We interrupt this year’s slugfest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to bring you their understudies: two low-key, middle-aged guys.
Tonight’s vice presidential debate between Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia pits a former radio host who’s described himself as “Rush Limbaugh on decaf” against a harmonica-playing former missionary whose aw-shucks style has spawned a thousand dad jokes.
Barring the unexpected, their 90-minute faceoff is unlikely to alter the trajectory of the presidential race.
But don’t hit the snooze button just yet. Debate history suggests there’s still the potential for some memorable moments.
Some things to watch for in Tuesday’s debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
Pence and Kaine have campaigned full tilt for more than two months now, but plenty of people still don’t have a feel for them. In a recent Associated Press-GfK poll, more than half of registered voters said they didn’t know enough about Kaine to venture an opinion about him, and about 44 percent said the same for Pence. This is their big moment to show they’re qualified to be next in line to the president.
Trump may disdain traditional debate prep, but Kaine and Pence both have embraced the Scout motto: Be prepared. Each must be ready to defend his own record, skewer his opponent and do the same for the top of the ticket.
Pence and Kaine have to decide whether to focus more on one another or on Trump and Clinton. Watch how they toggle between the two tasks. Look for Pence, who calls Clinton “the most dishonest person ever to seek the presidency,” to zero in on lines of attack that Trump hardly touched in the first debate, such as questions about whether Clinton played favorites as secretary of state with donors to the Clinton Foundation. Kaine will try to act as a character witness for Clinton and go after Trump, of whom the senator says his “only recognized passion in his life has been for himself.”
DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE
Pence will have the added herculean task of explaining away the steady stream of insults, barbs and inflammatory comments delivered by his running mate, including the latest contretemps over a beauty queen whom Trump has shamed for gaining weight. Pence has had plenty of practice in recent weeks. Expect him to employ a strategy of praising Trump for his unscripted style as a “bold truth teller” without arguing the merits of the GOP nominee’s specific comments.
THREADING THE NEEDLE
Both candidates may need to navigate areas where they have policy differences with their running mates; Pence more so than Kaine. Pence, for example, says it’s clear that human activity is affecting the climate while Trump has called global warming a hoax. Kaine holds that U.S. military operations against the Islamic State group have not been properly approved by Congress, a point of disagreement with Clinton.
Expect both Pence, an evangelical, and Kaine, a former Catholic missionary, to showcase their religious backgrounds in an effort to appeal to different constituencies. Pence likes to say of himself: “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican — in that order.” Kaine often brings up his time as a missionary in Honduras, working in a few lines of Spanish along the way to reach out to Hispanics.
Past vice presidential debates have provided some memorable lines. Republican Bob Dole’s cutting quip in 1976 about all the Americans killed in “Democrat wars” did him no good. Democrat Lloyd Bentsen’s 1988 putdown of Republican Dan Quayle with his “You’re no Jack Kennedy” line still singes. Third-party candidate James Stockdale’s rambling 1992 opening questions of “Who am I? Why am I here?” captured a candidate who was clearly out of his element. Four years ago, Vice President Joe Biden’s denunciations of Republican Paul Ryan’s budget math as “a bunch of malarkey” showed considerably more spark than did President Barack Obama’s leaden performance against rival Mitt Romney in the leadoff debate.
CBS News’ Elaine Quijano will be under the microscope as moderator, especially since Trump has complained that NBC’s Lester Holt, the moderator of last week’s debate, was too tough on him.
Associated Press writers Nancy Benac, Kathleen Ronayne in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report. Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/nbenac
With the first presidential debate complete and its spin cycle nearly over, the two understudies are getting ready to take the main stage. The vice presidential debate Tuesday will be the only time Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine will have the nation’s political attention all to themselves, away from their much more well-known running mates.
The stakes will be lower than the three presidential debates, but will give each largely undefined candidate a chance to make a mark on a national audience.
Running mates rarely overshadow the top of the ticket, although Sarah Palin caused a sensation as Republican John McCain’s pick in 2008. But voters always have a reason to size up the people who would be next in line for the presidency.
