- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Irked Green Party officials cried foul Wednesday after CBS “Late Night” host Stephen Colbert warned that voting for the Green presidential nominee would weaken presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Colbert read a Dr. Seuss parody called “See Ralph Run,” which blamed Green Party candidate Ralph Nader for helping elect Republican George W. Bush in 2000 by siphoning votes from Democrat Al Gore.

“Thanks to Ralph Nader, who gave it his all, we got [Dick] Cheney, whose heart was three sizes too small,” Mr. Colbert said in his Tuesday night monologue, referring to the former Republican vice president.

“So once in that booth, vote your conscious and heart. Go with the person you backed from the start,” Mr. Colbert said. “But think it through carefully, don’t press your luck, because trust me, 2000 was a real cluster … unfortunate event.”

In a Wednesday statement, the Green Party slammed the “Nader spoiler” allegation, referring to it as a “baseless Democratic Party propaganda myth.”

“When you look at the actual numbers in 2000, it becomes clear that the spoiler allegation is the Democratic equivalent of the right-wing fringe belief that Barack Obama was born in Kenya,” said Paul Pipkin, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and Green candidate for Congress in Texas.

The party blamed Mr. Gore’s defeat on a series of factors, including voting irregularities and a “biased” decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding Mr. Bush’s victory.

“But the biggest reason for Al Gore’s loss is that he ran a weak campaign, failing to win even in Tennessee, his home state. 13 percent of Florida Democrats voted for Bush instead of Gore — far more than those who voted for Ralph Nader — and nearly half of the state’s Democrats stayed home on Election Day,” Green Party co-chair Audrey Clement said in a statement.

The party has urged supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernard Sanders to cross over to the Green candidate in November. Polls show as many as 25 percent of the Vermont senator’s backers say they would not vote for Ms. Clinton, the former secretary of state.

In his monologue, Mr. Colbert said his message was directed at “you younger Sanders supporters out there.”

“Thousands of disaffected Sanders supporters may be faced with a choice: Go to the Green Party, or grudgingly vote for Hillary, just like Hillary supporters do,” Mr. Colbert said. “Either way, this could split the Democratic vote, which has happened before, with serious consequences.”

The Green Party is slated to select its 2016 presidential candidate at its Aug. 4-7 convention in Houston, about a week after the Democratic National Convention July 25-28 in Philadelphia.

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