The Pronk Pops Show 770, October 6, 2016, Part 2 of 2: Story 1: Leader and Winner Mild Mannered Mike Pence vs. Follower and Loser Crude Rude Tim Kaine — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 767: September 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 766: September 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 765: September 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 764: September 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 763: September 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 762: September 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 761: September 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 760: September 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 759: September 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 758: September 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 757: September 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 756: September 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 755: September 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 754: September 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 753: September 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 752: September 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 751: September 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 750: September 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 749: September 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 748: September 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 747: August 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 746: August 30, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 744: August 26, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 740: August 22, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 736: August 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 735: August 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 734: August 11, 2016

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Pronk Pops Show 732: August 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 731: August 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 730: August 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 729: August 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 728: July 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 727: July 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 726: July 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 725: July 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 724: July 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 723: July 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 722: July 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 721: July 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 720: July 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 719: July 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 718: July 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 717: July 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 716: July 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 715: July 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 714: July 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 713: July 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 712: July 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 711: July 1, 2016

Part 2 of 2: Story 1: Leader and Winner Mild Mannered Mike Pence vs. Follower and Loser Crude Rude Tim Kaine — Videos

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Pence edges Kaine in VP debate instant poll

Mike Pence scored a narrow win over Tim Kaine in the vice presidential debate Tuesday night,according to a CNN/ORC instant poll, with 48% of voters who watched the debate saying Pence did the better job while 42% think Kaine had the best night.

With two relatively unknown politicians taking the stage, those watching seemed more impressed by Pence than Kaine. About two-thirds of debate-watchers said Pence’s performance was better than they expected, just 14% said he did worse than they thought he would. Reviews of Kaine tilted toward the negative, with 43% saying he did worse than they expected and 38% saying he outperformed their expectations.
The debate itself focused more on the candidates at the top of the ticket than the two men on stage. Most debate watchers said Kaine did the better job defending Hillary Clinton, 58%, while just 35% thought Pence better defended Donald Trump.
Still, 29% of debate watchers said what they saw Tuesday made them more apt to vote for Trump, compared with 18% who said it made them more likely to back Clinton. Most debate watchers, 53%, said their vote was not swayed by Tuesday’s face off. After the first Clinton-Trump debate last week, 34% said it made them more apt to vote Clinton, 18% Trump.
Kaine’s performance fell short of Clinton’s on several other measures in the poll as well. Tuesday’s debate watchers were split on which candidate expressed his views more clearly, 47% named each, a metric on which Clinton soundly beat Trump in last week’s presidential debate.
And 48% said Kaine had a better understanding of the issues, edging out Pence at 41%. Clinton topped Trump by a better than 2-to-1 margin on that score after their first debate.
Kaine and Pence emerge from the debate with near identical and net-positive favorability ratings, but Kaine appears to have taken a hit among those who watched. Pence, meanwhile, boosted his numbers somewhat.
Pence was largely seen as the more likeable candidate on the stage, 53% to 37%, and nearly all of the movement in Kaine’s favorability rating post-debate was toward the negative side: His unfavorable rating rose from 28% among this same group of debate watchers when they were interviewed pre-debate to 40% after, while his favorability number held about even at 55%. For Pence, his favorability rating bumped up 7 points to 57%, from 50% pre-debate. His unfavorable numbers held about even 40%.
Both men are broadly judged qualified to take over the office of president if needed, 77% say Pence is qualified, 70% that Kaine is. Most voters who watched Tuesday night said Kaine’s positions on the issues are about right ideologically (57%) while 36% see him as too liberal and 5% too conservative. Assessing Pence’s positions, about half, 49%, think he’s about right, 46% too conservative and just 3% too liberal.
The CNN/ORC post-debate poll includes interviews with 472 registered voters who watched the October 4 vice presidential debate. Results among debate-watchers have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Respondents were originally interviewed as part of a September 28-October 2 telephone survey of a random sample of Americans, and indicated they planned to watch the debate and would be willing to be re-interviewed when it was over.

Mike Pence

Michael RichardMikePence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician, attorney, and the 50th Governor of Indiana. He is the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 presidential election.

After losing two bids for a U.S. congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Pence successfully ran for Congress in 2000 and represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district and Indiana’s 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, rising to the position of chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011.[1]

In 2012 Pence was elected the 50th Governor of Indiana. In the midst of a re-election campaign for governor, he dropped out in July 2016 to become the vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Pence is a conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party movement.[2][3]

Early life and career

Pence, born in Columbus, Indiana, was one of six children of Nancy Jane (née Cawley) and Edward J. Pence, Jr., who ran a string of gas stations.[4][5] His family were Irish Catholic Democrats.[6] He was named after his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, a Chicago bus driver and Irish immigrant, who came from County Sligo to the United States through Ellis Island.[7] His maternal grandmother’s parents were from Doonbeg, County Clare.[8][9]

Pence graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Hanover College in 1981, and a Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1986. While at Hanover, Pence joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, serving as his chapter’s president.[10] After graduating from Hanover, Pence was an admissions counselor at the college, from 1981 to 1983.[11]

After graduating from law school in 1986, Pence was an attorney in private practice.[12] After running unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he returned to his law practice. In 1991, he became the president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a self-described free-market think tank and a member of the State Policy Network.[13]

Pence left the Indiana Policy Review Foundation in 1993, a year after beginning to host The Mike Pence Show, a talk radio program based in WRCR-FM in Rushville, Indiana.[14][15] Pence called himself “Rush Limbaugh on decaf” since he considered himself politically conservative while not as outspoken as Limbaugh.[16] The show was syndicated by Network Indiana and aired weekdays 9 a.m. to noon (ET) on 18 stations throughout the state, including WIBC in Indianapolis.[14] From 1995 to 1999, Pence also hosted a weekend political talk show out of Indianapolis.[17][18]

U.S. House of Representatives

Pence as a U.S. Congressman

In 1988, Pence ran for Congress against Democratic incumbent Phil Sharp, but lost the election.[19] Pence ran against Sharp again in 1990, quitting his job in order to work full-time in the campaign, but once again lost the election.[19] During the race, Pence used “political donations to pay the mortgage on his house, his personal credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees and car payments for his wife.”[20] While the spending was not illegal at the time, it reportedly undermined his campaign.[20]

During the 1990 campaign, Pence ran a television advertisement in which an actor, dressed in a robe and headdress and speaking in a thick Middle Eastern accent, thanked his opponent, Sharp, for doing nothing to wean the United States off imported oil as chairman of a House subcommittee on energy and power.[20][21] In response to criticism, Pence’s campaign responded that the ad was not about Arabs; rather, it concerned Sharp’s lack of leadership.[20][21] In 1991, Pence wrote an essay, “Confessions of a Negative Campaigner”, published in the Indiana Policy Review, in which he apologized for running negative ads against Sharp.[16][20][22]

Mike Pence rejuvinated his political career by running for the U.S. House of Representatives again in 2000, this time winning the seat in Indiana’s 2nd congressional district after six-year incumbent David M. McIntosh opted to run for governor of Indiana. The district (renumbered as Indiana’s 6th congressional district beginning in 2002) comprises all or portions of 19 counties in eastern Indiana. As a Congressman, Pence adopted the slogan he had used frequently on the radio, describing himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”[23]

In his first year in office Pence established a reputation as one with strong convictions willing to go his own way. He opposed President George W. Bush‘s No Child Left Behind Act in 2001,[24] as well as President Bush’s Medicare prescription drug expansion the following year.[25] Pence was re-elected four more times by comfortable margins. In the 2006 and 2008House elections, he defeated Democrat Barry Welsh.

