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Tim Kaine on Principles & Values

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor

 


I bring experience of service at all levels of government

Q: What about your qualities, your skills, and your temperament equip you to step into that role at a moment's notice?

A: Hillary told me why she asked me to be her running mate. She said, "The test of a Clinton administration will not be the signing of a bill or the passage of a bill. It'll be whether we can make somebody's life better, whether we can make a classroom better learning environment for schoolkids or teachers, whether we can make a safer--it's going to be about results." And she said to me, "You've been a missionary and a civil rights lawyer. You've been a city councilman and mayor. You've been a lieutenant governor and governor and now a US senator. I think you will help me figure out how to govern this nation so that we always keep in mind that the success of the administration is the difference we make in people's lives." And that's what I bring to the ticket, that experience having served at all levels of government.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Faith in personal life, but First Amendment for nation

Q: You have been open about the role that faith has played in your lives-how do you balance your personal faith with public policy?

KAINE: Yeah, that's an easy one for me. I'm really fortunate. I grew up in a wonderful household with great Irish Catholic parents. I was educated by Jesuits at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. My 40th reunion is in 10 days. And I worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, now nearly 35 years ago, and they were the heroes of my life. I try to practice my religion in a very devout way and follow the teachings of my church in my own personal life. But I don't believe in this nation, a First Amendment nation, where we don't raise any religion over the other, and we allow people to worship as they please, that the doctrines of any one religion should be mandated for everyone.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Clinton Foundation helps millions as Trump lines his pockets

PENCE: The Trump Foundation is non-profit. The Trump Foundation is a private family foundation. They give virtually every cent in the Trump Foundation to charitable causes. Less than ten cents on the dollar in the Clinton Foundation has gone to charitable causes. It has been a platform for the Clintons to travel the world, to have staff.

KAINE: The Clinton Foundation provides AIDS drugs to 11.5 million people. Hillary as secretary of state took no action to benefit the foundation. But let's compare this with the Trump organization. His sons have said that the organization has a lot of business dealings in Russia. And the Trump organization is not a non-profit. It's putting money into Donald Trump's pockets, whereas the Clinton Foundation is a non- profit and no Clinton family member draws any salary.

Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Run partisan, but after election, work with everyone

She worked across the aisle after 9/11 to get health benefits for the first responders who bravely went into the towers and into the Pentagon. She has a track record of working across the aisle to make things happen. I have the same track record. I was a governor of Virginia with two Republican houses. And in the Senate, I have good working relationships across the aisle. I think it's fine to be a Democrat or Republican or independent, but after Election Day, the goal is work together.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

Hillary apologized for "deplorables"; Trump never does

Clinton said something on the campaign trail, and the very next day, she said, you know what, I shouldn't have said that. Look for Trump apologizing to John McCain for saying he wasn't a hero to Trump apologizing for calling women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. Did Trump apologize for taking after somebody in a Twitter war and making fun of her weight? Did he apologize for saying African-Americans are living in Hell? Did he apologize for saying Obama was not even a citizen of the US?
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

OpEd: More liberal than Hillary on health & school policy

IssueClintonKaine
Nuclear powerOpposes Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dumpNuclear reactors are key to energy future
Tax reformRaise capital gains taxes and freeze inheritance taxesLimit capital gains and inheritance taxes
Single-payer healthcareOpposes Medicare-for-all in ObamaCare Supported Medicare-for-all as "public option"
K-12 Education policyOpposes vouchers but accepts chartersOpposes both vouchers and charters
War policy Supported both Afghan War and Iraq WarSupported Afghan War but opposed Iraq War
Source: Trump/Pence vs. Clinton/Kaine On the Issues, by Jesse Gordon , Aug 1, 2016

My values are faith, family, and work

My parents, Al and Kathy, taught me about hard work and about kindness and most especially, about faith. I went to a Jesuit high school. We had a motto in my school, "men for others." And it was there that my faith became something vital. My north star for orienting my life. Faith, family, and work.
Source: Speech at 2016 Democratic National Convention , Jul 27, 2016

Cultural diversity unites and strengthens us

This journey that I've told you about has convinced me that God has created in our country a beautiful and rich tapestry, an incredible cultural diversity that succeeds when we embrace everybody in love and battle back against the dark forces of division. We are all neighbors. And we must love neighbors as ourselves.
Source: Speech at 2016 Democratic National Convention , Jul 27, 2016

