On Friday, July 22 Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton announced Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her Vice Presidential running mate for the 2016 election.
“He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one,” Clinton said in her speech at the Florida International University announcing Kaine, “and he is a progressive who likes to get things done.”
A University of Missouri graduate, Kaine has served as Mayor of Richmond, Democratic National Convention Chairman, and assumed senatorial office in 2013. His positions include pro-choice despite pro-life personal convictions, marriage equality, diversifying energy sources, pro-gun control, support of the Affordable Care Act, and support of environmental protection.
Kaine was officially nominated on July 27 during the Democratic National Convention.
“For every American who wants our country to be a beloved community where people are not demeaned because of who they are, but rather respected further contributions to the nation,” Kaine said in his acceptance speech, “and for all of us who know that the brightest future for our country is the one that we build together and my friend, Hillary Clinton, I humbly accept my party’s nomination to be Vice President of the United States.”
Kaine’s reception among Republicans has been largely positive, with many prominent conservatives praising him as a dealmaker, crossing the aisle while avoiding overtly-partisan rhetoric.
“I don’t know anybody on the Republican side who has a bad thing to say about him,” Arizona Senator Jeff Flake said, as quoted in a Politico article. “He doesn’t go out of his way to go after people politically and he’s all about policy.”
Other statements have been less positive. Republican Candidate Donald Trump’s website published a brief series of statements unfavorably comparing Kaine to former Democratic Candidate Bernie Sanders on topics of Wall Street and Trade, among others.
Another Trump statement said that Kaine’s governorship lacked a ‘signature accomplishment,’ citing difficulties in passing major passages in Conservative legislatures.
Kaine received more mixed responses from Democrats, though still overall positive.
“Tim Kaine is an experienced leader with a proven track record on issues from raising wages to immigration reform and racial justice,” Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry said in a July statement. “He has voted and fought for higher wages, and ensured home care workers had the ability to stand together in a union.”
Others criticized his stances and past support of controversial projects like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“Secretary Clinton’s choice of Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate doesn’t change [the goal of defeating Trump],” Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said in a July statement, “but Kaine’s support for fast-track authority for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership and recent backing of bank deregulation will make our work more difficult.”
Kaine is generally considered a safe pick for Clinton, an appealing running mate to many Republicans.
“I find the VP candidates — Governor Mike Pence and Senator Tim Kaine — more palatable than the presidential nominees,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said in a Twitter post.
“…I just cannot think of anybody better to have by my side on the campaign trail, in the White House,” Clinton said in her conclusion. “Together, we are going to take on the challenges that are hurting Americans.”