Pence began to climb the party leadership structure and from 2005 to 2007 served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans.[26] In November 2006, Pence announced his candidacy for leader of the Republican Party (minority leader) in the United States House of Representatives.[27] Pence’s release announcing his run for minority leader focused on a “return to the values” of the 1994 Republican Revolution.[28] However, he lost the bid to Representative John Boehner of Ohio by a vote of 168 for Boehner, 27 for Pence, and one for Representative Joe Barton of Texas).[29] In January 2009, Pence was elected as the Republican Conference Chairman, the third-highest-ranking Republican leadership position. He ran unopposed and was elected unanimously. He was the first representative from Indiana to hold a House leadership position since 1981.[1]

In 2008, Esquire magazine listed Pence as one of the ten best members of Congress, writing that Pence’s “unalloyed traditional conservatism has repeatedly pitted him against his party elders.”[30] Pence was mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for president in 2008[2] and 2012.[31] In September 2010, he was the top choice for president in a straw poll conducted by the Values Voter Summit.[32][33] That same year he was encouraged to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Evan Bayh,[34][35][36] but opted not to enter the race,[37] even after Bayh unexpectedly announced that he would retire.[38]

Governor of Indiana

2012 election

Governor Mike Pence speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 27, 2015

In May 2011, Mike Pence announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana in 2012.[39] Incumbent Republican Governor Mitch Danielswas term-limited. Despite strong name recognition and a popular outgoing governor of the same party, Pence found himself in a heated race, eventually pulling out a close win with just under 50 percent of the vote against Democrat John R. Gregg and Libertarian nominee Rupert Boneham.[40] Pence was sworn in as the 50th governor of Indiana on January 14, 2013.[41]

Fiscal and economic policy initiatives

Pence “inherited a $2 billion budget reserve from his predecessor, Mitch Daniels, and the state has added to that reserve under his watch, though not before requiring state agencies, including public universities, to reduce funding in years in which revenue fell below projections.”[42] The state finished fiscal year 2014 with a reserve of $2 billion; budget cuts ordered by Pence for the $14 billion annual state budget include $24 million cut from colleges and universities; $27 million cut from the Family and Social Services Administration; and $12 million cut from the Department of Correction.[43] During Pence’s term as governor, the unemployment rate reflected the national average.[44] Indiana’s job growth lagged slightly behind the national trend.[45] In 2014, Indiana’s economy was among the slowest-growing in the U.S., with 0.4% GDP growth, compared to the national average of 2.2%; this was attributed in part to sluggish manufacturing sector.[46] Carrier Corp. and United Technologies Electronic Controls (UTEC) announced in 2016 that they would be closing two facilities in Indiana, sending 2,100 jobs to Mexico; Pence expressed “deep disappointment” with the moves.[47][48] Pence was unsuccessful in his efforts to persuade the companies to stay in the state, although the companies agreed to reimburse local and state governments for certain tax incentives that they had received.[48][49]

In 2013, Pence signed a law blocking local governments in Indiana from requiring businesses to offer higher wages or benefits beyond those required by federal law. In 2015, Pence also repealed an Indiana law that required construction companies working on publicly funded projects to pay a prevailing wage.[50][51][52][53] Indiana enacted right-to-work legislation under Pence’s predecessor, Republican governor Mitch Daniels. Under Pence, the state successfully defended this legislation against a labor challenge.[51]

Pence made tax reform, namely a 10% income-tax rate cut, a priority for 2013.[54][55] While he did not get the 10% cut he advocated, Pence did accomplish his goal of cutting state taxes.[54] Legislators cut the income tax by 5% and also killed the inheritance tax.[54] Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said that the legislative package was the “largest tax cut in our state’s history, about $1.1 billion dollars.”[56] By signing Senate Bill 1, the state corporate income tax would be dropped from 6.5% to 4.9% by 2021, which would be the second-lowest corporate income tax in the nation[57]

On June 12, 2013, the Indiana Legislature overrode Pence’s veto of a bill to retroactively authorize a local tax. Lawmakers overrode Pence’s veto in a 68–23 vote in the House and a 34–12 one in the Senate.[58] With an interesting twist, Republican legislators overwhelmingly voted against Pence, while most Democrats supported his veto.[59] The Jackson–Pulaski tax fix, one of three bills vetoed by Pence during the session, addressed a 15-year-old county income tax which had been imposed to fund the construction of jail facilities with the stipulation that the tax be lowered by 1% after the first several years. The reduction was not implemented and thus county residents paid an additional 1% tax that they were legally not required to pay. The bill, which was passed by a huge majority of legislators and subsequently vetoed by Pence, allowed money to be kept and not returned to the tax payers as would have otherwise been necessary.[60][59]

As governor, Pence pressed for a balanced budget amendment to the state’s constitution. He initially proposed the initiative in his State of the State address in January 2015. The legislation passed the state Senate and is progressing through the House.[61] Indiana has had AAA credit ratings with the three major credit-rating agencies since 2010, before Pence took office; these ratings have been maintained throughout Pence’s tenure.[62]

In 2014, Pence supported the Indiana Gateway project, a $71.4 million passenger and freight rail improvement initiative paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the federal stimulus package), which Pence had voted against while a congressman.[63] In October 2015, Pence “announced plans to pay off a $250 million federal loan” to cover unemployment insurance payments that spiked during the recession.[42] In March 2016, Pence signed legislation to fund a $230 million two-year road-funding package.[42]

Education policies

During his tenure as governor, Pence supported significant increases in education funding to pre-schools, voucher programs, and charter schools, but frequently clashed with supporters of traditional public schools.[64][65] In 2014, a little over one year after taking office, Pence helped establish a $10 million state preschool pilot program in Indiana and testified personally before the state Senate Education Committee in favor of the program to convince fellow Republicans (several of whom opposed the proposal) to approve the plan.[64][65] Although the plan was initially defeated, Pence successfully managed to revive it, “getting Indiana off the list of just 10 U.S. states that spent no direct state funds to help poor children attend preschool.”[65] Demand for enrollment in the program “far outstripped” capacity, and Pence at first refused to apply for up to $80 million in federal Health and Human Services Preschool Development Grant program funding,[64] arguing that “Indiana must develop our own pre-K program without federal intrusion.”[66] After coming under sustained criticism for this position, Pence reversed course and sought to apply for the funds.[64][67]

In 2015, Pence secured significant increases in charter-school funding from the Legislation, although he did not get everything he had proposed.[65] Legislation signed into law by Pence in 2013 greatly increased the number of students in Indiana who qualify for school vouchers, making it one of the largest voucher programs in the United States.[68][69] [70][71] The annual cost of the program is estimated to be $53 million for the 2015-16 school year.[70][71]

Pence opposed the Common Core State Standards, calling for the repeal of the standards in his 2014 State of the State address. The Indiana General Assembly then passed a bill to repeal the standards, becoming the first state to do so.[64][65]

Despite successful advocacy for more funding for pre-schools, voucher programs, and charter schools, Pence has frequently clashed with teachers unions and supporters of public schooling.[64][65] In one of his first acts as governor, Pence removed control of the Educational Employment Relations Board, which is in charge of handling conflicts between unions and school boards, from Glenda Ritz, a Democrat who is the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction (a separately elected position in the state).[72] Pence created a new “Center for Education and Career Innovation” (CECI) to coordinate efforts between schools and the private sector; Ritz opposed the Center, viewing it as a “power grab” and encroachment on her own duties. Pence eventually disestablished the Center in order to help defuse the conflict.[64][65] In May 2015, Pence signed a bill stripping Ritz of much of her authority over standardized testing and other education issues, and reconstituting the State Board of Education dominated by Pence appointees.[73] The bill also allowed the board to appoint a chairman other than the Superintendent of Public Instruction starting in 2017, and added the State Board of Education (controlled by Pence) as a “state educational authority” along with the Department of Education (controlled by Ritz) for purposes of accessing sensitive student data.[73] Pence and Ritz also clashed over non-binding federal guidelines that advised Indiana public schools must treat transgender students in a way that corresponds to their gender identity, even if their education files indicate a different gender.[74]

Energy and environment

During Pence’s term in office, the Republican-controlled Indiana General Assembly has “repeatedly tried to roll back renewable energy standards and successfully ended Indiana’s energy efficiency efforts.”[75] Pence is an outspoken supporter of the coal industry, declaring in his 2015 State of the State address that “Indiana is a pro-coal state,” expressing support for an “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” and stating: “we must continue to oppose the overreaching schemes of the EPA until we bring their war on coal to end.”[75][76] In 2015, Pence sent a letter to President Obama denouncing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (which would regulate carbon emissions from existing power plans) and stating that Indiana would refuse to comply with the plan.[75][77] Indiana joined other states in a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the plan.[75] In 2016, Pence stated that even if legal challenges failed, Indiana would continue to defy the rule and would not come up with its own plan to reduce emissions.[78]

Gun policy

In 2014, over the opposition of Indiana school organizations, Pence signed a bill which allows firearms to be kept in vehicles on school property.[79] In 2015, following a shooting in Chattanooga, Pence recruited theNRA to train the Indiana National Guard on concealed carry. Some National Guard officials from other states questioned why a civilian organization would be involved in a military issue.[80] In May 2015, Pence signed into law Senate Bill 98, which limited lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers and retroactively terminated the City of Gary‘s still-pending 1999 lawsuit against gun manufacturers and retailers that allegedly made illegal sales of handguns.[81][82] The bill was supported by Republicans such as state Senator Jim Tomes, who hoped that the measure would attract more gun-related businesses to Indiana, but opposed by Gary mayor and former Indiana attorney general Karen Freeman-Wilson, who viewed the measure as “an unprecedented violation of the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of state government.”[82] In 2016, Pence signed Senate Bill 109 into law, legalizing the captive hunting of farm-raised deer in Indiana.[83]

