Kaine: Sanders Backers’ Nightmare

- June 27, 2016

Rather Than Getting Sanders Backers Behind Clinton, Tapping The Virginia Senator Would Be A Slap in The Face To Bernie Backers


  • Kaine has been mentioned as being "at the top" of Clinton's short list for running mate.
  • Kaine's selection as Clinton's vice presidential nominee would do nothing to unify the Democrat Party, as he has attacked Sanders and holds positions that are out of line with the Bernie/Warren wing.
  • Kaine has castigated opponents of free trade agreements as "losers," while Sanders attributes the collapse of the middle class and income inequality to free trade agreements backed by Clinton.
  • Kaine supported the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, while Sanders called his removal "one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of America."
  • Kaine is pro-life and supports a ban on partial birth abortion, while Sanders opposes any and all restrictions on abortion.
  • Kaine has a record supporting offshore drilling and clean coal, two forms of energy that Sanders wants to do away with entirely.
  • As Governor of Virginia, Kaine signed the repeal of the estate tax, which Sanders supports hiking substantially.
  • Kaine supports Right to Work, which Sanders has sought to ban outright.
  • Kaine has a much more liberal record on guns than Sanders.

"Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine Is Emerging As The Leading Candidate Atop Hillary Clinton's Vice Presidential Short List." "Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is emerging as the leading candidate atop Hillary Clinton's vice presidential short list, according to Democratic allies and operatives close to the campaign." (Annie Karni and Gabriel Debenedetti, "Kaine Rises To Top Of Clinton's Veep List," Politico, 6/23/16)


Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) Has Said That Bernie Sanders Doesn't Focus On Issues Pertaining To "Global Stability" And Thus Would Be "An Incredibly Risky Bet" For The Presidency. "'People come to the Senate and they work on the issues that interest them. That's as it should be. And Bernie works on the issues that interest him. But foreign policy and diplomacy and national security are not issues that interest him,' said Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Committee on Foreign Relations, speaking to reporters Friday on a call organized by the Clinton campaign. 'They've just not been areas where he has been significantly engaged because he's chosen to focus his attention elsewhere.' Noting that it is Sanders' prerogative to focus elsewhere, Kaine pointed to the role that the commander-in-chief plays, 'because of the importance of American diplomacy to global stability, I just think somebody who's never shown much of an interest in these topics is an incredible risky bet.'" (Nick Gass, "Sen. Kaine: Sanders Is 'An Incredibly Risky Bet' For Commander In Chief," Politico, 2/12/16)

Kaine: "The Difference Between Hillary Clinton And Bernie Sanders On These National Security Issues Is Very, Very High Stakes In A World That's Very Challenging And That Needs American Leadership And Hillary Clinton Right Person To Demonstrate That Leadership." "'The difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on these national security issues is very, very high stakes in a world that's very challenging and that needs American leadership and Hillary Clinton right person to demonstrate that leadership immediately upon taking the oath office in January 2017, as I hope she'll do,' he said." (Nick Gass, "Sen. Kaine: Sanders Is 'An Incredibly Risky Bet' For Commander In Chief," Politico, 2/12/16)


Kaine Has Attacked Opponents Of Free Trade Agreements As Losers

Kaine Has Attacked Opponents Of Free Trade For Promoting A "Loser's Mentality." "Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine, parting with some fellow Democrats, said he's 'passionate' about strengthening global-trade ties and that those advocating protectionism have a 'loser's mentality.'" (Scott Lanman, "Virginia's Kaine Warns Democrats Protectionism Is A 'Loser,'" Bloomberg, 5/30/07)

  • Kaine Attacked Opponents Of NAFTA And CAFTA. "Without identifying him, Kaine cited the views of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, who was quoted in the New York Times last year as saying of free-trade agreements: 'I was a critic of Nafta, I was a critic of Cafta and I'll be a critic of Shafta.' 'I always laugh when I hear that, but I really think that it's wrong,' Kaine said. 'This is something I feel really passionate about.'" (Scott Lanman, "Virginia's Kaine Warns Democrats Protectionism Is A 'Loser,'" Bloomberg, 5/30/07)

Sen. Kaine Voted For The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. (H.R. 2146, Roll Call Vote #219: Adopted 60-38: R 47-5, D 13-31, I 0-2, 6/24/15, Kaine Voted Yay)