The 2016 candidates are older than the norm. Though their doctors said they are fit to serve, Hillary Clinton, who will be 69 before the election, has had several health problems in recent years while Donald Trump, 70, has for months held off disclosing much about his own fitness.
Pence, Trump’s running mate, is taking a decidedly un-Trump like approach to the vice presidential debate. He’s preparing for it.
The Indiana governor and former 12-year congressman held mock debate sessions with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as a stand-in, studying up on issues likely to be raised and making sure he avoids the criticisms of being unprepared that dogged Trump after his uneven performance a week ago. “We’re going to do our level best to be ready,” Pence told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt this past week.
Pence was spending the weekend back home in Indianapolis, taking a break from campaign travel to be with his family and continue informal debate preparations, spokesman Marc Lotter said.
Clinton’s running mate, a former Virginia governor and current U.S. senator, spent several days preparing for the debate in Raleigh, North Carolina, and in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. The debate will take place at Longwood University, about an hour west of Richmond.
Helping Kaine is Washington, D.C., lawyer Robert Barnett, a veteran of prepping Democrats for debates. Kaine said he’s been “thinking hard” about what Pence’s record says “about the guy who chose him, because it really is more about Donald Trump than it is about Gov. Pence.”
Pence and Kaine are practiced public speakers with lengthy political careers who should bring a high level of polish to the undercard debate. Pence is a former talk radio host; Kaine a former Harvard-trained trial lawyer.
But both have played dramatically different roles since they were picked to be the No. 2s.
Pence has frequently been on the hot seat defending, deflecting and explaining some of his unconventional running mate’s more inflammatory comments and views. It’s made for some awkward moments, with Pence defending Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump’s apparent support for a policy of stop-and-frisk by police, and Trump’s feud with a Muslim-American family whose son, a U.S. Army captain, was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.
After Monday’s presidential debate, Pence made the rounds on the television networks, where he broke with Trump on global warming. Trump has called warming a hoax, while Pence said after the debate that “there’s no question” human activity affects both the climate and the environment.
Kaine, by contrast, is much more in lockstep with Clinton and has rarely faced tough questions on a tightly managed campaign that’s so far been heavy with private glitzy fundraisers and lighter moments on TV. He’s no fire-eater. He’s called himself “boring,” a quality Clinton said she loves about him.
Some days Kaine’s toughest job is holding his own while jamming on harmonica with some world-class musical talents. That list so far includes Jon Batiste (“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” house band leader), Lindsey Buckingham (guitarist for Fleetwood Mac), Asleep at the Wheel (local country legends in Austin, Texas) and John Popper (frontman for Blues Traveler).
Recently, while Pence was defending a tweet from one of Trump’s son’s comparing Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles, Kaine was in the middle of a California fundraising tour that included a dinner at actress Eva Longoria’s house and an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
After the first presidential debate, Kaine and Pence both claimed victory for their candidates and looked ahead to their showdown.
Speaking to volunteers in Orlando, Florida, Kaine said Clinton’s performance “raised the bar.”
“That puts pressure on me,” he joked.
On a TV appearance before flying to Wisconsin for two days of preparations with Walker, Pence said the same.
“Donald Trump raised the bar for his running mate,” Pence said.
Gov. Scott Walker is helping GOP vice presidential candidate Mick Pence prepare for his Oct. 4 debate against Democratic candidate Tim Kaine.
A Republican familiar with the debate preparations told CNN that Walker is playing Kaine in Pence’s debate preparations.
Walker and Pence are political allies. Both strenuously fought against same-sex marriage, with Pence going so far as to enact a law allowing people to discriminate with impunity against gay and lesbian couples. The so-called “right to discriminate” law cost Indianapolis millions of dollars in lost convention and tourism dollars and prompted some companies to cancel their plans to expand into Indiana.
Pence’s re-election prospects as governor were dim, with his approval rating mired in the 40s before Trump tapped him as a running mate.
Walker’s approval ratings as governor are even lower. After half a year in the upper 30s, his approval rating hit 40 percent in the most recent Marquette University Law School poll.
As for debating skills, Walker was doing well in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination prior to the debates. But his poor performance knocked his support down into the single digits, prompting him to be the first candidate to drop out of the race.
