What is really behind former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s recount effort?
That was the question that the five hosts of The View set out to answer on Wednesday morning when they spoke to Stein via satellite from Boston. And they were not quick to give her the benefit of the doubt.
“Do you think this can actually overturn the election results? Tell me yes,” a hopeful Joy Behar began.
Stein did not exactly give Behar the answer she wanted to hear, telling her that the thing about voting is “you don’t know until you look.” She explained that counting the paper ballots in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, as she intends to do, will tell us whether there was any “tampering,” “machine error,” “hacking” or “human error.”
“We’re not here to help one candidate and hurt another,” Stein added. “We’re really here to help voters feel like we’ve got a system that’s working for us.” But this only prompted Behar to ask, “What are you really trying to prove then?”
Stein said the three states in question for “red flags” for inaccurate results, but according to several experts there is no concrete evidence of hacking or the type of major fraud that could swing an election by thousands of votes.
Asked by Jedediah Bila if she still would have initiated the recount if Hillary Clinton had won the election, Stein indicated that she would have moved forward in either case “for the sake of a voting system we can believe in without regard for who is the winner.” She added that there has been no “formal contact” with the Clinton campaign regarding the recount.
Next, on accusations from Trump and others that she is using the recount to raise money for the Green Party and build her own email list, Stein said, “There he goes again, kind of creating the facts on the run.” She ensured that the recount money “cannot be used for anything else” other than the recount.
Over the course of the interview, Stein’s broadly forced smile began to fade a bit as she faced one skeptical question after the next. This was especially true when Behar asked Stein if she thought Hillary Clinton would be president today if she and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson had not been on the ballot.
“What I can tell you is that Green voters, polls show, Green voters would not have voted for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton,” Stein said. “The vast majority would have stayed home.”
“I don’t mean to blame you at all, but look at what we’ve got,” an exasperated Behar replied.
The last word went to Whoopi Goldberg, who told Stein that if she feels so strongly about giving Americans a choice beyond the two parties, we won’t have to wait another four years to hear from the Green Party. “Everybody has a bitch about something, but nobody wants to do anything,” Goldberg said, offering her hope that this time the Green Party will not wait until the “last minute” to make a stand.