Public health issues

Beginning in December 2014, there was an HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana.[84] In 2011, Planned Parenthood ran five rural clinics in Indiana. They tested for HIV and offered prevention, intervention and counseling for better health. The one in Scott County performed no abortions.[85] The Republican controlled legislature and Pence defunded Planned Parenthood.[86] Scott County has been without an HIV testing center for two years.[85] Pence had long been a vocal opponent of needle exchange programs, which allow drug users to trade in used syringes for sterile ones in order to stop the spread of diseases, despite evidence that such programs prevent the spread of AIDS and hepatitis C, and do not increase drug abuse.[84]

In March 2015, after the outbreak began, Pence allowed at least five counties to open needle exchanges, but has not moved to lift the state ban on funding for needle exchanges.[84] Critics say Pence’s compromise has been ineffective because counties had no way to pay for needle exchanges themselves. Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams defended Pence, saying that publicly-funded needle exchange programs are controversial in many conservative communities. In middle America, Adams said, you can’t “just point your finger at folks and say, ‘You need to have a syringe exchange and we’re going to pay for it with your tax dollars.’”[87]

In 2015, Pence and the Obama administration agreed to expand Medicaid in Indiana, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.[88][89] As part of the expansion, Pence negotiated modifications to the program for Indiana that included co-payments by participants. The co-payments are linked to healthy behaviors on the part of the participants, so that, for example, a participant who quit smoking would receive a lower co-payment. Participants can lose benefits for failing to make the payments.[90]


See also: Indiana SB 101

Mike Pence addressing supporters at a church service at the Living Word Bible Church.

Despite several successful policy initiatives, Pence found himself in several high profile controversies, including some that brought national attention. On March 26, 2015, Pence signed Indiana Senate Bill 101, also known as the Indiana “religious objections” bill (Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA), into law.[91] The law’s signing was met with widespread criticism by people and groups who felt the law was carefully worded in a way that would permit discrimination against LGBT persons.[92][93][94][95] Such organizations as the NCAA, the gamer convention Gen Con, and the Disciples of Christ spoke out against the law. Apple CEO Tim Cook and CEO Marc Benioff condemned the law, with saying it would halt its plans to expand in the state.[96][97] Angie’s List announced that they would cancel a $40 million expansion of their Indianapolis based headquarters due to concerns over the law. The expansion would have moved 1000 jobs into the state. The mayors of San Francisco and Seattle banned official travel to Indiana.[98] Thousands protested against the policy.[92] Five GOP state representatives voted against the bill, and Greg Ballard, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, criticized it as sending the “wrong signal” about the state.[99]

Pence defended the law, stating that it was not about discrimination. In an appearance on the ABC News program This Week with George Stephanopoulos,[100] Pence stated, “We are not going to change this law”, while refusing to answer whether examples of discrimination against LGBT people given by Eric Miller of anti-LGBT group Advance America would be legal under the law.[101] Pence denied the law permitted discrimination and wrote in a March 31, 2015, Wall Street Journal op-ed, “If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore. As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it.”[102] In the wake of the backlash against the RFRA, on April 2, 2015, Pence signed legislation revising the law to prevent potential discrimination.[103]

Another controversy arose in March 2016 when Pence signed into law H.B. 1337, a controversial bill that both banned certain abortion procedures and placed new restrictions on abortion providers. The bill banned abortion if the reason for the procedure given by the pregnant person was the fetus‘ race or gender or a fetal abnormality. In addition, the bill required that all fetal remains from abortions or miscarriages at any stage of pregnancy be buried or cremated, which according to the Guttmacher Institute is not currently required in any other state.[104][105][106] The law was described as “exceptional for its breadth”; if implemented, it would have made Indiana “the first state to have a blanket ban on abortions based solely on race, sex or suspected disabilities, including evidence of Down syndrome.”[105] Days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking the bill from taking effect, with U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt determining that the bill was likely to be unconstitutional and that the State of Indiana would be unlikely to prevail at trial.[105]

In June 2013, Pence was criticized for deleting comments of others posted on his official government Facebook page; he apologized.[107]

Pence at the 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis, 2015

On January 26, 2015 it was widely reported that Pence had planned to launch a state-run, taxpayer-funded news service for Indiana.[108] The service, called “JustIN”, was to be overseen by a former reporter for The Indianapolis Star, and would feature breaking news, stories written by press secretaries, and light features.[108] At the time, it was reported that the two employees who would run the news service would be paid a combined $100,000 yearly salary.[108] The target audience was small newspapers that had limited staff, but the site would also serve to communicate directly with the public. The publisher of the Commercial Review of Portland, Indiana, said, “I think it’s a ludicrous idea … the notion of elected officials presenting material that will inevitably have a pro-administration point of view is antithetical to the idea of an independent press.”[108] There was speculation that the news service would publish pro-administration stories that would make Pence look good in the event of a presidential run.[109]

According to the Associated Press, the idea “of stories prewritten for the media set off a wave of criticism from journalists around the country, who likened the Indiana endeavor to state-run media in Russia and China. Headlines like ‘Pravda in the Plains’ accompanied calls for Pence to scrap the idea.”[110] David A. Graham of The Atlantic regarded the announcement of JustIN as evidence of a disturbing changing trend in how the public gets news.[111] After a week or so of controversy about the idea, Pence scrapped the idea saying, “However well-intentioned, after thorough review of the preliminary planning and careful consideration of the concerns expressed, I am writing you to inform you that I have made a decision to terminate development of the JustIN website immediately.”[112]

As governor, Pence attempted unsuccessfully to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in Indiana.[113] In February 2016, a federal judge ruled that Pence’s order to cut off federal funds for a local non-profit refugee resettlement agency was unconstitutional; Pence has appealed.[113] In December 2015, Pence stated that “calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional”.[114]

Re-election campaign and withdrawal

Pence ran for a second term as governor. He was unopposed in the May 3, 2016, Republican primary for governor. He was to face Democrat John R. Gregg, former speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, in a rematch of the 2012 race. However, Pence filed paperwork ending his campaign on July 15, 2016, as Trump announced his selection of Pence as his vice presidential running mate.[115]

2016 vice presidential campaign

Pence at a town hall and campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

Pence endorsed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.[2]

Donald Trump considered naming Pence as his vice presidential running mate along with other finalists including New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. The Indianapolis Star reported July 14 that Pence would end his re-election campaign and accept the Republican vice presidential nomination instead.[116] This was widely reported on July 14, 2016. The following day, Trump officially announced on Twitter that Pence would be his running mate.[117][118][119]

Immediately after the announcement, Pence said that he was “very supportive of Donald Trump’s call to temporarily suspend immigration from countries where terrorist influence and impact represents a threat to the United States”.[120] Pence said that he was “absolutely” in sync with Trump’s Mexican wall proposal, stating that Mexico is “absolutely” going to pay for it.[121]

According to a FiveThirtyEight rating of candidates’ ideology, Pence is the most conservative vice-presidential candidate in the last forty years.[122]

Pence has stated that his role model as vice president would be Dick Cheney.[123]

During Pence’s preparations for the vice presidential debate in October 2016, Scott Walker played the role of Tim Kaine.[124] (In Kaine’s own debate prep, Robert Barnett was selected to play Pence).[125]


Pence was the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans, from 2005 to 2007.[126]

His committee assignments in the House were the following:

While in Congress, Pence belonged to the Tea Party Caucus.[133]

During Pence’s twelve years in the House, he introduced 90 bills and resolutions; none became law.[134]

Abortion and Planned Parenthood

Pence began seeking to defund Planned Parenthood in 2007,[135] by introducing legislation aimed at preventing any organization that provides abortion services from receiving Title X funding.[136]

Birthright citizenship

In 2009, Pence opposed birthright citizenship (the legal principle set forth by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”). He co-sponsored a bill that would have limited citizenship to children born to at least one parent who is a citizen, immigrants living permanently in the U.S. or non-citizens performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.[137]

Campaign finance

Pence praised the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission when it was announced. Pence said:

Freedom won today in the Supreme Court. Today’s ruling in the Citizens United case takes us one step closer to the Founding Fathers’ vision of free speech, a vision that is cherished by all Americans and one Congress has a responsibility to protect. If the freedom of speech means anything, it means protecting the right of private citizens to voice opposition or support for their elected representatives. The fact that the court overturned a 20-year precedent speaks volumes about the importance of this issue.[138]

Pence described the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, known as McCain–Feingold, which regulates the financing of political campaigns, as “oppressive restrictions on free speech.”[139]


Then-U.S. Representative Pence (third from left) standing behind then-governor Mitch Daniels at a 2008 press conference in Martinsville, Indiana

Pence was a supporter of earmark reform. He voted against the $139.7 billion Transportation-Treasury spending bill in June 2006, and in favor of a series of amendments proposed that same month by Jeff Flake which would strip other members’ earmarks from the federal budget.[140] On occasion, however, Pence secured earmarks for projects in his district.[140]