As Governor Of Virginia, Kaine Submitted Letters Of Support To Then-Secretary Of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez For The Pending Free Trade Agreements With Peru, Panama, Colombia, And South Korea. "As Congress begins consideration of these agreements in the interest of advancing global trade, my Administration will participate in the discussion so that forthcoming Free Trade Agreements may continue to enhance Virginia's economy." (Sen. Tim Kaine, Letter To Secretary Of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez , 9/26/07)

Sanders Has Said "These Corporately Backed Trade Agreements Have Significantly Contributed To The Race To The Bottom, The Collapse Of The American Middle Class And Increased Wealth And Income Inequality." "The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China (PNTR). These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the United States and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories. These corporately backed trade agreements have significantly contributed to the race to the bottom, the collapse of the American middle class and increased wealth and income inequality. The TPP is more of the same, but even worse." ("Senator Bernie Sanders: The Trans-Pacific Trade (TPP) Agreement Must Be Defeated," Press Release, Accessed 6/25/16)

Kaine: "I Am Pro-Life"

Kaine Has "Long Supported A Ban On Partial Birth Abortions." KAINE: "I have long supported a ban on partial-birth abortions, but I have insisted that we follow the wording and the teaching of the U.S. Supreme Court so that it would be enforceable." ("Clash Of 2005 Gubernatorial Rivals Tim Kaine And Jerry Kilgore," Richmond Times Dispatch, 7/24/05)

  • Kaine: "I am pro-life. But I believe that there are tried-and-true ways to reduce abortion other than criminalizing women's health care decisions. I trust women to make their health care decisions. I don't think government needs to make health care decisions for women, but we can reduce abortion if we stop making this a political game and do the things that are tested and tried." ("Clash Of 2005 Gubernatorial Rivals Tim Kaine And Jerry Kilgore," Richmond Times Dispatch, 7/24/05)
  • Kaine In 2005: "I'm Catholic. I'm Against Abortion And The Death Penalty. I've Always Said I'm Not Changing My Religion To Get Elected, But I'm Going To Take An Oath To Follow The Law, And I Will Follow The Law." (Fox News' "Fox Special Report With Brit Hume," 10/18/05)

Kaine Supported The Iraq War

In 2006, Kaine Agreed With Removing Saddam Hussein From Power, And Said That "I Do Share The President's View That ... We're There And It's Time To Build A Democracy. That's Pretty Noble - It's Difficult, But It's Noble." "Kaine said the U.S. should have removed Saddam Hussein from power, though the governor said he had concerns about the 'run-up to the war and the fact that we didn't get as many allies on board as I think we could have.' But, he said, 'I do share the president's view that ... we're there and it's time to build a democracy. That's pretty noble - it's difficult, but it's noble.'" (Frank Green, "After Iraq, Afghan Trip, Kaine Says Morale Of Troops Is High," Richmond Times Dispatch, 3/18/06)

Sanders Has Said That The Removal Of Saddam "One Of The Worst Foreign Policy Blunders In The History Of America." "'Do you believe that Iraq would be better off if Saddam Hussein had remained in power?' Ms. Couric asked. Mr. Sanders replied with a level of context and perspective that lacked the sort of easy sound bite that made Mr. Dean so vulnerable. 'Do I think the entire region would have been better off if we had not invaded that country and brought about the massive levels of destabilization which led to the death of 6,700 Americans, 500,000 coming back with P.T.S.D. or T.B.I., the death of many, many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the growth of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in that region?' Mr. Sanders said. 'Do I think the world have been better off? Yeah. Saddam Hussein was a brutal, disgusting tyrant, and the effort would have been, 'How do you get rid of him?' But to destabilize that region the way we did, to bring about that chaos, and the incredible cost to us in terms of human life and trillions of dollar of expenditure - yes, we should not have undertaken that invasion, and I think history will record that as one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of America.'" (Patrick Healy, "On Invading Iraq, Bernie Sanders Takes A Cue From Howard Dean," The New York Times , 11/17/15)