At the time he dropped out, Walker said that others should follow his lead in order to ensure that Donald Trump didn’t secure the nomination. So it’s ironic that he’s now actively working for the Trump-Pence ticket.
NBC News chief anchor Lester Holt will moderate the first of three scheduled debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Sept. 26, with ABC’s Martha Raddatz, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace lined up for the others.
The Commission on Presidential Debates also said CBS News’ Elaine Quijano will moderate the vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine on Oct 4.
The third presidential debate, to be moderated by Wallace on Oct. 19, and first will be traditional question-and-answer sessions with the journalist choosing the topics. Raddatz and Cooper will team up for the second session on Oct. 9, a town hall-style meeting with half of the questions to be posed by audience members.
Each of the debates is scheduled for 90 minutes, with a 9 p.m. EDT start time.
Clinton has said she will participate in all three debates.
Trump as of Sept. 6 had not formally agreed, although he has reportedly been preparing to debate.
There was no immediate reaction from the candidates to the chosen moderators. The campaigns have no say in who is selected.
Moderating is one of a journalist’s most visible, and risky, roles.
Millions of people will be watching and ready to critique performances. Trump’s anger with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly was one of the primary campaign’s biggest stories, and it began because he didn’t like a debate question she asked about his attitude toward women.
The commission is bringing in new faces; none of those selected has moderated a general election debate before, although Raddatz did the 2012 vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.
Before Wallace’s selection, no Fox News personality had been a general election moderator.
It will be the first time since 1984 that the general election campaign’s much-anticipated first debate won’t be moderated by the now-retired Jim Lehrer of PBS. Two other 2012 moderators, Candy Crowley of CNN and Bob Schieffer of CBS, are also no longer active in TV news.
The leadoff position is a coup for Holt, who took over as NBC “Nightly News” anchor last year for Brian Williams and kept the broadcast on top of the ratings. The commission avoided potential political problems by not selecting Kelly or ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who was a White House aide of Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Fallout, however, included a letter of protest sent to the commission by the president and CEO of Univision, the nation’s most popular Spanish-language network.
Randy Falco said he wanted to express his “disappointment, and frankly disbelief” that no Latino journalist was selected as a moderator.
“It’s an abdication of your responsibility to represent and reflect one of the largest and most influential communities in the U.S.,” Falco wrote.
Univision’s Jorge Ramos, who celebrates 30 years as anchor of the network’s evening newscast this fall, said this week that it was “high time” a Latino journalist was considered. He said he was interested, and suggested others like Jose Diaz-Balart of Telemundo and Maria Hinojosa of NPR.
Quijano is of Filipino descent. At 42, she’s the freshest face of the selections. She’s an anchor and leads political coverage at CBSN, CBS’ 24-hour streaming service, and anchors CBS’ Sunday evening newscast.
Although he hasn’t done a general election debate, Wallace has moderated GOP primary debates with colleagues Kelly and Bret Baier. During the primaries, Cooper moderated two debates and seven town halls on CNN.
Fox’s Wallace said he was excited by the opportunity.
“They knew I was interested,” he said. “You kind of put the word out there to the debate commission, but you can’t lobby for it. You can’t do anything. They end up deciding it.”
The commission, chaired by former Republican National Committee head Frank Fahrenkopf and former Bill Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry, says little about its selection process.
In Philadelphia, Democrats say the stakes this election are a choice between building walls and tearing people down or an optimistic unifying vision where everyone has a role to play in building our future. The July 27 program includes remarks from President Barack Obama, Tim Kaine and many others.