Pence was a co-sponsor of H.J.Res.73, a 2011 spending limit amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment would limit federal spending to “the average annual revenue collected in the three prior years, adjusted in proportion to changes in population and inflation.”[141] In regards to adopting the gold standard, Pence stated in 2011, “the time has come to have a debate over gold and the proper role it should play in our nation’s monetary affairs”.[142] Pence proposed legislation to end the dual mandate of the Federal Reserve (maximizing employment and stabilizing prices), requiring the Fed to just focus on price stability and not full employment.[143][144]

He has been a proponent of a flat federal tax rate.[145] Pence opposed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) (the “Wall Street bailout”) of 2008.[145] Pence also opposed the auto industry rescue package of 2008–09, which guided General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy.[146]

In 2007, Pence voted against the raising of the federal minimum wage to $7.25 (from $5.15) an hour over two years, stating that it would “hurt the working poor.”[50]

While in the House, Pence voted against the Employee Free Choice Act (“card check“).[51]

He voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[147] He had publicly opposed the bill[148] denouncing it as a failure, and called for a federal spending freeze.[149] Nevertheless, several months after voting against the bill, Pence privately sought $6 million in stimulus funds for projects in his district,[150] and in 2010, hosted a job fair for stimulus-backed employers.[151] A Pence spokesperson stated “… once it became law, he had a responsibility to support local efforts to secure funding for projects that could benefit people in his district.”[150]

Pence voted against the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[152]


Pence voted against the No Child Left Behind Act.[153]

Energy and environment

While in the House, Pence “voted to eliminate funding for climate education programs and to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.”[75] Pence also “repeatedly voted against energy efficiency and renewable energy funding and rules” and voted “for several bills that supported fossil fuel development, including legislation promoting offshore drilling.”[75] The League of Conservation Voters, an environmentalist group, gave Pence a lifetime rating of 4 percent.[75]

Climate change

Pence “does not accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change.”[154] In 2001, Pence wrote in an op-ed that “Global warming is a myth,”[155] saying that “the earth is actually cooler today than it was about 50 years ago”.[156] In 2006 and 2009, Pence expressed the view that it was unclear whether climate change was driven by human activity, and in 2009 he told political commentator Chris Matthews that there was a “growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming”.[157][158]

In 2009, Pence led the Republican effort to defeat the American Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey), a Democratic-backed bill to cut greenhouse gas emissions (and therefore combat climate change) through a cap-and-trade system.[154]

On September 27, 2016, however, Pence said “there’s no question” that human activity affects both the climate and the environment,[159][160] while defending Trump’s position on the matter.[161]

Crime and drug policy

Pence has questioned proposals to decrease penalties for low-level marijuana offenses in Indiana, saying that the state should focus “on reducing crime, not reducing penalties.”[162] In 2013, Pence expressed concern that a then-pending bill to revise the state’s criminal code was not tough enough on drug crimes, and successfully lobbied to limit the reduction in sentencing of marijuana offenses.[163]

In 2016, Pence signed into law a measure that reinstated a ten-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for certain drug offenders.[164][165]

During 2014, Governor Pence sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder which said that Indiana would not comply with federal prison rape elimination standards because they were too expensive. According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, it would cost the state $15–20 million annually to comply with the guidelines. Pence said that a number of rape prevention measures had already been implemented.[166]

In 2015, Pence signed Senate Bill 94, which lengthened the statute of limitations for rape — continuing for five years after sufficient DNA evidence is uncovered, enough recorded evidence is brought forth or discovered, or the offender confesses to the crime.[167] Pence also signed Senate Bill 8, allowing the death penalty for beheadings was allowed if the victim was alive at the time of the offense.[167]

Foreign policy

Pence supported the Iraq War Resolution, which authorized military action against Iraq.[168]

During the Iraq War, Pence opposed setting a public withdrawal date from Iraq. During an April 2007 visit to Baghdad, Pence and John McCain visited Shorja market, the site of a deadly attack in February 2007, that claimed the lives of 61 people. Pence and McCain described the visit as evidence that the security situation in Iraqi markets had improved.[169] The visit to the market took place under tight security, including helicopters overhead, and the New York Times reported that the visit gave a false indication of how secure the area was because of the extremely heavy security forces protecting McCain.[170]

Pence chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and was a prominent supporter of George W. Bush’s Iraq War troop surge of 2007. At the time, Pence stated that “the surge is working” and defended the initial decision to invade in 2003.[168]

Pence has opposed closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and trying the suspected terrorists in the U.S.[171] As an alternative, Pence has said that the “enemy combatants” should be tried in a military tribunal.[171]

Pence has stated his support of Israel and its right to attack facilities in Iran to prevent the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons, has defended the actions of Israel in its use of deadly force in enforcing the blockade of Gaza, and has referred to Israel as “America’s most cherished ally”.[172] He visited Israel in 2014 to express his support, and in 2016 signed into law a bill which would ban Indiana from having any commercial dealings with a company that boycotts Israel.[173]

Two weeks prior to the NATO intervention in Libya, Pence thanked the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their efforts to isolate the Gaddafi regime.[174][175][176] Pence expressed support for “a no-fly zone” and stated that “Gaddafi must go.”[174][175][176]


Pence is an advocate of federal restrictions of online gambling. In 2006, he was one of 35 cosponsors of H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte–Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act,[177] and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[178]

Health care

Pence voted against the act that created Medicare Part D, a Medicare prescription-drug benefit.[179]

Pence voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[180] In June 2012, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in NFIB v. Sebelius, Pence likened the ruling to the September 11 terrorist attacks in a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference. He immediately apologized for making the statement.[181]


In 2000, Pence stated “Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexuals as a ‘discrete and insular minority‘ entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.”[182] He called for “an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus” and instead advocated for resources to be directed toward conversion therapy programs, “[for] those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”[183][184][185][186]

Pence has said that homosexuals should not serve in the military, saying, “Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion.”[187] Pence opposed the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell, saying in 2010 that allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military would “have an impact on unit cohesion.”[187][188]

In 2007, Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[189]

Pence opposed the 2009 Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act,[190] saying that Barack Obama wanted to “advance a radical social agenda”[191] and said that pastors “could be charged or be subject to intimidation for simply expressing a Biblical worldview on the issue of homosexual behavior.”[192]

Pence opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions.[193] While in the House, he said that “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family”.[194] He has advocated a constitutional same-sex marriage ban but did not champion such a proposed ban for his first year as governor.[195]


In June 2006, Pence unveiled an immigration plan (which he described as “No Amnesty Immigration reform”) that would include increased border security, followed by strict enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and a guest worker program. This guest worker program would have required participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job placement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for the job.[196] The plan received support from conservatives such as Dick Armey,[197] but attracted criticism from other conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly, Richard A. Viguerie, and Pat Buchanan, who viewed Pence as lending “his conservative prestige to a form of liberal amnesty.”[7][198]

In 2010, Pence voted against the DREAM Act, which would grant the undocumented children of illegal immigrants conditional non-immigrant status if they met certain requirements.[199] In 2010, Pence stated thatArizona S.B. 1070, which at the time of passage in 2010 was the U.S.’s broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration legislation, was “a good faith to try and restore order to their communities”.[200]

Patriot Act

Further information: History of the Patriot Act

Pence supported the USA Patriot Act on its passage in 2001,[201] and in 2005 called the act “essential to our continued success in the war on terror here at home.”[202] Pence was a sponsor of legislation in 2009 to extend three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act (the library records provision, the roving-wiretap provision, and the lone-wolf provision) for an additional ten years.[203]


Embryonic stem cell research

Pence opposed President Obama’s executive order eliminating restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research. Pence stated, “I believe it is morally wrong to create human life to destroy it for research… I believe it is morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans.”[204][205] He asserted that “scientific breakthroughs have rendered embryonic stem-cell research obsolete”.[204][205]


When asked if he accepts evolution, Pence answered “I believe with all my heart that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them. How he did that I’ll ask him about some day.”[158][205] In a 2002 statement on the floor of the House (reported in the Congressional Record), Pence told his colleagues “… I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”[206]


In 2001, Pence wrote an op-ed arguing against the tobacco settlement and tobacco regulation, saying that they would create “new government bureaucracies” and encroach on private lives. He stated that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”[84][207] Pence asserted, “2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer,” while acknowledging that “smoking isn’t good for you” and people who smoke should quit.[84][207]

In 2009, Pence voted against the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which allows the FDA to regulate tobacco products.[208] According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pence’s state of Indiana has one of the worst smoking problems in America.[205]

Sex education

In 2002, Pence criticized a speech by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell where Powell stated that it was “important for young people… to protect themselves from the possibility of acquiring any sexually transmitted disease” through the use of condoms.[209][210] Pence called Powell’s comments a “sad day” and expressed his support for abstinence education.[209][210] Pence asserted that “condoms are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases” and that Powell was “maybe inadvertently misleading millions of young people and endangering lives”.[209][210]