Kaine Supports Energy Sources That Sanders Wants To Do Away With

In 2013, Kaine And Fellow Virginia Democrat Senator Mark Warner Introduced Legislation To Lift The Moratorium On Offshore Drilling. "U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine introduced legislation Wednesday that would lift the federal ban on exploration and drilling for natural gas and oil off the coast of Virginia. The moratorium, which lasts through 2017, was put in place by President Barack Obama's administration following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Warner and Kaine want the moratorium lifted so that decades old maps of Virginia's offshore energy resources can be updated and leases for offshore gas and oil drilling as well as wind farms can go into effect in 2020." (Todd Allen Wilson, "Sens. Warner, Kaine Hope To End Offshore Drilling Ban,"Daily Press, 5/22/13)

In 2007, Kaine Wanted To Expand Offshore Drilling After Exploration Off The Coast Of Virginia. "Kaine's plan addresses the possibility of natural gas reserves off the coast of Virginia, but does not change his administration's previous position on offshore drilling: that only exploration should be allowed at this time before leases are sold to allow actual drilling and production." (Patrick Lynch, "Kaine Pushes Conservation In His Virginia Energy Plan," Daily Press [Newport News, VA], 9/13/07)

  • Sanders Has A "Consistent Record Opposing Offshore Drilling." "Bernie Sanders' campaign on Thursday contrasted his consistent record opposing offshore oil drilling with Hillary Clinton's support for a bill that allowed more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico." ("Sanders In Florida Puts Focus On Climate Change And Offshore Drilling," Press Release, 3/10/16)

In 2008, Environmentalists Criticized Gov. Kaine For His Support Of Dominion's New Coal Plant In Southwest Virginia. "Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has been battered by criticism from environmentalists over his support of a new coal-fired power plant for southwest Virginia, which Dominion Virginia Power says is essential to the state's energy needs but which could also lead to higher utility rates for consumers statewide." (Tim Craig, "Kaine Irks Environmentalists By Supporting Coal-Burning Plant," The Washington Post, 3/30/08)

  • Kaine Said The U.S. Would Not "Abandon Coal" As A Source Of Energy. "We are not going to eliminate coal, a native source that we have, as one of the sources that will power our country,' Kaine said in a radio interview. The portion [of the energy supply] that is coal is going to get smaller, and it is going to get cleaner, but we are not going to abandon coal from the portfolio." (Tim Craig, "Kaine Says Coal-Burning Power Plant Is Necessary," The Washington Post, 3/30/08)

Kaine Supported Nuclear Power As A Solution To Meeting Virginia's Energy Needs. "In Virginia last week, a panel on reducing climate change appointed by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) considered adding nuclear power to its menu of recommendations. The governor's energy plan also supports nuclear power as one solution to meeting the state's energy needs, which are expected to grow by the equivalent of a million homes in the next decade." (Lisa Rein and Christy Goodman, "Little Outcry On Nuclear Reactor Proposal," The Washington Post, 8/4/08)

Sanders Wants To End The Country's Dependence On Coal And Nuclear. "Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders unveiled a climate change plan on Monday that seeks to end the country's dependence on oil, coal and nuclear energy and could pressure party front-runner Hillary Clinton. The Vermont senator's plan envisions 10 million new jobs in clean energy such as wind, solar and geothermal power. It would ban oil and gas lobbyists from working in the White House, end new fossil fuel lease sales on public lands, and would cut carbon emissions faster in coming decades than the goals set in President Barack Obama's clean power plan." ("Bernie Sanders Unveils Climate Plan To End US Oil, Coal And Nuclear Dependence," Reuters, 12/7/15)

Kaine Eliminated The Estate Tax In Virginia

In 2007, Kaine Signed An Estate Tax Repeal. "Rich and poor alike will benefit from changes in Virginia's tax laws. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine symbolically signed into law yesterday a measure that will remove about 140,000 low-income people from the tax rolls by raising the filing threshold, beginning in the 2008 tax year. And, as of Sunday, the tax on larger estates in Virginia was repealed. The repeal legislation was passed by the General Assembly last year but did not take effect until July 1 this year." (Tyler Whitley, "Kaine Signs Measure For Low-Income Tax Break," Richmond Times Dispatch, 7/4/07)

