Kaine: 'Elect Leaders Who Put Results Ahead of Ideology'

At Democratic National Convention, U.S. Senate candidate says voters face 'stark choice' at the polls.

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.”

The full text of former Gov. Kaine's speech can be found below.

It’s great to be here, especially with my friends from Virginia! A few years ago, few imagined that Virginia would be a battleground state. Virginia had last voted for a Democrat for president in 1964, but we proudly cast our electoral votes in 2008 for President Obama. In 2006 and 2008, we elected two outstanding senators—Jim Webb and Mark Warner. And together, we’re going to win again in 2012!

How did Virginia go from red to purple? We did it with grassroots excitement and hard work. And we showed Virginians that Democrats get results. When I was governor, during the worst recession since the Great Depression, Virginia maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in America. We kept our AAA bond rating. We were named most business-friendly state, best managed state and best state to raise a child.

We cut billions from the state budget, while making critical investments in schools, roads and bridges. We worked with Democrats, Republicans and independents to get results.

Over the last four years, the GOP pushed ideology and wedge issues. Last week, they passed a platform demanding privacy for Super PACs and denying privacy to women making health care decisions. Meanwhile, Democrats fought for the middle class.

We cut taxes for 95 percent of American families. We went from 25 months of job losses to 29 straight months of private-sector job growth. The auto industry is back. Manufacturers are hiring again, but we’ve got to do more. And there’s a real choice.

The other side fights to protect subsidies for Big Oil. We want to invest in our small businesses. They want bigger tax cuts for those who need it 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 job training. We want to invest in our future.

There’s just as stark a choice when it comes to fixing our budget. The last time they were in charge, the other side turned a record surplus into a massive deficit with two wars, trillions in tax breaks, loopholes and entitlements they wouldn’t pay for. Now, they’re pushing budget-busting tax cuts and economy-busting spending cuts.

To pay for their plan, they’d slash middle-class tax breaks, raising taxes on the middle class. They’d turn Medicare into a voucher system. And rather than raise taxes on the wealthy by a single penny, they’d put thousands of defense jobs at risk. Let’s be clear: That’s not fiscally responsible. That’s fiscally reckless.

We can’t afford to try it again! We need to move forward, because while we’ve made progress, we still have a long way to go. We’ll only get there if we elect leaders who put results ahead of ideology.

I support President Obama, because he’s that kind of leader. He said he’d end the war in Iraq, and he has. He said he’d draw down troops in Afghanistan, and today every Virginia National Guard unit is home for the first time in a decade. He said he’d go after bin Laden and take out al-Qaida. He did, and a SEAL team earned our nation’s gratitude.

He said he’d pass health care reform, and he did. He promised he’d fight for equal pay for women, college affordability for students and fair treatment for LGBT Americans—and he’s kept his word. He’s a tough leader who gets results.

Next week, we commemorate the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Many Virginians lost their lives at the Pentagon that day and in the wars we’ve fought since. As governor, I went to funerals of Virginia Guard members. I know people who lost their kids and soldiers who returned, their lives forever changed. Their sacrifice reminds us we’re not Democrats or Republicans first. We’re Americans first.

We’ve been through tough times, but we’re tough people. Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. Let’s come together, show how tough we are and prove our best days will always be ahead of us.

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.

The official convention website can be found here.

Karen Goff contributed reporting for this story.

