Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign offered its support Sunday for the recount effort in three swing states – Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – led by former Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein. However, many Clinton aides believe the effort to be a waste of resources, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
“Believe me if there was anything I could do to make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States I would,” Clinton ally and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell reportedly said. “But this is a big waste of time.”
It all started last week when Stein released a statement saying she would be filing petitions for a recount in the three swing states after reports emerged alleging the results in those states may have been manipulated.
So far, the former Green Party nominee has already filed a petition in Wisconsin seeking a statewide recount of votes to be performed by hand. Stein also filed petitions for a recount in Pennsylvania’s six largest counties. Stein’s campaign said she would file a petition for a recount in Michigan Wednesday.
The Clinton campaign’s general counsel Mark Elias wrote on Medium Sunday: “Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.”
However, some of Clinton’s allies are urging fellow DNC members to focus on political issues and not the recount.
People close to the former secretary of state reportedly said she is working on moving past the election result and isn’t paying much attention to her political career at the moment. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, is doing exactly the opposite. In the past few weeks, he had been closely monitoring election results, questioning senior campaign aides while trying to make sense of how his wife lost the votes of the white working-class who were his staunch supporters when he ran for president.
“Recounting votes is as American as apple pie. There’s nothing wrong with the effort, but it’s not somewhere where I would put the political energy of my groups, and I’m not,” Clinton ally David Brock reportedly said. “We’re focused on watch-dogging the Trump transition.”
Another former senior Clinton aide said: “When you see Donald Trump go off the deep end with conspiracy theories, the first reaction is ‘Told you so.’ The second reaction is genuine worry about how thin his skin must be that he needs to invoke conspiracy theories to explain why he wasn’t the most popular candidate in the race. That doesn’t mean he didn’t win the Electoral College. He did. But his inability to cope with the majority of the country voting for someone else is, well, a lot of us view it as a window into his heart.”