“You know, I don’t pretend to be able to do TV diagnosis, but I think the guy has a problem,” said the 66-year-old candidate, who is averaging somewhere between 2 percent and 5 percent in most national and state polls, enough (Clinton people say) to put a scare into the Democrat in too-close-to-call states. “The guy has a lot of problems — physical, mental, emotional, cognitive,” Stein said of Trump.
As proof of his (alleged) pathology, she pointed to his position-hopping on a range of issues, which she cast as erratic rather than calculating — from his fuzzy Iraq positions over the years, to his brief “softening” on immigration last month, to his decision (on the day we spoke) to suddenly renounce birtherism after five years of banging a drumbeat of lies.
.. “It’s hard to, you know, to think too hard about anything Donald Trump says because he will change his mind in the next hour, if not the next day, or whatever,” she added. “Today, suddenly, after five years, he became convinced that it’s not an issue. Yesterday it was an issue. It will probably become an issue again for him. You know, the guy may have a memory problem. Who knows what it is? But he’s incapable of having a consistent thought or policy.”
.. she describes the choice between him and Hillary Clinton as an abominable binary offering “death by gunshot or death by strangulation.”
.. Stein thinks he’s, at heart, a bumbler who would be neutered by his own party after being elected. But it’s Clinton who poses the greater threat, in Stein’s estimation, because she knows how to move the levers of Washington.
.. This is a boutique opinion among mainstream liberals
.. some polls showing a quarter to a third of under-30 voters opting for Stein, Johnson or none of the above.
.. Like Sanders, Stein has an affection for Russia and a soft spot for Botox strongman Vladimir Putin. Critics like Clinton ally Neera Tanden have noted just how often Stein appears on the Putin-controlled cable network RT.
.. When I asked her whether Putin is a despot, I got a yes-and-no answer, with traces of Trumpian ambivalence. “To some extent, yes, but there could be a whole lot worse,” Stein said when I asked about the reportedly rigged Russian elections this year.