Hillary is ready to lead like all our great leaders

Thomas disclaimed all men were equal and Abigail remembered the women. Woodrow brokered the peace and Eleanor broke down the barriers. Jack told us what to ask and Lyndon answered the call. Martin had a dream and Cesar y Dolores said si se puede. And Harvey gave his life. Bill built a bridge into the 21st Century and Barack gave us hope. And now Hillary is ready! She is ready to fight! She is ready to win! And she is ready to lead!
Source: Speech at 2016 Democratic National Convention , Jul 27, 2016

Catholicism & Quakerism influence his political views

Kaine has reflected on how Catholicism informs his views on race, poverty and cultural diversity, which he calls "God's rich tapestry." During a C-SPAN interview, Kaine said˙one of the spiritual phrases he lives by˙is by George Fox, who founded Quakerism: "Walk cheerfully over the earth, answering that of God in everyone."
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Heavy.com, "Wife, kids, parents" , Apr 26, 2016

Presidents often overreach by declaring war without Congress

Congress declares war. Congress funds military operation. Congress would say yes, and the President would prosecute military action once initiated. Our history has been different. Congress has only declared war five times. The last time was World War II. Presidents have initiated military action more than 120 times. History does not match with the original intent. The critique is bi-partisan. Presidents of both parties have over-reached. Congresses of both parties have abdicated responsibility.
Source: Coursera Lecture #54, "Problems of War Powers" , Jan 29, 2015

Inspired to public service by Jesuit missionaries

I worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras that I had connected with through my Catholic high school. I came in contact with my life mentors, these missionaries who were working with the poor. I decided, in that year, that I wanted to finish law school and then use my talents, such as they were, to try to help other people.
Source: Coursera Lecture #59, "Public Policy Challenges Ahead" , Jan 29, 2015

Flexes cooperation muscle with GOP bill co-sponsors

Every bill that I introduce, I work to find a Republican co-sponsor. For two reasons. First I'm no dummy, it's easier to get them passed that way. But the second reason I do it is, I firmly believe that cooperation is like a muscle. If you exercise it, it gets stronger and if you don't, it gets weaker. I'm always trying to build those relationships because that's what look, that's what our voters want us to do.
Source: Coursera Lecture #60, "Post-lecture discussion" , Jan 29, 2015

Authenticity as Senator means expressing religiosity

Three deeply religious senators spoke at a panel discussion on Capitol Hill about the interplay between religion and politics, and how their faith shaped their personal and political lives. "One stereotype would be, 'I'm a religious person and my job is to enact my religious beliefs on others.' The other is 'I'm a religious person and I should keep that out of the public sphere,'" Virginia Democrat Tim Kaine said. "I should authentically be who I am, just like I would share that I'm a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs," said Kaine, a Catholic educated at an all-boys Jesuit high school.

Kaine described how he began sending money to a Jesuit mission in El Progreso, Honduras, as a junior in high school. While at Harvard Law School, he took a nine-month break to teach there on a mission trip.

Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Rollcall.com, "Religion Shaped" , Aug 17, 2014

Smash-mouth partisanship is yesterday's politics

KAINE: Many in the room who have been in Virginia politics for a while remember Gov. Allen's famous quote when he was governor: "My job is to knock Democrats' soft teeth down their whining throats." George, as a governor, called General Assembly members "dinosaurs, monarchical elitists." He calls federal employees sanctimonious social engineers. That is yesterday's politics. We're not going to solve our problems if we continue down that path of smash mouth, consider the other side rather than the opponent. We got to compete against the world to win.

Q: [To Allen]: Was your smashing teeth remark not literal?

ALLEN: It is an example of where sports analogies are not appropriate, and that was a mistake on my part for it. [My campaigns] are not running down the others, there's contrasts. That is what we have in competitive representative democracy, contrasting or competing ideas.

Source: CNN State of the Union on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Jul 22, 2012

Served as a missionary in Honduras

ALLEN: Tim was the hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee by President Obama, and he's, in effect, the hand-picked senator and recruited to run for the Senate.

KAINE: I am highly offended at that. He cannot help himself.

ALLEN: I didn't interrupt you.

KAINE: I have had a career of serving people. I was a missionary in Honduras. I was a civil rights lawyer for 17 years. I was a city councilman, mayor, lieutenant governor, governor. His suggestion that I'm running for office just because somebody else asked me to, I've not lived my life that way. I live my entire life to serve other people. And so his notion, oh, you're just handpicked to run the Senate race, come on. I had to give up a job and a salary and health care benefits to run for the U.S. Senate. And I'm doing it because the nation needs people who know how to find common ground moving forward.

Source: CNN State of the Union on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Jul 22, 2012

Motivated to serve, including missionary work in Honduras

ALLEN: Tim was the hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee by President Obama, and he's, in effect, the hand-picked senator and recruited to run for the Senate.