Social Security

Pence supported President George W. Bush’s unsuccessful 2005 proposal to partially privatize Social Security[211] by allowing workers to invest part of their Social Security payroll taxes in private investment accounts and reduce the increase in benefits for high-income participants.[212] Pence had previously proposed a similar but more aggressive reform plan than Bush’s.[212]

When asked in 2010 if he would be willing to make cuts to Social Security, Pence answered, “I think everything has to be on the table.”[212] When asked if he would raise the retirement age, he said, “I’m an all-of-the-above guy. We need look at everything on the menu.”[212]

Trade deals

Pence “has been a longtime, aggressive advocate of trade deals” between the U.S. and foreign countries.[213] Pence is a supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),[213] and during his tenure in the House, he voted for every free-trade agreement that came before him.[214] Pence voted in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA); in favor of keeping the U.S. in the World Trade Organization; and in favor of permanent normal trade relations with China.[214] Pence also supported bilateral free-trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, Panama, Peru, Oman, Chile and Singapore.[214]Pence’s strong stance in favor of free trade sharply differs from the stance of his running mate Trump, who has condemned globalization and the liberalization of trade.[213][214]

Pence voted against the Trade and Globalization Act of 2007, which would have expanded trade adjustment assistance to American workers adversely affected by globalization.[215] However, in 2014 Pence called for the “swift adoption” of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), urging Indiana’s congressional delegation to support the trade deal.[213]

Personal life

Pence, and his wife, Karen, speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Pence and his wife Karen Pence have been married since 1985. They have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.[216][217] During his service in the U.S. House, the Pence family lived in Arlington, Virginia, when Congress was in session.[5] Michael Pence’s son is a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.[218]

Pence was raised in a Catholic family, serving as an altar boy and attending parochial school.[23][219] Pence became a born-again Christian in college, while a member of anondenominational Christian student group in college, identifying his freshman year—and specifically “a Christian music festival in Asbury, Ky., in the spring of 1978″[220]—as the moment he made a “commitment to Christ.”[23][219] After that point, however, Pence continued to attend Mass (where he met his wife) and was a Catholic youth minister.[219]Pence called himself Catholic in a 1994 news piece, although by 1995, Pence and his family had joined an evangelical megachurch, the Grace Evangelical Church.[23][219] In 2013, Pence said that his family was “kind of looking for a church.”[23] Pence has described himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” and as “a born-again, evangelical Catholic.”[23][219]

Electoral history

U.S. House of Representatives


Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District Election (1988)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Philip R. Sharp 116, 915 53.20
Republican Mike Pence 102, 846 46.80
Total votes 219, 761 100.00
Voter turnout  %



Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District Election (1990)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Philip R. Sharp 93,495 59.37
Republican Mike Pence 63,980 40.63
Total votes 157,475 100.00
Voter turnout  %



Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District Election (2000)[223]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 106,023 50.87
Democratic Robert Rock 80,885 38.81
Independent William “Bill” Frazier 19,077 9.15
Libertarian Michael E. Anderson 2,422 1.16
Total votes 208,407 100.00
Voter turnout  %


Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2002)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 118,436 63.79
Democratic Melina Ann Fox 63,871 34.40
Libertarian Doris Robertson 3,346 1.80
Total votes 185,653 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2004)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 182,529 67.09
Democratic Melina Ann Fox 85,123 31.29
Libertarian Chad (Wick) Roots 4,397 1.62
Total votes 272,049 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Election (2006)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 52,188 86.13
Republican George Holland 8,406 13.87
Total votes 60,594 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2006)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 115,266 60.01
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 76,812 39.99
Total votes 192,078 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2008)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 180,549 63.96
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 94,223 33.38
Libertarian George T. Holland 7,534 2.67
Total votes 282,306 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold


Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2010)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 126,027 66.57
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 56,647 29.92
Libertarian Talmage “T.J.” Thompson, Jr. 6,635 3.51
Total votes 189,309 100.00
Voter turnout 41%
Republican hold

Governor of Indiana


Republican Indiana gubernatorial election primary in Indiana, 2012[224]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 554,412 100.00
Total votes 554,412 100.00
2012 Indiana gubernatorial election[225]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Pence / Sue Ellspermann 1,264,877 49.62% -8.22%
Democratic John Gregg / Vi Simpson 1,183,213 46.42% +6.38%
Libertarian Rupert Boneham / Brad Klopfenstein 101,028 3.96% +1.84%
No party Donnie Harold Harris / George Fish (write-in) 34 0%
Margin of victory 81,664 3.20% -14.61%
Turnout 2,549,152 57.81% -2.08%
Republican hold Swing

Conservative Review – Scorecard

Senator Tim Kaine D VA F 0% 4 2018

Tim Kaine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Tim Kane.
Tim Kaine
Tim Kaine, official 113th Congress photo portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from Virginia
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Serving with Mark Warner
Preceded by Jim Webb
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
In office
January 21, 2009 – April 5, 2011
Preceded by Howard Dean
Succeeded by Donna Brazile (interim)[1]
70th Governor of Virginia
In office
January 14, 2006 – January 16, 2010
Lieutenant Bill Bolling
Preceded by Mark Warner
Succeeded by Bob McDonnell
38th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 12, 2002 – January 14, 2006
Governor Mark Warner
Preceded by John Hager
Succeeded by Bill Bolling
76th Mayor of Richmond
In office
July 1, 1998 – September 10, 2001
Preceded by Larry Chavis
Succeeded by Rudy McCollum
Member of the Richmond City Council
from the 2nd District
In office
July 1, 1994 – September 10, 2001
Preceded by Benjamin P.A. Warthen
Succeeded by William J. Pantele
Personal details
Born Timothy Michael Kaine
February 26, 1958 (age 58)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anne Holton (m. 1984)
Children 3
Residence Richmond, Virginia
Alma mater

Timothy MichaelTimKaine (born February 26, 1958) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Virginia. A Democrat, Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2012 and is the nominee of his party for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 election.

Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Kaine grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, graduated from the University of Missouri, and earned a law degree from Harvard Law Schoolbefore entering private practice and becoming a lecturer at the University of Richmond School of Law. He was first elected to public office in 1994, when he won a seat on the Richmond, Virginia, City Council. He was then elected Mayor of Richmond in 1998, serving in that position until being elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2001. Kaine was elected Governor of Virginia in 2005, serving from 2006 to 2010. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011.

On July 22, 2016, Hillary Clinton announced that she had selected Kaine to be her vice presidential running mate in the 2016 presidential election, and the 2016 Democratic National Convention nominated him on July 27.

Early life

Kaine was born at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the eldest of three sons[2][3] born to Mary Kathleen (née Burns), a home economics teacher, and Albert Alexander Kaine, Jr., a welder and the owner of a small iron-working shop.[3][4][5] He was raised Catholic.[3] One of Kaine’s great-grandparents was Scottish and the other seven were Irish.[4][6][7] Kaine’s family moved to Overland Park, Kansas, when Kaine was two years old, and he grew up in the Kansas City area.[8] In 1976, he graduated from Rockhurst High School, a Jesuit all-boys preparatory school in Kansas City, Missouri.[2][9] At Rockhurst, Kaine joined the debate team and was elected student body president.[3]

Kaine received his B.A. in economics from the University of Missouri in 1979, completing his degree in three years and graduating summa cum laude.[2][3] He was a Coro Foundation fellow in Kansas City in 1978.[10] He entered Harvard Law School in 1979, interrupting his law studies after his first year to work in Honduras[11][12][a] for nine months from 1980 to 1981, helping Jesuit missionaries who ran a Catholic school in El Progreso.[8][15] While running a vocational center that taught carpentry and welding, he also helped increase the school’s enrollment by recruiting local villagers.[3] Kaine is fluent in Spanish as a result of his year in Honduras.[15]

After returning from Honduras, Kaine met his future wife, first-year Harvard Law student, Anne Holton.[3] He graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. degree in 1983.[16] Kaine and Holton moved to Holton’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia, after graduation,[3] and Kaine was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1984.[9]

Legal career and Richmond City Council

After graduating from law school, Kaine served as law clerk to Judge R. Lanier Anderson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Macon, Georgia.[9] Kaine then joined the Richmond law firm of Little, Parsley & Cluverius, P.C.[9] In 1987, Kaine became a director with the law firm of Mezzullo & McCandlish, P.C.[9]Kaine practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in fair housing law and representing clients discriminated against on the basis of race or disability.[17] He was a board member of the Virginia chapter of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, which he represented in a landmark redlining discrimination lawsuit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. arising from the company’s practices in Richmond.[18][19] Kaine won a $100.5 million verdict in the case; the judgment was overturned on appeal, and Kaine and his colleagues negotiated a $17.5 million settlement.[19]

