Monday, September 24, 2012

Tim Kaine cautiously optimistic as he rallies supporters in Roanoke

Tim Kaine energizes supporters at Roanoke headquarters.

The tight quarters of the Tanglewood West office proved too small for 100 supporters Saturday morning as the energized former Governor and DNC chair Tim Kaine ran through a list of his positions on the economy, sequestration, debt and the Affordable Care Act. Through it all he repeated the theme of compromise and “coming together.”

Councilman Sherman Lea introduced Tim Kaine saying “we are coming down the home stretch and this is the most watched Senate race in the country – we have the person to represent us in Governor Tim Kaine.”

Kaine said it has been 19 months on the campaign trail and “by this time you sort of run out of gas – it’s like hopping on a surf board and praying for a wave and I look at you and I’ve got my wave.” The crowd included former Delegate “Chip” Woodrum, Senator John Edwards, Mayor David Bowers and former candidate for attorney general Jody Wagner.

With $12 million of negative TV PAC ads aimed at  Kaine for the past 10 months the polls had George Allen and Kaine tied. Kaine’s positive campaign ads began running on August 23.  The most recent Washington Post poll has Kaine leading Allen 51 – 43. The negative PAC ads haven’t worked said Kaine. “I’m proud to say this because it says something about Virginians that three and one half weeks of positive ads have done what 10 months of negative couldn’t do. We’re finally starting to see a little bit of space.” Kaine said he is still going to run like the underdog until the last vote is counted.

The three main differences between Kaine and his Republican opponent George Allen boil down to three things: the economy, the budget and finding common ground.

Kaine claimed that Allen’s approach to the economy is to cut taxes and eliminate regulations. “That strategy put us into the economic tail spin we were in.” Taxes and regulations should be fair and balanced said Kaine. “There is not a tax or regulation you can cut that will provide one more student a high school diploma … a college degree … a dignified retirement.”

Investing in infrastructure is Kaine’s approach to the economy – road, bridges, rail and broadband internet. It is a two pronged approach – “you hire people to build today and enjoy the fruits of their labor for the next 60 years.”

The true job creators are not the Exxon Mobiles it’s small startup businesses. Growing the economy means investing in “brain power” said Kaine. He highlighted the Virginia Tech Medical school as an example. “We win the talent race – we win the economic race and level the playing field for small businesses.”

The budget is a “math problem,” said Kaine. Revenue isn’t covering spending by a long shot but “we can’t do it over night.” Kaine advocates for letting the Bush era tax cuts expire for those making over $500,000. He deviates from President Obama in that respect. Obama’s threshold is $250,000. His opponent wants to “start swinging and cut everything.” That approach will weaken our economy said Kaine.

Tim Kaine Supporters gather Saturday

Kaine advocates for negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to bring down the cost of Medicare. That elicited a round of applause from the seniors in the crowd. Kaine said Allen when he was in the Senate voted for the Medicare Drug pPan known as Part D that excluded price negotiations.

Kaine would eliminate $2.5 billion of oil company subsidies. “I don’t especially like paying at the pump and paying out of my taxes to companies that don’t need our help.”

Common ground – “If we have a perfect idea but nobody will work together what does it matter,” said Kaine. The veteran’s job bill that was filibustered in the Senate last week because Republicans didn’t want President Obama to have any kind of a victory to tout before the election.

The farm bill that dealt with drought relief and children’s nutrition passed with bipartisan support in the Senate but the Republican controlled House wouldn’t take it up before the election for the same reason he said.

Kaine brought up what George Allen said when he was governor of Virginia – “that his job and what he encouraged other Republicans do – was to enjoy knocking down Democrat’s soft teeth down their whiney throats.” That name-calling said Kaine is not the serious effort we need in Washington to solve problems.

“I’m not a name-caller – I’m not a divider. I’ll go to the Senate with a different attitude.” Senator Mark Warner and even former Republican Senator John Warner were moderates who built the bridges of compromise in Washington said Kaine. “We need more bridge builders.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2012, Elections, National, Politics

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