Kaine: 'Elect Leaders Who Put Results Ahead of Ideology'
At Democratic National Convention, U.S. Senate candidate says voters face 'stark choice' at the poll.
Addressing a crowd Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine said there is a "stark choice" between Republican and Democratic leaders seeking election this November: those who want to push ideology and "wedge issues," and the latter, who have set goals and achieved them during their terms.
First using Virginia – which he called a purple state – as an example, Kaine rallied a convention hall full of delegates with Democratic success stories and Republican blunders.
“You know, a few years ago, very few imagined that Virginia would be a battleground state,” said Kaine, a former Virginia governor who is in a dead heat with fellow former Gov. George Allen in a race for the U.S. Senate. “Virginia had last voted for a Democrat for president in 1964 but in 2008 we proudly cast our electoral votes for President Obama.”
“When I was governor during the worst recession since the Great Depression, Virginia maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in America,” he said. “We kept our Triple-A bond rating."
“Over the last four years the GOP pushed ideology and wedge issues," he said. "Just last week, they passed a platform demanding privacy for Super PACs and denying privacy to women making health care decisions.”
Kaine carried the the comparison to the national stage as well.
“The other side fights to protect subsidies for Big Oil,” he said. “We want to invest in America’s small businesses. They want bigger tax cuts for those who need it the least. We want to invest in our communities – the roads, bridges and infrastructure that will make us more competitive. They want to slash education and training. We want to invest in our future.”
Kaine stressed Democrats – including President Barack Obama – were leaders who accomplished the goals they set out to achieve.
“[Obama] said he’d pass healthcare reform, and he did,” Kaine said. “He’s a tough leader who gets results … We’ve been through tough times, but we’re tough people. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”
Along with Kaine, other featured speakers Tuesday include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, First Lady Michelle Obama, former president Jimmy Carter and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.
Former president Bill Clinton will be a featured speaker Wednesday. President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will accept the party nomination in speeches Thursday.
Karen Goff contributed reporting for this story.