The program, as provided by the DNCC, includes:
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (EDT)
Call to Order U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (Ohio)
Invocation Rev. William Byron
Pledge of Allegiance Monroe Handy
National Anthem Sebastien De La Cruz
Vice Presidential Nomination
Remarks Daniel Driffin HIV/AIDS Activist from Georgia
Remarks Neera Tanden President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund
Remarks U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas)
Remarks U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (New Mexico)
Remarks U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia)
Remarks U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (California)
Remarks U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (California)
Remarks President of NARAL Ilyse Hogue
Remarks Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair, U.S. Representative Judy Chu (California)
Remarks Brooks Bell Brooks is a young female tech entrepreneur from North Carolina
Remarks New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
In Memoriam Introduced by Convention Chair U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (Ohio)
6:00 – 10:00 PM (EDT)
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair, U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico)
Our America Musical Performance
Remarks Civil Rights Leader Reverend Jesse Jackson
Actress Star Jones
Remarks Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Congressional Black Caucus Chair, U.S. Representative GK Butterfield (NC)
Remarks President of EMILY’s List Stephanie Schriock
Remarks Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nevada)
Remarks California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
Remarks U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego (Arizona)
Remarks Jamie Dorff Jamie’s husband was Patrick Dorff, an Army helicopter pilot from Minnesota who died while on a search and rescue mission in northern Iraq. As a senator, Hillary worked with Republicans and Democrats to increase the gratuity paid to family members of fallen veterans from $12,000 to $100,000.
Remarks Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
Remarks Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley
Introduction of Film Actress Sigourney Weaver
Remarks California Governor Jerry Brown
Remarks Director Lee Daniels
Remarks Christine Leinonen, Brandon Wolf and Jose Arraigada Christine Leinonen is the mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, who was killed in the Pulse attack in Orlando. Brandon Wolf and Jose Arraigada are survivors of the attack at the nightclub in Orlando.
Remarks U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
Remarks Erica Smegielski Erica’s mother Dawn was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and was killed while trying to protect her students. Since then, Erica has become an outspoken advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention measures.
Remarks Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey
Remarks Actress Angela Bassett
Remarks Felicia Sanders & Polly Sheppard Felicia and Polly are two of the three survivors of the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, SC.
Remarks Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly
Remarks Rear Admiral John Hutson (Ret. USN)
Remarks Kristen Kavanaugh Kristen Kavanaugh is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a former Marine Corps Captain who deployed to Iraq. She later co-founded the Military Acceptance Project, a California-based social justice organization dedicated to promoting acceptance of marginalized populations within the military.
Remarks Former Congressman and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
Remarks U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Introduction of Speaker Dr. Jill Biden
Remarks Vice President Joe Biden
Remarks Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
Remarks Michael Bloomberg
Musical Performance Lenny Kravitz
10:00 – 11:00 PM (EDT)
Remarks Democratic Nominee for Vice President Tim Kaine
Introduction of Film Sharon Belkofer Sharon Belkofer is the mother of fallen Lt. Col. Thomas Belkofer. Her son was killed when a suicide bomber detonated a minibus in a convoy carrying Belkofer and three other high-ranking officers in Kabul, Afghanistan.
NOW President Terry O’Neill:
“From day one, Tim Kaine will be a vice president who will work to break down the barriers that hold women and marginalized communities back. Women will face difficult and far-reaching challenges during the next four years, and Tim Kaine is a proven leader who has rightly been called “courageous, principled, and value driven.”
“Sen. Kaine is a proud co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, led the fight to restore the contraceptive coverage requirement guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, and supports women’s access to safe, legal and medically appropriate abortion care. Sen. Kaine has also consistently championed universal pre-K, sensible gun regulation, and comprehensive immigration reform, and is an unwavering opponent of the death penalty.
“The combination of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine stands in sharp contrast to the turn-back-the-clock, step up the war on women platform of Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Women know this is the most important election in a generation, and we also know that we have a steadfast advocate in Tim Kaine.”
EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock: “The strongest candidacy for women and families just got even stronger …. Hillary Clinton has championed the most progressive, inclusive agenda in history, and Tim Kaine is an excellent choice to amplify this platform. Sen. Kaine has been a strong supporter of economic opportunity for women — he has stood alongside our women in the Senate and fought for equal pay for women, raising incomes of American workers, and protecting access to health care through the Women’s Health Protection Act. Sen. Kaine is an excellent choice to help move forward an agenda that benefits all Americans.
“After what we saw this week, there is no question that the Donald Trump and Mike Pence ticket is the most dangerous and divisive we have ever seen. The Clinton-Kaine ticket brings hope, vision, and results that will make our country stronger together.”