Kaine did regular pro bono work.[18] In 1988, Kaine started teaching legal ethics as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.[9][17] Kaine taught at the University of Richmond for six years, and his students included future Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.[17][20] He was a founding member of the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.[18]

Kaine had a largely apolitical childhood, but became interested in politics in part due to the influence of his wife’s family and his experience attending Richmond city council meetings.[8] In May 1994, Kaine was elected to the city council of the independent city of Richmond,[17] from the City’s 2nd District.[21][22] He defeated incumbent city councilman Benjamin P.A. Warthen[9] by 97 votes.[23] Kaine served four terms on the council, the latter two as mayor.[17][24]

Mayor of Richmond (1998–2001)

On July 1, 1998, Kaine was elected mayor of Richmond, succeeding Larry Chavis.[25][26] He was chosen by an 8-1 vote[23] on the majority-black City Council,[b] becoming the city’s first white mayor in more than ten years,[22][24] which was viewed as a surprise.[25] Rudy McCollum, an African-American city councilor also interested in the position of mayor, decided to back Kaine after a private meeting between the two, clearing the way for Kaine to win election.[23] Previous mayors had treated the role as primarily a ceremonial one,[27] with the city manager effectively operating the city; Kaine treated the office as a full-time job, taking a more hands-on role.[25]

As mayor, Kaine used a sale-leaseback arrangement to obtain funds to renovate the historic Maggie L. Walker High School and reopen it in 2000 as a magnet governor’s school, the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies, which “now serves the top students in Central Virginia.”[28] Three elementary schools and one middle school were also built in Richmond under Kaine.[29]

Along with Commonwealth’s Attorney David Hicks, U.S. Attorney James Comey, and Police Chief Jerry Oliver, Kaine was a support of Project Exile, which a reporter described as a “controversial but effective program,” that shifted gun crimes to federal court, where armed defendants faced harsher sentences.[25] The effort “won broad political support” and the city’s homicide rate fell by 55% over Kaine’s tenure in office.[30] Kaine later touted Project Exile during his campaign for lieutenant governor in 2001.[29][30]

On several occasions, Kaine voted in opposition to tax increases, and supported a tax abatement program for renovated buildings, which was credited for a housing renovation boom in the city.[25] Richmond was named one of “the 10 best cities in America to do business” by Forbes magazine during Kaine’s term.[31]

According to John Moeser, a professor emeritus of urban studies and planning at Virginia Commonwealth University and later a visiting fellow at the University of Richmond‘s Center for Civic Engagement, during his time as mayor Kaine “was energetic, charismatic and, most important, spoke openly about his commitment to racial reconciliation in Richmond.”[25] The New York Times wrote that Kaine “was by all accounts instrumental in bridging the city’s racial divide.”[19] In the early part of his term, Kaine issued an apology for the city’s role in slavery;[29][32] the apology was generally well received as “a genuine, heartfelt expression.”[29] In the latter part of his term, a contentious debate took place in the city over the inclusion of a portrait of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in a set of historic murals to be placed on city floodwalls.[23][26] Many African-Americans were outraged that Lee would appear on city walls, while Southern heritage groups demanded that Lee’s picture remain.[23] Kaine proposed a compromise in which Lee would appear as part of a series of murals that also included figures like Abraham Lincoln and Powhatan Beaty.[23] Kaine’s stance drew criticism from the NAACP; Kaine argued that placing Lee on the floodwall made sense in context, and that “Much of our history is not pleasant; you can’t whitewash it.”[19][26] Kaine’s compromise proposal passed the council on a 6-3 vote.[23]

During his tenure as mayor, Kaine drew criticism for spending $6,000 in public funds on buses to the Million Mom March, an anti-gun-violence rally in Washington, D.C.; after a backlash, Kaine raised the money privately and reimbursed the city.[33]

Lieutenant governor of Virginia (2002–2005)

Kaine in an F-14 Tomcat while touring a naval base in 2003

Kaine ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2001. Kaine joined the race after state senator Emily Couric dropped out due to pancreatic cancer and endorsed Kaine as her replacement.[34] In the Democratic primary election, Kaine ran against state Delegate Alan A. Diamonstein of Newport News, and state Delegate Jerrauld C. Jones of Norfolk.[35]Kaine won the nomination, garnering 39.7% of the vote to Diamonstein’s 31.4% and Jones’ 28.9%.[36]

In the general election, Kaine won with 925,974 votes (50.35%), of the vote, edging out his Republican opponent, state Delegate Jay Katzen, who received 883,886 votes (48.06%).[37] Libertarian Gary Reams received 28,783 votes (1.57%).[37]

Kaine was inaugurated on January 12, 2002, and was sworn in by his wife Anne Holton, a state judge.[38]

2005 gubernatorial election

Kaine at the Covington
Labor Day Parade in Virginia, September 4, 2006

In 2005, Kaine ran for governor of Virginia against Republican candidate Jerry W. Kilgore, a former state attorney general. Kaine was considered an underdog for most of the race,[39] trailing in polls for most of the election.[40] Two polls released in September 2005 showed Kaine trailing Kilgore—by four percentage points in a Washington Post poll and by one percentage point in a Mason-Dixon/Roanoke Times poll.[41][42] The final opinion polls of the race before the November election showed Kaine slightly edging ahead of Kilgore.[40][43]

Kaine ultimately prevailed, winning 1,025,942 votes (51.7%) to Kilgore’s 912,327 (46.0%).[44] (A third candidate—independent state Senator H. Russell Potts Jr., who ran as an “independent Republican[45][46]—received 43,953 votes (2.2%)[44]).

Kaine emphasized fiscal responsibility and a centrist message.[42][45] He expressed support for controlling sprawl and tackling longstanding traffic issues, an issue that resonated in the exurbs of northern Virginia.[47] He benefited from his association with the popular outgoing Democratic governor, Mark Warner, who had performed well in traditionally Republican areas of the state.[41] On the campaign trail, Kaine referred to the “Warner-Kaine administration” in speeches and received the strong backing of Warner.[45][48] Kilgore later attributed his defeat to Warner’s high popularity and the “plummeting popularity” of Republican President George W. Bush, who held one rally with Kilgore on the campaign’s final day.[43]

The campaign turned sharply negative in its final weeks, with Kilgore running television attack ads that claimed, incorrectly, that Kaine believed that “Hitler doesn’t qualify for the death penalty.”[49] The ads also attacked Kaine for his service ten years earlier as a court-appointed attorney for a death-row inmate.[50] The Republican ad was denounced by the editorial boards of the Washington Post and a number of Virginia newspapers as a “smear” and “dishonest.”[49][50][51] Kaine responded with an ad “in which he told voters that he opposes capital punishment but would take an oath and enforce the death penalty. In later polls, voters said they believed Kaine’s response and were angered by Kilgore’s negative ads.”[52]

In the election, Kaine won by large margins in the Democratic strongholds such as Richmond and Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs (such as Alexandria and Arlington), as well as in the Democratic-trending Fairfax County.[53][54] Kaine also won Republican-leaning areas in Northern Virginia’s outer suburbs, including Prince William County and Loudoun County, where George W. Bush had beat John Kerry in the previous year’s presidential election,[53] and performed “surprisingly well in Republican strongholds like Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.”[54] Kaine also defeated Kilgore in the burgeoning Richmond suburbs.[53] Kilgore led insouthwest Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley.[53]

Governor of Virginia (2006–2010)

Kaine was sworn in as governor at the colonial Capitol at Williamsburg, on January 14, 2006, the first governor since Thomas Jefferson to be inaugurated there.[17]

Kaine was chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association from 2008 to 2009.[55]

Democratic response to State of the Union address

On January 31, 2006, Kaine gave the Democratic response to President George W. Bush‘s 2006 State of the Union address. In it, Kaine criticized the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act for “wreaking havoc on local school districts”; criticized congressional Republicans for cutting student loan programs; and condemned as “reckless” Bush’s spending increases and tax cuts.[56] Kaine praised bipartisan initiatives in Virginia “to make record investments in education” and to improve veterans’ access to veterans’ benefits.[56] Kaine criticized the Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq War and treatment of U.S. soldiers; saying that “the American people were given inaccurate information about reasons for invading Iraq”; “our troops in Iraq were not given the best body armor or the best intelligence”; and “the administration wants to further reduce military and veterans’ benefits.”[56]

Energy, the environment, and conservation

As governor, Kaine successfully protected 400,000 acres (1,600 km2) of Virginia land from development, fulfilling a promise that he made in 2005.[57][58] Kaine’s conservation efforts focused on conservation easements (voluntary easements that preserve the private ownership of a piece of land while also permanently protecting it from development); a substantial Virginia land preservation tax credit encouraged easements.[59] From 2004 to 2009, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (a quasi-governmental entity set up in 1966 to preserve open land in the state) protected more land than it had in the previous forty years, a fact touted by Kaine as his term drew to a close.[59]