Sanders' Campaign Website: "Instead Of Repealing The Estate Tax, We Must Strengthen It By Making The Wealthiest Americans Pay Their Fair Share." "A progressive estate tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires is the fairest way to reduce wealth inequality and to help invest in a Medicare-for-all plan to guarantee health care as a right, not a privilege. The estate tax now applies only to the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans, but Republicans have proposed to repeal it altogether. The Republican proposal would cost $269 billion over the coming decade and would help just 5,400 families next year. Nearly three-fourths of the benefits would go to those families inheriting estates worth more than $20 million. Instead of repealing the estate tax, we must strengthen it by making the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share." ("Making The Wealthy, Wall Street, And Large Corporations Pay Their Fare Share," Bernie 2016, Accessed 6/24/16)

Kaine Supports Right To Work

2006: Kaine Said He "Strongly Support[s]" The Right-To-Work Law. "House GOPers rejected Gov. Tim Kaine's (D) nominee for Commonwealth Sec., the 1st time a nominee has been rejected since the Cabinet system was created in the '70s. After the Senate unanimously approved ex-AFL-CIO Pres. Daniel LeBlanc, the House voted 55-42 'along party lines' to reject him. House GOPers feared LeBlanc's ties to unions and his opposition to VA's 59-year-old right-to-work law. Kaine 'said he has tried to be bipartisan, noting that' 2 ex-GOP Reps. 'serve in his Cabinet' and that 'he appointed' Marty Kilgore, wife of his GOV opponent ex-AG Jerry Kilgore (R), as VA Tobacco Settlement Foundation dir. (Bellantoni, Washington Times, 3/8). Kaine: 'The Secretary of the Commonwealth has no - I repeat, no - role in the enforcement of Virginia's right-to-work law, a law I strongly support.'" ("The Fly-By," The Hotline, 3/10/06)

  • "Kaine Has Supported Virginia's Right-To-Work Law Since He Ran For Governor In 2005, And His Campaign Says That Position Has Not Changed." (Ben Pershing, "As GOP Pounces, Kaine Weighs In On Boeing Labor Dispute," The Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog, The Washington Post , Posted 6/29/11)
  • "Perhaps No Democrat Is Put In A More Uncomfortable Position Than Kaine. He Can't Speak Against The Board Because He Supported Pro-Union Rallies In Wisconsin Earlier This Year As DNC Chair. But He Can't Back The Machinists Lawsuit Either Because He Very Publicly Supported Virginia's Right-To-Work Law When He Governed The State." (Caitlin Huey-Burns, " Labor Battle At Center Of Virginia Senate Race ," Real Clear Politics, 7/7/11)

Bernie Sanders Introduced A Bill That His Supporters Claimed To Have "Banned" Right-To-Work. (Colin Taylor, "Historic: Bernie Sanders Files Sweeping Labor Bill Eliminating 'Right-To-Work' Laws," Occupy Democrats, 10/6/15)


Kaine Has Supported Numerous Gun Control Measures Since Being In The Senate. "I support a comprehensive approach to curb gun violence which includes expanding mental health services, background record checks prior to gun purchases and responsible limits on combat combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines. I've been disappointed to see the Senate block commonsense legislation to address these issues but will continue to advocate for ways to reduce make our country safer. I supported the Manchin-Toomey bill, which would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns, including sales at gun shows and internet sales, as well as strengthened the existing instant check system by encouraging states to put all their available records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In addition, I cosponsored legislation to close a loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun. I also authored the Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act, which would hold people responsible if they sell or transfer a firearm to someone who is barred by federal law from possessing firearms. Ultimately, efforts to reduce gun violence must focus on multiple solutions, but passage of these bills would be an important step in the right direction." ("Gun Safety," Office Of Sen. Tim Kaine, Accessed 6/24/16)

Sanders, On The Other Hand, Has A Much More Conservative Gun Record, Having Voted Against The Brady Bill And Opposed Gun Manufacturer Liability. "But Sanders again initiated debate with his gun comments in March when he said he doesn't think businesses should be punished if they legally sell a gun to a customer. 'If they are selling a product to a person who buys it legally, what you're really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America. I don't agree with that,' he said. The senator acknowledged that he agrees manufacturers should be held liable if they realize they're selling firearms to criminals. But voters took note, and so did the NRA, which praised Sanders for his comments about gun manufacturer liability. … Sanders also voted against the Brady Bill, which requires background checks on firearms purchases and is the flagship piece of legislation to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which works to expand federal background checks to all firearms sales." (Michele Gorman, "Why Bernie Sanders's Gun Record Could Hurt Him In New York," Newsweek, 4/1/16)

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