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund
“Hillary has chosen a leader who has dedicated his life to fight for equity and justice in our country. Never before has a presidential campaign or party platform had a stronger commitment to reproductive health.
“Sen. Kaine is a thoughtful running mate with integrity, whose Senate record has proven he will stand strong against politically motivated efforts to restrict patient access to critical, often lifesaving health care. Senator Kaine has made it clear that he will protect women from government interference when it comes to their right to safe, legal abortion — a position supported by Planned Parenthood Action Fund – and boasts a 100% rating on the Planned Parenthood Action Fund scorecard.
“Planned Parenthood Action Fund will be by Hillary’s side as she and Sen. Kaine make history all the way to the White House.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
“The AFL-CIO supports Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine as her running mate. Tim Kaine is the son of an ironworker and a teacher, and is grounded in the values of working people.
“He has a strong record on workers’ issues, ranging from raising the minimum wage to securing equal pay for equal work. He has always been a strong leader and will be an asset to the ticket. He is moral and honest and true to the values he espouses. Clinton-Kaine is a winner for America.”
SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry:
“For working families, the 2016 election is the most consequential of our lifetimes. The stakes couldn’t be higher — nor the contrast starker — on all of the issues our families need to get ahead. In choosing Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton has tapped as her running mate the right partner to move our country forward and build a better future for all families by rebalancing our economy and democracy to work for everyone, not just greedy corporations and wealthy special interests.
“Tim Kaine is an experienced leader with a proven track record on issues from raising wages to immigration reform and racial justice. He has voted and fought for higher wages, and ensured home care workers had the ability to stand together in a union. His Senate record shows that working families have been his priority as he has worked to expand childcare, protect voting rights, address mass incarceration, preserve the Affordable Care Act, and promote opportunities for women and immigrants. He was the first person ever to deliver a speech on the Senate floor entirely in Spanish, and it was to demand action on commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
“Above all, we know what is in Tim Kaine’s heart. He is someone who is the son of an ironworker and a teacher, who served as a Catholic missionary, whose first case out of law school was representing at no cost a Black woman who had been the victim of housing discrimination. Tim Kaine’s convictions are rooted in justice for all.
“Together, Clinton and Kaine will stand with working families who have come together in the broadest modern grassroots movement to raise wages and protect opportunities for people to join together in 21st-century unions; increase access to affordable care for our children and aging parents; and advance racial, immigrant and environmental justice for all communities across our country. SEIU members will continue to come out in record numbers across the country to elect Clinton and Kaine as the next president and vice president of the United States.”
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:
“The choice of Tim Kaine, the son of a welder who has lived middle-class values and has a long track record of progressive accomplishments, reiterates Hillary Clinton’s commitment to building a government that will level the playing field for working families. While the GOP ticket masks irrational ideas behind a morally bankrupt message of fear, bigotry and hatred, a Clinton-Kaine ticket will be focused on helping people see higher wages, lower student debt, good jobs, successful public schools, and safety and security here and abroad.
“The contrasts between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump-Pence ticket couldn’t be more stark. Donald Trump, the narcissist, believes that he alone can fix our nation’s problems and peddles fear in a campaign devoid of facts, plans or humanity. Clinton and Kaine choose to confront fear and solve problems, and they will use their vast experience to help ensure the American dream is within reach for everyone.
“Strong public education runs deep in the Kaine household. In the U.S. Senate, he took the lead on supporting career and technical education programs in the new federal education law, and he has fought for funding to modernize public school buildings. And as Virginia’s governor, he expanded pre-K programs by 40 percent. His wife, Anne Holton, has been dedicated to fighting for great public schools for decades — she helped integrate Richmond, Va., public schools as a child and today is Virginia’s secretary of education.
“Our nation and the world can feel confident that the Clinton-Kaine ticket will be a great leadership team that will work to break down walls, disarm hate, and make educational and economic opportunity a reality.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue:
“Secretary Clinton’s selection of Senator Kaine provides some much needed sanity to the out-of-control fire that was the Republican convention this week.