Barbara Glakas September 05, 2012 at 10:39 PM
.... continued... Allen voted four times to raise the debt limit. He voted four times to raise his own pay. He voted six times against any PAYGO restrictions (that is, financing expenditures with funds that are currently available rather than borrowed). He voted for a ton of earmarks, amounting to millions of dollars of spending. When he had the opportunity to make $1 Trillion in cuts on the first sequestration deal, Allen opposed it. Later on, he was one of a group of Republicans who attempted to hold the debt ceiling vote hostage as a way to supposedly leverage more cuts. As a result, the U.S. credit rating was downgraded, due to – according to S&P -- the uncertainty and lack of confidence created by the brinkmanship of national lawmakers. In short, George Allen doesn’t really make cuts. His record is a spending record. In my opinion, he has been fiscally irresponsible, voting to spend without any concern of how things will be paid for, leading to massive deficits. Allen talks like a fiscal conservative but he doesn’t govern like one. I prefer Kaine.
Kevin Chisholm September 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Of course, candidates should be judged by their history with regard to succeeding at managing – and these days on a Federal level that means reducing the costs of government. Also, Virginia has lost 40% of its manufacturing jobs since 2000. Those losses were during tenures of Republican and Democratic Governors. I am fiscally conservative and will support legislation to reduce Federal taxes overall. It doesn’t matter to me if that legislation originates from Republican or Democratic sponsors. Kevin Chisholm Candidate for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District www.chisholmforcongress.com
Scott September 06, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Mr Chisholm, the issue is not reducing Federal taxes. We've done enough of that without paying for the lost revenue in any meaningful way. The more important issue is long-term Federal spending. Any support you provide for reduced revenue should be paid for (and done honestly, not by some pie-in-the-sky economic idea that isn't rooted in reality) and written into the bill by the people proposing the revenue reduction.
Kevin Chisholm September 06, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Scott, I disagree. The one thing Washington can do that would help the average American is to reduce Federal taxes – and yes over the long haul. The other is to be honest with people and talk about real solutions to climate change. Generally speaking, we need to stop feeding the monster of lies such as: America needs to keep maintaining our huge military apparatus (of ships, planes, etc.). And Republicans are finally telling the “far right” to stifle it on abortion and other supposed family values that has been their broken record for years.
Amanda Bowen September 06, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Actually, the largest increases to the federal debt in the past 100 years have occurred under two specific administrations - Reagan and Bush II. So, Republicans can preach about not expanding the federal government all they want - but that is simply not true.
Lee Hernly September 06, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Amanda Bowen - The single largest increase to the public debt (not the overall debt) has come from the Obama administration. The Obama administration has piled on more the $6.4 trillion + to the public debt while the first 43 Presidents combined added $6.3 trillion. As John Adams said, facts are stubborn things.
Scott September 06, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Thank you for the reply. I agree with you that a tax cut would give some cash to those who pay Federal taxes but I'm concerned that we're merely deferring the pain. We're in a poor fiscal situation because our politicians are divorced from fiscal reality: cut revenues with no corresponding cut in spending. It's insane. As a voter, we're in dire need to courageous politicians who recognize the problem and develop a coherent set of plans to remedy the issue.
Barbara Glakas September 09, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Lee – About those debt “facts,” yes they can be stubborn things. For instance, there is gross debt and there is debt as a percentage of GDP. One way to put historical gross debt into perspective is this: From the year 2000 to the year 2008 (Bush’s term) the national debt went from $5T to $10T. And from the year 2009 to the year 2012 (Obama’s term), the debt went from $11T to $16T. So which President added the most debt? Also, the country experienced a much higher debt as a percentage of GDP during the Truman administration, when it was at about $120%.
Bob Bruhns September 10, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I see. In order to get Rail to Tysons, we had to wait ten MORE years, and now we are spending two times what the cost should be now, for premature rail clear into Loudoun County - when what we should have done was extend the Silver Line only to Tysons Corner, install Bus Rural Transit from there out west, and build up a transit corridor so that rail could be done the way it's supposed to be done, in about twenty years. $900 million would have gone much further that way. But instead, our so-called 'leaders' played every financial game, setting up an independent clown show at MWAA that ran costs up amazingly, thank you, and creating a bogus funding plan that will raise tolls so high that tens of thousands of drivers will flee from the toll road. Way too many of these drivers will not be taking the train - because the train only goes to certain places, and they need to go somewhere else. But the tolls will be so usurious that they will flee to the side roads to avoid bankruptcy in the post-2012 world of 'sequestration' and 'devolution' that will stress our regional economy very forcefully, and they will choke the side roads to an extent that has never been seen. You think it's bad now? Just wait. So: a double price for a premature project that we can't afford. Thank you so much, Mr. Kaine.
Kathy Keith September 10, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Another fact: Bush was in office 8 years. Obama has not hit four yet. Now who has added the most debt? At the rate he is going and with his spending plans,Obama will more than double the debt. And remember, we owe lots of it to China.
Locally Involved September 10, 2012 at 02:17 AM