As governor, Kaine established the Climate Change Commission, a bipartisan panel to study climate change issues.[60] The panel was shuttered under Kaine’s Republican successor, Governor Robert F. McDonnell, but was revived (as the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission) under his successor, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe.[60][61]

Kaine supported a coal-fired power plant project in Wise County, clashing with environmentalists who opposed the project.[62][63]

In 2009, Kaine expressed support for tighter restrictions on mountaintop removal coal mining imposed by the Obama administration.[64]

Healthcare and public health

In October 2006, Kaine signed an executive order banning smoking in all government buildings and state-owned cars as of January 1, 2007.[65] He signed legislation banning smoking in restaurants and bars, with some exceptions, in March 2009, making Virginia the first Southern state to do so.[66]

In 2007, the Republican-controlled Virginia General Assembly passed legislation, with “overwhelming bipartisan support,” to require girls to receive the HPV vaccine (which immunizes recipients against a virus that causes cervical cancer) before entering high school.[67][68] Kaine expressed “some qualms” about the legislation and pushed for a strong opt-out provision,[67] ultimately signing a bill that included a provision allowing parents to opt out of the requirement without citing a reason.[68]

In 2007, Kaine secured increases in state funding for nursing in the Virginia General Assembly and announced a 10% salary increase for nursing faculty above the normal salary increase for state employees, plus additional funds for scholarships for nursing master’s programs. The initiatives were aimed at addressing a shortage of practicing nurses.[69]

Virginia Tech shooting

Following the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which 32 people were killed by Seung-Hui Cho, Kaine appointed an eight-member Virginia Tech Review Panel,[70] chaired by retired Virginia State Police superintendent W. Gerald Massengill, to probe the event.[71][72] The commission members included specialists in psychology, law, forensics and higher education as well as former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.[71] The commission first met in May 2007,[71] and issued its findings and recommendations in August 2007.[70] Among other recommendations, the panel proposed many mental health reforms. Based on the panel’s recommendations, Kaine proposed $42 million of investment in mental health programs and reforms, included “boosting access to outpatient and emergency mental health services, increasing the number of case managers and improving monitoring of community-based providers.”[73] In April 2007, Kaine signed an executive order instructing state agencies to step up efforts to block gun sales to people involuntarily committed to inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment centers.[74] Kaine, who had been in Japan on a trade mission at the time of the shootings, received widespread praise for his quick return to the state and his handling of the issue .[75]

Budget and economy

Among Kaine’s greatest challenges as governor came during the 2008–09 economic crisis; the Washington Post wrote that “perhaps his greatest success was keeping the state running despite [the crisis].”[75] In the midst of the Great Recession, unemployment in Virginia remained lower than the national average.[76] During Kaine’s tenure as governor, the unemployment rate in Virginia rose from 3.2% to 7.4%, a smaller increase than the national unemployment rate which rose from 4.7% to 9.9% during the same period.[76]

As governor, Kaine approved about $3.31 billion in general fund spending cuts, and after the end of Kaine’s term in office, the Virginia General Assembly adopted about $1.33 billion in additional budget cuts that Kaine had recommended, for a total of $4.64 billion in cuts.[77] The Washington Post noted: “Unable to raise taxes and required by law to balance the budget, he was forced to make unpopular cuts that led to such things as shuttered highway rest stops and higher public university tuition.”[75] Virginia was one of three states to earn the highest grade in terms of management in a report by the non-partisan Pew Center on the States.[78] Virginia took first place each year from 2006 to 2009 in the “Best States For Business” rankings published by Forbes magazine.[78]

Infrastructure and transportation

Governor Kaine with U.S. Senators
John Warner and George Allen

In July 2007, during the debate on the Silver Line of the Washington Metro through Tysons Corner, Kaine supported an elevated track solution in preference to a tunnel, citing costs and potential delays that would put federal funding at risk.[79]

In 2006, early in his term, Kaine pressed the General Assembly to support a legislative package to ease severe traffic congestion by spending about $1 billion annually forhighway construction, repairs to aging roads, mass transit, and other transportation projects. The money would raised through increases in taxes and fees that would have raised an estimated $4 billion in revenue over four years.[80][81][82] The Democratic-controlled Senate supported the plan, but the Republican-controlled House was ultimately unwilling to approve the taxes necessary to carry out the project, however, and the effort failed even after a special session of the Legislature was called over the transportation-funding stalemate.[83][84][85]

In 2007, Republicans in the General Assembly passed their own transportation-funding bill. Rather than a statewide tax increase to finance the transportation improvements, as Kaine and most legislative Democrats favored, the Republican bill called for transportation funding “to come from borrowing $2.5 billion and paying the debt costs out of the general fund”; authorized local tax increase in Northern Virginia; increased fees and taxes on rental cars, commercial real estate, and hotels; and increased traffic infractionfines and driver’s licenses fees.[86][87]

Kaine and most legislative Democrats opposed the Republican legislation, stating that it was inadequate to address traffic congestion and that the withdrawal of funds from the general fund would affect core services such as health care, law enforcement, and education.[87][88] Kaine ultimately signed a bill with amendments reflecting “concerns by local government officials and a bipartisan group of lawmakers who were concerned that the plan took too much money from the state’s general fund.”[89]


In 2008, Kaine backed a $22 million proposal in the Virginia General Assembly to make pre-kindergarten education more accessible to at-risk four-year-olds.[90] Virginia was rated as the best state to raise a child in a 2007 report by Education Week and the Pew Center on the States.[78]

Cabinet and appointments

Kaine made the following appointments to his Virginia Governor’s Cabinet:[91]

  • Chief of Staff — William Leighty (2006–2007), Wayne Turnage (2007–2010)
  • Secretary of Administration – Viola Baskerville (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry – Robert Bloxom (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Commerce and Trade – Patrick Gottschalk (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of the CommonwealthKatherine Hanley (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Education – Thomas Morris (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Finance – Jody Wagner (2006–2008), Richard D. Brown (2008–2010)
  • Secretary of Health and Human Resources – Marilyn Tavenner (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Natural Resources – Preston Bryant (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Public Safety – John W. Marshall (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Technology – Aneesh Chopra (2006–2009), Leonard M. Pomata (2009–2010)
  • Secretary of Transportation – Pierce Homer (2006–2010)
  • Assistant for Commonwealth Preparedness – Robert P. Crouch (2006–2010)
  • Senior Advisor for Workforce – Daniel G. LeBlanc (2006–2010)

As governor, Kaine made a number of appointments to the Virginia state courts. Kaine made two appointments[c] to the Supreme Court of Virginia,[93] naming Chesapeake Circuit Judge S. Bernard Goodwyn to the Court in 2007[95] and Virginia Court of Appeals Judge LeRoy F. Millette, Jr. to the Court in 2008.[92][d]

On September 27, 2007, just weeks after appointing Esam Omeish to the 20-member Virginia Commission on Immigration, Kaine learned that Omeish had made videos accusing Israel of genocide and calling for the impeachment of President Bush.[96] Kaine immediately requested and received Omeish’s resignation and said that background checks would be more thorough in the future.[97]

2008 vice presidential speculation

Barack Obama campaigned for
Tim Kaine in 2005 for the
gubernatorial election

Kaine announced his support for Senator Obama’s presidential bid in February 2007. It was maintained that Kaine’s endorsement was the first from a statewide elected official outside of Illinois.[98] Because Kaine was a relatively popular governor of a Southern state, there was media speculation that he was a potential nominee for vice president.[99]Obama had supported Kaine in his campaign for governor and had said about him: “Tim Kaine has a message of fiscal responsibility and generosity of spirit. That kind of message can sell anywhere.”[100] On July 28, 2008, Politico reported that Kaine was “very, very high” on Obama’s shortlist for vice president,[101] a list which also included then Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware.[102] Obama ultimately selected Biden to become the vice-presidential nominee.[103]

Democratic National Committee chairman (2009–2011)

In January 2009, Kaine became the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.[104][e] Kaine had turned down the position the first time it was offered to him, expressing misgivings about accepting a partisan position,[24] but nonetheless took the job at the request of President Obama.[105] During his tenure, he oversaw a significant expansion of the party’s grassroots focus through Organizing for America, the political operation for the White House. In February 2011, after Kaine spoke to union leaders in Madison, Organizing for America got involved in Wisconsin’s budget battle and opposed Republican-sponsored anti-union legislation. They made phone calls, sent emails, and distributed messages via Facebook and Twitter to build crowds for rallies.[106]

After completing his term as governor in January 2010, Kaine taught part-time at the University of Richmond, teaching a course in spring 2010 at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and another in fall 2010 at the University of Richmond School of Law.[107][108] Kaine explained that he had chosen to teach at a private university, rather than a public university, “because it would not have been right for a sitting governor to be seeking employment at an institution when he writes the budget and appoints the board of the institution.”[109]

United States Senate

2012 election

After Senator Jim Webb‘s decision not to seek reelection, Kaine announced on April 5, 2011, that he would run for Webb’s seat. He was initially reluctant to return to public office, but Webb, Senator Mark Warner, and other Virginia Democrats saw Kaine as the strongest potential Democratic candidate and convinced him to run.[34] Mike Henry was chosen as Kaine’s campaign manager.[110] Kaine filmed announcement videos in English and Spanish[111][112] and was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.[113] He defeated former Senator and Governor George Allen in the general election.[114][115]


Kaine was sworn in for a six-year term on January 3, 2013, reuniting him with Mark Warner, the senior senator. Kaine was lieutenant governor when Warner was governor of Virginia.