KAINE: I am highly offended at that. He cannot help himself.

ALLEN: I didn't interrupt you.

KAINE: I have had a career of serving people. I was a missionary in Honduras. I was a civil rights lawyer for 17 years. I was a city councilman, mayor, lieutenant governor, governor. His suggestion that I'm running for office just because somebody else asked me to, I've not lived my life that way. I live my entire life to serve other people. And so his notion, oh, you're just handpicked to run the Senate race, come on. I had to give up a job and a salary and health care benefits to run for the U.S. Senate. And I'm doing it because the nation needs people who know how to find common ground moving forward.

Source: CNN State of the Union on 2012 Virginia Senate debate , Jul 22, 2012

Begin racial healing by insisting on honest conversation

I first encountered a small group of people calling themselves Hope in the Cities as a newly elected member of the Richmond City Council in 1994. It was clear from the beginning that they were a dedicated bunch, but it was also clear that they were facing huge obstacles. Richmond, after all, had been a major interstate slave trade market and the capital of the Confederacy. It was famous for its Massive Resistance to integration. The city government and the city in general were starkly divided along racial lines. Richmond was congenitally resistant to change of any kind.

Hope in the Cities succeeded in beginning the healing by insisting on honest conversation, demanding reconciliation, making divergent and often divided groups take responsibility. This small group focused on fixing Richmond's racial problems has expanded over the years, taking its message nationwide and to South Africa, France, and the United Kingdom.

Source: Trustbuilding, introduction by Tim Kaine, p. ix , Mar 4, 2010

1998: elected 8-1 as mayor by majority black city council

In another sign of the times, Tim Kaine became Richmond's mayor in 1998, with an 8-1 vote of the majority black council. Afterward, he expressed his appreciation for this demonstration of trust by the African American community, but he remarked that he wished whites had been gracious enough to take the first step in breaking the pattern of racial voting: "It is remarkable than an African American council will let a white be mayor. I wish the white majority would have exercised this type of leadership but they weren't able to. If African- Americans can do it, it is a remarkable thing." In July 1998, Kaine (who went on to be elected governor) became the first Richmond mayor to publicly apologize for the city's history of slavery.
Source: Trustbuilding, by Rob Corcoran, p. 74-5 , Mar 4, 2010

Better way is to focus on service, common sense, & results

As Americans, we do great things when we work together. Some of our leaders in Washington seem to have forgotten that. I want to offer some good news tonight: There is a better way.

In Virginia -- and other states -- we’re moving ahead by focusing on service, competent management and results. It’s all about bringing people together to find common-sense solutions to our common problems. That’s how we in Virginia earned the ranking of America’s “Best Managed State.”

You know, no matter what political philosophy you hold or what state you call home, you have a right to expect that your government can deliver results. When there’s a crime or a fire, you expect that police and firefighters have the tools to respond. When there’s a natural disaster, you expect a well-managed response. When you send your children to school, you expect them to be prepared for success. And, you have a right to expect government to be fiscally responsible, pay the bills and live within its means.

Source: Democratic Response to 2006 State of the Union address , Jan 31, 2006

Ser justo e incluyente de todas las comunidades

Our Virginia might not exist today were it not for the generosity extended to those first settlers by the native Virginia tribes living in this region. That same sense of community is required of us today. We must include all Virginians in our efforts. We should continue to welcome newcomers to this Commonwealth and nation, just as Chief Powhatan did 400 years ago.

Hemos venido hoy dˇa, a este lugar para recordar la promesa de nuestros antepasados. Como gobernador, ser‚ justo e incluyente de todas las comunidades, con la certeza que juntos lograremos construir un mejor futuro para Virginia. [We have come here today to remember the promise made by our forefathers. As Governor, I will be fair and inclusive of all communities with the certainty that together we can achieve a better future in Virginia.]

And, we should use this historic time to help those who first helped us by working with the federal government to see that Virginia's native Indian tribes are finally recognized.

Source: 2006 Inaugural address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 14, 2006

Parents taught him the importance of family and faith

I was raised in a family where life revolved around church, school, friends, sports, and hard work. My brothers and I all grew up working in Dad’s small ironworking business.

My parents taught me lasting life lessons the importance of family and faith, the value of hard work, that actions matter more than words, and that people should be treated fairly and honestly. I was taught to be tight with a dollar, and to watch the bottom line.

Source: 2005 Gubernatorial campaign website kaine2005.org, “Issues” , Nov 8, 2005

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Page last updated: Nov 06, 2016