@Thank you, Barbara. To elaborate, here are the numbers: In January 2001 when Bush Jr. took reins from Clinton. US debt stood at approx $5 triilion. Annual surplus was $500 billion. Ten year projected surplus - $5 Trillion. According to the projections, the US would have paid off all its obligations by the end of the last decade. In January 2009, after 8 years of Republican rule (6 of which Republicans controlled all two arms - all of congress and the White House). US debt stood at approx $10 trillion. Annual projected deficit $1.4 trillion. Ten year projected deficit - more than $10 Trillion. According to the projections, the US would remain in debt, indefinitely. The truth is simply this. The Republicans created a structural crises with their ill-informed tax cuts and health care market re-engineering of the early 2000. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. The GOP blew it. Now the policy to is take us back to what created this problem? No thank you. No way, no how.
Ann H Csonka September 10, 2012 at 02:46 AM
@Carole Sarkuti:"Kaine spent most of his term as Governor out of the State on Democrat Party business." You've been following too much GOP propaganda . . . even the same phrasing. Kaine's term as Governor was Jan 2006-Jan 2010. As DNC Chm Jan 2009-April 2011. That's ONE out of 4 years serving in both jobs – NOT "most of his term as Governor out of the State". Regarding the classic "tax and spend Dem" characterization -- that old saw is a joke, and informed people know it. There is not space to go into the profiles of which party taxes most and which spends most, but it's well-known that Pres. Bush gave tax cuts to the rich (that current Republicans in Congress will not allow to expire as the original act specified)…not to mention unfunded wars and other unfunded measures. So how much has Obama actually added to the debt? There are two answers: more than $4 trillion, or about $983 billion. The first answer is simple and wrong. The second answer is more complicated but a lot closer to being right. You will have to think to get this, but you can see a clear explanation at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/column-doing-the-math-on-obamas-deficits/2011/08/25/gIQALDBchQ_blog.html
Ann H Csonka September 10, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Perpetuating a myth-- @Rosalie: “If you want more debt ... vote dem.” Whoops – that’s backwards! My post at about 10:50 pm on Sunday Sept 9 has a link at the end: “Doing the math on Obama’s deficits“. Really read that article, because, in fact, Obama’s policies are reducing the debt. “For comparison’s sake, using the same method, beginning in 2001 and ending in 2009, George W. Bush added more than $5 trillion to the deficit. You can see the breakdown in the chart atop the post, or in a larger, more readable, chart here.” MYTH: “Democrats are big spenders”. Clear and simple REALITY: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiW5I95R5xg . WATCH IT & THINK FOR YOURSELF!
T September 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM
13 peer-reviewed studies show liberals and conservatives physiologically different. In the 13 peer-reviewed scientific studies summarized below, researchers found that liberals and conservatives have different brain structures, different physiological responses to stimuli, and activate different neural mechanisms when confronted with similar situations. Each entry below references the source document, and in most cases, a PDF of the study has been included. The studies are arranged from most recent to oldest. We included all the peer-reviewed studies on this subject which we could find. http://2012election.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004818 So you see this is a hopeless discussion.
Barbara Glakas September 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM
T -- Despite the studies you mentioned, I still think it is worth having these discussions. No doubt both Presidents (Bush and Obama) have added to the deficit, but to me there is a big difference in how and why that spending was made and the deficit was increased. Bush squandered our good Clinton–era economic position by participating in two unfunded wars, expanding Medicare without funding it, and allowing tax cuts when we couldn’t afford it. I believe we should have gone directly to Afghanistan after 9/11, and not gone to Iraq. The whole world would have been behind us and we would not have had to fund two a wars, essentially on our own. We should have found a way to fund the Medicare expansion when it was passed, maybe through some of the money we could have saved in tax cuts. We should not have kept extending the tax cuts, which were initially meant to be temporary. Obama has also spent a lot of money but, in my opinion, much of his spending has been directed at trying to keep our country from falling off the economic cliff, spending money to save the auto industry, spending money to extend unemployment relief, spending money on his job creation bill, etc. Like “Locally Involved” said above, I don’t want to go back to those old policies that got us into this mess to begin with.
Kathy Snu September 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM
It's old, but it still matters. George Allen's personal preference for whites will always be a problem: http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/blog/2005/05/george_allens_h.html
Rob Jackson September 10, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Ms. Glaskas, I agree Bush made some mistakes, but Obama's domestic policy record is a total failure and only Obama is up for reelection. Stimulus was directed at saving government jobs and not jump-starting the economy. I know two wireless broadband companies that have just about failed due to Obama's stimulus and its impacts on markets. Incomes are down; un- and under-employment is way up. Both Lincoln and FDR also borrowed extensively, but they had something to show for it. By the end of his 1st term, Lincoln had virtually won the Civil War, saved the Union and ended the filth known as slavery. By the end of this 3rd term, FDR had taken the U.S. from Pearl Harbor to the doorstep of victory in Europe as well as in the Pacific. Also, by the end of his 1st term, Reagan had broken the back of stagflation and the economy was booming. People were being hired and were receiving raises. By the end of his first term, Obama has not been able to do anything except pile up debt and pass a health care bill that even Jim Webb now thinks is a mistake. Obama is a total failure as president.
