival, has been almost entirely overlooked during the debates:
The debate ended with a discussion of the national debt, which Stein used as an opportunity to share her plans for rebuilding the U.S. economy. She proposed that the United States could both reduce its debt and boost its economic prosperity by halting support for expensive foreign wars, cutting back on tax cuts offered to large corporations and the rich, and ending Wall Street deregulation.
“These wars for oil are not making us safer; they’re making us bankrupt. So we need to cut the bloated and dangerous military, which is something we can do with a weapons embargo, with a freeze on the bank accounts of our allies who are funding the terrorist forces. We can ensure that we can cut the military, enforce a true peace offensive in the Middle East, and put our dollars into true security here building up our economy.”