“The hate-filled lies, dangerous rhetoric, and mob mentality of the last four days was shocking, and today’s pick reminds us that there are adults in the room who hold American values dear and are committed to governing towards a future of inclusion and unity.
“While Sen. Kaine has been open about his personal reservations about abortion, he’s maintained a 100 percent pro-choice voting record in the U.S. Senate. He voted against dangerous abortion bans, he has fought against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and he voted to strengthen clinic security by establishing a federal fund for it. In the wake of clinic closures around the country due to deceptive TRAP laws, Senator Kaine has co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that gives federal assurances that women will be able to access their constitutional right to abortion care regardless of what zip code they live in.
“In this country, we know that the vast majority of voters — 7 in 10 — believe abortion should be legal. Some of those voters are like Sen. Tim Kaine — personally opposed to abortion but also strongly believe that this is a personal issue and not one for politicians to meddle in. This is core part of what it means to be pro-choice — supporting everyone’s individual decision making.
“When he was governor, Tim Kaine took positions we disagreed with and actively campaigned against. We’re pleased that since then, his votes and public statements have been consistently in favor of trusting women to make our own decisions. And as with all of our allies, we weren’t afraid to voice disagreement with him then and we will not be afraid to disagree, if needed, with him as vice president.
“The adoption of a Republican Party platform that will rob women — half the population — of our fundamental rights and freedoms is a clear window into the frightening agenda that will make the Trump-Pence misogyny all too real for Americans.
“Secretary Clinton’s record as a champion on abortion access, reproductive freedom and policies that support women and families could not be more stellar. She has laid out a clear agenda of expanding fundamental freedoms through repeal of the Hyde and Helms amendments and has strongly advocated for women through expanded family planning and access to contraception, providing paid family leave and assuring robust pregnancy nondiscrimination. We trust Secretary Clinton would not select Senator Kaine, and Senator Kaine would not accept the position, if he could not fully support Secretary Clinton’s robust agenda when it comes to preserving and expanding reproductive freedom and justice.”
LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld:
“Awesome choice, Hillary! We’re thrilled that Hillary has picked Sen.Tim Kaine to be her running mate. As mayor, governor, and senator, he has a proven track record as an environmental leader who has worked to combat climate change, grow our clean energy economy and protect special places in Virginia and across the country. An environmental champion with an impressive 91 percent score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard, Senator Kaine is a fantastic addition to the presidential ticket. LCV Action Fund could not be more excited to help elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine the next president and vice president of the United States. Onward!”
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune:
“Secretary Clinton’s selection of Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate completes the strongest environmental ticket we’ve ever seen. Together, Clinton and Kaine will build on President Obama’s legacy to safeguard our climate, air, water, and public lands, protect the most vulnerable from environmental injustice, and continue the rapid expansion of our clean energy economy.
“The Democratic ticket is in sharp contrast to the Republican’s, which features not one but two climate deniers, a first in American history. The Trump-Pence regime would be the only world leaders to hold that position. Simply put, a Trump-Pence Presidency wouldn’t be the only “TPP” that would destroy our climate.
“A leader on climate and our environment, Senator Kaine fought against the now rejected Keystone XL pipeline and continues to work to expand America’s clean energy.
“The Sierra Club applauds Secretary Clinton’s selection of Senator Kaine as her running mate, and we will work tirelessly to elect them.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice: “From an immigration policy perspective, Sen. Tim Kaine has a stellar voting record. But his commitment to immigrant communities goes much deeper. In April, Kaine was one of the first senators to sit down with undocumented families eligible for executive action to learn about the issues firsthand at a “DAPA Dinner.” We commend Hillary Clinton for choosing a running mate who is a true champion for immigrants and an inclusive vision for America at a time when both are under threat.”
Pili Tobar, Advocacy and Communications Director for Latino Victory Fund: “Sen. Tim Kaine has a long history of fighting for justice, opportunity and equality. During his time in the Senate, he has worked to advance economic policies that would put more money in the pockets of hardworking Latino and American families. He has been a staunch advocate for a woman’s right to make her own health decisions, for legislation to combat climate change, and for immigration reform that will keep our families together and allow people to come out of the shadows and continue contributing to the country they love. Senator Kaine is no stranger to the Latino community — he spent time in Honduras running a technical Jesuit school, and throughout his career, as one of the few Spanish speakers in the Senate, he has consistently put emphasis on communicating with our community, hearing and addressing their concerns.