Barbara Glakas September 10, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Mr. Jackson, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. I have a hard time accepting some of your analogies. For instance, comparing Obama’s Presidency to Lincoln’s Presidency during the Civil War is a hard comparison to make. FDR accomplished the things you mentioned at the end of his third TERM. Obama hasn’t even gotten to the end of his 4th YEAR. And it was during Reagan’s term is that the deficits really started to get jacked up. Where was the concern about deficits then? And, again, we must ask ourselves, why does Obama need to spend all this stimulus money in the first place? (PS: Saving jobs does help jump-start the economy. People work, pay taxes, and have more money to spend on other things which, in turn, help spur growth in other market sectors). I know, I know – Bush is not running for President, Romney is. But the reason I keep harking back to Bush is because Romney’s direction seems to be very similar to Bush’s former direction: increase defense spending, cut taxes, don’t show how you can pay for your expenditures. Not to mention, I think it is pretty obvious that Romney will move us WAY backwards on civil right issues.
Barbara Glakas September 10, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I have to agree that Allen has a really bad record on civil rights.
Rosemont Rookie September 10, 2012 at 04:50 PM
If Mitt Romney thinks that he can run on a platform of broadening the tax base without ANY details of how this plan would actually be accomplished, there's no way he's getting my vote. I don't understand what he's afraid of. Elections don't work if voters don't get information on which to base their decision.
Ann H Csonka September 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I'm well aware of these studies. I bought a book a while back: "The Republican Brain", in hopes of better understanding and communication. Oh, well. It is also sad that, while millions are out of work and/or hungry, millions of ad-dollars and energies are being wasted by trying to influence the small percentage of undecided voters. I am not able to totally agreed with anything being "hopeless" -- well perhaps with the exceptions of George Allen and the R&R team. :-)
Mike September 10, 2012 at 06:48 PM
11 September 10, 2012 at 06:48 PM
You'll need to go back way further than Bush policies to root out the deficit problem. Both parties have been spending like drunken sailors since the 1940's. Neither party has a serious plan to subdue runaway spending in MediCare, Social Security and Defense - the three largest Fed spending categories.
Barbara Glakas September 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM
You can try Googling it. Heck, you can even go to Romney’s website and it is still short on details. As far as budget goes, Romney’s website talks about either maintaining or eliminating various taxes, but it doesn’t describe what loopholes he will close, which he frequently claims will pay for his budget. Most expert observers say there are not enough loopholes to pay for his plan. Even on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday, David Gregory asked Romney three times to identify specific loopholes that he would close, and Romney never did.
Keith Best September 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Here are the job numbers the media is not reporting about the August job numbers that just came out. This is what the media is telling you...and it's true. "The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%. 96,000 jobs created in August." Here are numbers they are NOT telling you: 1) 368,000 people STOPPED looking for work in August. Meaning they CANNOT be counted as unemployed. These people have no more unemployment benefits to claim and have realized there are zero jobs out there for them. If you were to re-calculate those numbers and include the people who are no longer looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 12%. This number does not include the UNDEREMPLOYED, or the people who have stopped looking for work over the past 3 years; that number would be an astonishing 23%. 2) 69% of men are working. Meaning 31% are not. The lowest % of working men since the 1940's. 3) The number of employed Americans is at the lowest number in the past 31 years. An incredible number considering there are more people now in the USA than there were in 1981. 4) A record high of 88,921,000 Americans whom are not in the civilian labor force. 5) Manufacturers have cut the most jobs in August than at anytime in the past two years. 6) The supposed "job growth" each month is LESS THAN the number of people LEAVING workforce every month. People leaving the work force CANNOT be counted as unemployed. Are these the results you want? Get America back on track. VOTE ROMNEY/ Ryan
V. Scheurich September 11, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Sorry............but this is how it is! Why I will "never" vote Democratic again! http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/48634
Ann H Csonka September 11, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I understand the serious and sincere anger over the union requirement in the RDP in a Right to Work state. However, this is "cutting your nose off to spite your face" -- it is one position, one mistake imho, by the DNC admins. That is not enough to "never" vote Democratic. Doing so gives away our nation, for which my relatives bled and died as they served. It gives away America to the Corporatocracy--the"companies are people" crowd, the out-of-touch special interests that will do away with so many of the things good people in America have workd sor generations to conserve: clean water and air, public lands owned by all of us not a few, freedom to not be totally enslaved by Wall Street and the petroleum industry and huge agribusiness. Not to mention the promises to get rid of EPA, Medicare, most science agencies--that are the incubators for new advances in many disciplines, and even privatize the nationa highway and rail systems. I'm so glad he put "never" in quotes.
Locally Involved September 11, 2012 at 05:24 PM
@Ann, agreed. In fact, FDR agrees with you, too! “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Kathy Keith September 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Kaine also appointed Martine to the MWAA board. Not only did he try to insist on using only companies with labor contracts in a "right to work" state, but he squandered MWAA money on "business" trips to Europe. He spent almost $10,000 on airfare alone on one trip--except he wasn't alone, MWAA also paid for a companion. And, now, he refuses to step down and is using MWAA money for legal fees. Great selection by Kaine! (not)
Lee Hernly September 11, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Ann & Locally Involved should see this video: http://youtu.be/_eTXdQTmOSg


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