Clinton Picks Sen. Tim Kaine as Running Mate | NBC Chicago
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Clinton Picks Sen. Tim Kaine as Running Mate

Pundits and Kaine supporters have said the senator's experience and moderate positions make him an ideal choice

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine could be the next vice president of the United States. Hillary Clinton chose Kaine as her running mate, and Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey shows us what he brings to the table. (Published Friday, July 22, 2016)

    Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's pick to become the next vice president of the United States, Clinton told supporters Friday evening.

    Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said in a text message Friday evening she was "thrilled" to share that she has selected Kaine as her running mate. 

    His guiding principle is "the belief that you can make a difference through public service," Clinton's Twitter account said.  

    A steady Clinton surrogate in recent campaign appearances, Kaine was at a fundraiser in Newport, Rhode Island, Friday night when the announcement was made. He is honored to be Clinton's running mate, he tweeted soon after the news broke.

    "Can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow in Miami!" he said.

    Republican nominee Donald Trump sought to incite rage among Bernie Sanders supporters over Clinton's pick, tweeting that Kaine represents the opposite of what the Vermont senator stood for, "Philly fight?"

    In a series of tweets Saturday morning, Trump said Clinton didn't chose Sen. Elizabeth Warren because "she hates her," alleged Kaine is "owned by banks" and, citing the newly leaked DNC emails, said the party planned to "destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED." 

    The swing state's former governor, a current member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee, has the national security experience Clinton is said to have been seeking, observers said.

    Pundits and Kaine supporters have said the senator's experience and moderate positions make him an ideal choice.

    "Senator Kaine's judgment, experience and values make him an excellent complement to the Democratic ticket, and he will be a strong partner to President Hillary Clinton in the White House," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement Friday evening. 

    The former Virginia governor complements Clinton, Democratic donor Glen Fukushima told CNN.

    "He has a business sense and international experience [and] speaks Spanish, which are both pluses," he said. "He also has experience as a governor, which could complement Hillary's background."

    Kaine, 58, "has a lot going for him," Rep. Gerry Connolly told CNN.

    "He's Catholic, from a swing state, successful governor, speaks fluent Spanish, has political chops, was the head of the [Democratic National Committee]," he told the television network. "He provides a lot of talent to the ticket and could step in and could certainly be an heir apparent." Highlights From the 2016 Campaign TrailHighlights From the 2016 Campaign Trail

    "I can say there is no one of higher integrity and trustworthiness," said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

    "His experience, intellect and dedication to making life better for people from all walks of life will make him an enormous asset to Secretary Clinton throughout the remainder of this campaign and as a leader in her administration over the next four years," Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said. "This is a proud day for every Virginian."

    Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell expressed for Kaine while taking the opportunity to attack Clinton. 

    "His character makes it all the more surprising that he would sign up to defend Hillary Clinton for the next three-and-a-half months," he said in a statement. "However, Sen. Kaine's selection as the vice presidential nominee does not change that this election is ultimately a referendum on Secretary Clinton." 

    Kaine touts his work to reduce unemployment among veterans, to block any Iran nuclear weapons program, to recognize American Indian tribes in Virginia, to preserve Civil War battlegrounds and to improve access to job-training programs.

    Kaine, who attended University of Missouri and Harvard Law School, speaks Spanish fluently after taking a year off from attending Harvard to work at a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, his Senate website says.

    But critics have called Kaine a safe, even boring, running mate.

    When asked by Charlie Rose of PBS on Monday whether Kaine was a boring choice, Clinton said, “I love that about him.” 

    Kaine was even asked about being boring on NBC's "Meet the Press" in June, one of his highest-profile appearances in what was evidently his vetting process. Kaine brushed it off with a joke: "I am boring … but boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country."

    What Does Kaine Bring to the Table?
    Kaine, who was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, was first elected to office in 1994. He served as a city councilman and then was elected mayor of Richmond. He became lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2002, was inaugurated as governor in 2006 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. He serves on the aging, armed services, budget and Senate foreign relations committees. 

    Newsweek previously called Kaine "the conventional wisdom pick" for Clinton's running mate and tied his chances of being selected with those of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

    Kaine will not energize the party's progressive wing, however, Newsweek argued.

    "Kaine ... voted to fast-track President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move that angered most of the left. And his views on abortion are to the right of many Democrats: he’s a practicing Catholic who supported parental consent and informed consent laws in his state. And, Sanders aside, old white guys just don't excite voters like they used to," the publication wrote.

    Kaine is personally opposed to abortion but has said he is against overturning Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing the procedure. Beyond supporting requiring parental consent, he also was in favor of banning late-term abortions unless a woman’s life is at risk, and he has promoted abstinence-focused education to try to decrease the number of pregnancies that end in abortion. In the past, the state NARAL chapter refused to endorse him. 

    Kaine was on President Barack Obama’s short-list for vice president, according to Politico.

    He teamed up with Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona to introduce legislation to authorize military force against the Islamic State. Clinton Slams Trump's Business Record in Atlantic CityClinton Slams Trump's Business Record in Atlantic CityHillary Clinton slammed Donald Trump for bankrupting his Atlantic City Casinos on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, saying the next chapter of American history shouldn't include "chapter 11." (Published Wednesday, July 6, 2016)

    What Has Kaine Said About Wanting to Be VP?
    On Thursday in Virginia, Kaine had downplayed speculation he would be Clinton's pick. 

    "I'm in a little, momentary bubble of attention. It will be normal again," he told NBC Washington's David Culver

    In March, Kaine also demurred about whether he wanted to be vice president.

    "Well, I'm a happy senator and I like my job, and I'm not looking for another one, but, look, my best use is helping Secretary Clinton -- especially win Virginia," he said March 10 to a group of Hispanic and African-American publishers at the National Press Club.

    The senator echoed those comments on April 29, saying he would accompany Clinton at her inauguration as a senator, not as her vice president, Politico reported.

    "You know, I really love my job. I really do," Kaine reportedly said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe. "And I have a great feeling that I'm going to be on that podium with Hillary Clinton when she's taking the oath of office, but I'm going to be sitting with the other senators."