”We are proud to stand with the Clinton-Kaine ticket because they represent the values and policies that Latinos care about. Only Clinton-Kaine can move this country forward and ensure a prosperous future for our families, in which Latinos are treated with dignity and respect.”
”On behalf of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the 4.1 million Hispanic owned businesses we represent, we applaud Secretary Clinton’s decision to name United States Sen. Tim Kaine as her vice presidential choice. Our organization has followed the public service career of Sen. Kaine from his days as Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, to his days as lieutenant governor and governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. There is no doubt in our mind Sen. Kaine has the experience needed in a vice president.
“Getting elected to the Commonwealth of Virginia requires a strong record with the business community. On this measure, Sen. Kaine has passed with flying colors. In him we see a partner the business community can work with as he rolls up his sleeves to work with our next President of the United States.
“We call on our friends in the business community to listen carefully as Secretary Clinton and Senator Kaine make their case for the most important office in the land. We look forward to a spirited campaign worthy of this great nation. We wish the best of luck to the thousands of campaign staffers crisscrossing our beautiful country over the course of the next four months.”
“Tim Kaine has a background of steel — just ask the NRA,” said Hillary Clinton in introducing her vice presidential pick in Florida today. It was her first limelight moment since the Republican National Convention, and we’re encouraged that she used part of it to focus on gun control.
The nation desperately needs to hear an honest debate about gun control at the presidential level. Democrats and Republicans are worlds apart on the issue. We got a striking picture of where Republicans stand at their convention in Cleveland, where delegates toted firearms into the Quicken Loans Arena like little kids showing off their toys. The party’s platform not only ignores the nation’s mounting toll of horrific mass shootings, but also reads as if the National Rifle Association wrote it — which might very well be the case.
In addition to Clinton’s remarks today, there was more good news for gun-control advocates. A new Associated Press-GfK poll found support for restrictions on gun ownership now stands at a two-thirds majority — the highest level since the poll started asking the question in 2013, about 10 months after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
According to the new poll, majorities favor nationwide bans on semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines holding 10 or more bullets. By a 55 percent to 43 percent margin, respondents to the poll said laws limiting gun ownership do not infringe on the Second Amendment. Strong majorities from both parties said they support background checks for people buying firearms at gun shows and through private sales.
In addition, they back the commonsense banning of gun sales to people on the federal terrorist watch list.
But the poll also found widespread pessimism that elected officials will act. It’s incumbent on Clinton and other Democrats running for office in November to prove the public wrong. They must stand up forcefully and stand down the NRA’s propaganda machine.
The NRA maintains that more guns make people safer, but the opposite is true. The U.S. has more guns per capita than any other nation in the “developed” world and more firearm deaths per capita to show for all those weapons. Americans are 10 times likelier to be killed by firearms than citizens of any other developed nation, according to a study that appeared in the American Journal of Medicine. Yet Americans own virtually one gun for every man, woman and child in the country.
Recent gun-violence cases further undermine the NRA’s distortion. When a sniper opened fire on armed Dallas police officers earlier this month, their guns did nothing to protect them. But imagine how many more casualties there would have been if everyone in the crowd had been armed to the hilt and shooting willy-nilly to stop an assailant who was not even visible.
A gunman managed to kill three Baton Rouge police officers and wound three others, despite the fact that his victims were both armed and trained to use their weapons. An armed security guard was working at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando when 49 customers were killed. The guard exchanged fire with the attacker but to no avail. And officials said that more firearms in the nightclub would have resulted in more innocent deaths during the hysterical melee the first shootings triggered.
In all of those cases, the attackers had the advantages of surprise and powerful weapons. We can’t stop the former, but we can curb the latter with sensible gun restrictions. We need laws designed to benefit society rather than the profits of weapons and munitions manufacturers.
Americans don’t balk at the myriad other restrictions they live with, many of which are ridiculous and unfair. Citizens don’t become unhinged at having to undergo minor security checks to buy decongestants. They don’t send death threats to opticians in protest of bogus laws forcing contact lens wearers to undergo annual eye exams, whether they need them or not. Most citizens accept laws against littering, urinating on sidewalks and coming to a complete halt at stop signs even when no traffic is present.
Yet the NRA has trained millions of Americans to go full freak at potentially life-saving restrictions, such as preventing terrorists from buying assault weapons and prohibiting the sale of body-armor-piercing bullets. Obviously, sanity is being set aside when it comes to this issue and tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year as a result.
Beginning now, you must force candidates for offices at all levels to explain their positions on gun control. Let them know that in order to earn your vote, they must support sensible gun control that does not violate the 2nd Amendment but can reduce the shootings.
We’re finally in a place where Americans are fed up with the nation’s gun obsession. We have a presidential candidate who plans to challenge the NRA from the top of the ticket, but it’s up to voters to put pressure on local and state officials.
Together, let’s imagine a nation where we don’t awake every morning to headlines of another slaughter, where we don’t live every day with the fear that we — or someone we love — will be next. Then take that vision to your candidates and ultimately to the ballot box.
Delegates to the Democratic National Convention say Hillary Clinton’s choice of Tim Kaine for VP will appeal to moderates, but do little to soothe disenchanted Bernie Sanders supporters.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia received praise for his wide-ranging experience, even as many delegates acknowledged that he would not generate the level of enthusiasm or party unity as a progressive or first-ever Latino pick.
Sanders delegates in particular hoped for the selection of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who aligns more closely with Sanders on positions such as regulating Wall Street.
“People are going to discount Tim Kaine, and have in the past, and it’s going to be a lot more exciting than maybe what Bernie Sanders delegates will think,” said Katie Naranjo, a Clinton superdelegate from Austin, Texas.
She said Kaine may seem like a “conventional choice,” but he will balance the ticket well for the general election, as the Democrats take on billionaire Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Delegates this weekend are heading to Philadelphia for their convention that starts Monday, with those who support Sanders indicating uncertainty about embracing a Clinton ticket. Sanders endorsed Clinton earlier this month.
It “was a horrible pick,” Angie Morelli, a Sanders delegate from Nevada, said of Clinton selecting Kaine. “In a time when she is trying to cater to Sanders supporters, it was more catering to conservative voters and she’s not going to get any wave from it.”
Morelli said she’s bothered by Kaine’s association with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade pact that Sanders and Clinton say they oppose.
Dwight Bullard, a Florida state senator, said not one of the 70-plus Sanders delegates in his state including himself is happy with Kaine’s selection.
He worried the centrist choice could magnify progressives’ view that Clinton will backtrack on issues important to them, such as climate change and tuition aid for college students.
“If you bring in someone with great credentials, that’s fine, but inclusivity of the progressive agenda can be a more important message,” Bullard said.
Sanders delegates were mulling ways to show support for Sanders during the convention, such as a walkout after the roll call of states on July 26, according to excerpts of a Slack thread on July 22 obtained by The Associated Press.
But many others also said they wanted to get direction from Sanders, who was scheduled to meet privately with his delegates on July 25.
“Delegates are intensely discussing and considering options,” said Norman Solomon, a San Francisco delegate who called Kaine’s selection “unacceptable.”
Solomon leads the Bernie Delegates Network, a loose organization of more than 1,200 delegates.
Clinton settled on Kaine after vetting a diverse group of candidates that included Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and Labor Secretary Tom Perez. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of two black senators, also was considered.
Clinton delegate Roger Salazar of California said he had been rooting for Clinton to select U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Hispanic and one of the most powerful Democrats in the House.
But Salazar, a longtime party strategist, called Kaine “a pretty solid choice.”
Jocelyn Bucaro, an Ohio superdelegate and Clinton supporter, praised Kaine as someone who would appeal to a broad range of voters in swing states, including Republicans who are uncomfortable with Trump.
“The most important consideration is his ability to step in as president, and he clearly has the experience, knowledge, intelligence and temperament to do that,” Bucaro said.