On June 11, 2013, Kaine delivered a speech on the Senate floor in support of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. The speech was entirely in Spanish, marking the first time a senator had ever made a speech on the Senate floor in a language other than English.[116]

Kaine speaking in 2016

As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kaine pushed for a new Congressional authorization of military force for the American operations against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).[117] Kaine supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, though he also helped Republican Senator Bob Corker hold a vote on a resolution of disapproval on the deal.[117] Kaine has taken several trips throughout the Middle East, meeting with the leaders of states such as Turkey and Israel.[117]

While in the Senate, Kaine has continued to teach part-time at the University of Richmond, receiving a salary of $16,000 per year.[118]

Kaine voted with his party more than 90% of the time.[119][120] According to the Washington Post, Kaine has “crafted a largely progressive record as a senator.”[121] He reportedly has good relations with both Democratic and Republican senators.[122][123][124][125]

Committee assignments and caucuses

In the 113th Congress (2013–15), Kaine was on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Foreign Relations.[126] In the current (114th) Congress, Kaine serves on the same three committees, plus the Special Committee on Aging.[127][128] In July 2013, Kaine was named chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism.[129]

Within the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kaine serves on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support (for which he is the ranking member), and the Subcommittee on Seapower.[130]

Within the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Kaine serves on the Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development (for which he is the ranking member), the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, the Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, and the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.[131]

In January 2014, Kaine, with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, established the bipartisan Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus (CTE Caucus), which focuses on vocational education and technical education.[132] Kaine and Portman co-chair the caucus.[133][134] In 2014, Kaine and Portman introduced the CTE Excellence and Equity Act to the Senate; the legislation would provide $500 million in federal funding, distributed by competitive grants, to high schools to further CTE programs.[135] The legislation, introduced as an amendment to the omnibus Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, would promote apprenticeships and similar initiatives.[135]

2016 vice presidential campaign

Clinton/Kaine logo

Kaine endorsed Hillary Clinton‘s presidential bid in 2016 and campaigned actively for Clinton in seven states during the primaries. He had been the subject of considerable speculation as a possible running mate for Clinton, with several news reports indicating that he was at or near the top of Clinton’s list of people under consideration alongside figures such as Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro.[136][137]

The New York Times reported that Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, privately backed Kaine as his wife’s vice-presidential selection, noting his domestic and national security résumé.[138] On July 22, 2016, she picked Kaine to be her running mate in the election.[139] Clinton introduced Kaine as her choice in a joint appearance at a rally at Florida International University in Miami the following day.[140] The 2016 Democratic National Convention nominated him their vice presidential candidate on July 27, 2016.[141]

Kaine is the first Virginian since Woodrow Wilson to be on a major party’s ticket,[142] and is the first Virginian to run for vice president on a major party’s ticket since John Tyler in 1840; he is also the first Senator or former Senator from Virginia to be on a major party’s ticket since Tyler.[143]

In accordance with longstanding political custom in the U.S., upon being nominated for vice president Kaine publicly released his full tax returns for the last ten years.[144][145] Kaine also publicly released medical records; his physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, wrote in a letter that Kaine was “in overall excellent health.”[146][147] In September he published a campaign book co-authored with Clinton, Stronger Together.[148]

In Kaine’s preparations for the vice presidential debate in October 2016, lawyer Robert Barnett played the role of Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.[149] (During Pence’s own debate preparations,Wisconsin governor Scott Walker played the role of Kaine.)[150]

Personality and leadership style

About 145,000 emails from Kaine and his staff during his term as governor are publicly accessible from the Library of Virginia. Politico conducted an analysis of the correspondence and wrote that the messages show Kaine to be a “media-savvy” and detail-oriented “micro-manager” who is also a policy “wonk“.[151]

According to the New York Times, Kaine “is widely described by people in his political orbit as a likable if less than charismatic figure…guided by moral convictions that flow from his deep Christian faith.”[19] Kaine described himself on Meet the Press as “boring.”[19][152]

Political positions

In terms of political ideology, FiveThirtyEight gives Kaine an average score of −37 (−100 is the most liberal, and 100 is the most conservative).[153] FiveThirtyEight characterizes him as a “mainstream Democrat” and notes that his ideology score is very similar to that of Vice President Joe Biden.[153] Three conservative groups—the American Conservative Union, the Club for Growth, and Heritage Action—gave Kaine zero percent ratings in the few years before 2016,[154] while the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action gave Kaine a 90% rating in 2014.[155] The New York Times wrote that “in hyperpartisan Washington, he is often seen as a centrist” while also describing him as an “old-fashioned liberal…driven by Jesuit ideals.”[19]

Abortion, birth control, and sex education

Kaine, a Roman Catholic, is personally against abortion,[156][157] but is “largely inclined to keep the law out of women’s reproductive decisions.”[156] Kaine has said: “I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don’t need to make people’s reproductive decisions for them.”[158] Kaine supports some legal restrictions on abortion, such as requiring parental consent for minors (with a judicial bypass procedure) and banning late-term abortions in cases where the woman’s life is not at risk.[159]

In 2009, Kaine signed a bill to create a “Choose Life” license plate, among the more than 200 Virginia specialty plates already offered, the proceeds of which would partly go to Heartbeat International, a Christian organization that operates anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.[160] Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America expressed disappointment in Kaine’s decision.[160] Kaine considered such license plate messages a matter of free speech and added that the move was “in keeping with the commonwealth’s longtime practice of approving specialty plates with all manner of political and social messages.”[160]

Kaine previously criticized the Obama administration for “not providing a ‘broad enough religious employer exemption'” in the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, but praised a 2012 amendment to the regulations that allowed insurers to provide birth control to employees when an employer was an objecting religious organization.[161]

In 2005, when running for governor, Kaine said he favored reducing abortions by: (1) “Enforcing the current Virginia restrictions on abortion and passing an enforceable ban on partial birth abortion that protects the life and health of the mother”; (2) “Fighting teen pregnancy through abstinence-focused education”; (3) “Ensuring women’s access to health care (including legal contraception) and economic opportunity”; and (4) “Promoting adoption as an alternative for women facing unwanted pregnancies.”[162]

In 2007, as governor, Kaine cut off state funding for abstinence-only sex education programs, citing studies which showed that such programs were ineffective, while comprehensive sex education programs were more effective.[163] Kaine believes that both abstinence and contraceptives must be taught, and that education should be evidence-based.[163]

As a senator, he has received perfect scores from Planned Parenthood and the abortion-rights advocacy group NARAL.[119][164] He has received a score of zero from the anti-abortion National Right to Life Committee.[164]

Campaign finance

Kaine “strongly disagrees” with the ruling in Citizens United v. FEC (2010).[165] In 2015, Kaine joined a group of Senate Democrats in a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White that said the ruling “reversed long-standing precedent and has moved our country in a different and disturbing direction when it comes to corporate influence in politics.” They urged the SEC to require publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to their shareholders to “increase transparency in the U.S. political process” following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.[165]

Capital punishment

Kaine personally opposes capital punishment, but presided over eleven executions while governor.[166] Kaine said: “I really struggled with [capital punishment] as governor. I have a moral position against the death penalty. But I took an oath of office to uphold it. Following an oath of office is also a moral obligation.”[34] During his time in office he commuted one death sentence in June 2008, that of Percy Levar Walton to life imprisonment without parole on grounds of mental incompetence, writing that “one cannot reasonably conclude that Walton is fully aware of the punishment he is about to suffer and why he is to suffer it” and thus executing him would be unconstitutional.[167] Kaine vetoed a number of bills to expand the death sentence to more crimes, saying: “I do not believe that further expansion of the death penalty is necessary to protect human life or provide for public safety needs.”[168][169] Some of the vetoes were overridden, while others were sustained.[170][f]

Environment, energy, and climate change

Kaine acknowledges the scientific consensus on climate change, and in a 2014 Senate speech criticized climate change deniers, as well as those who “may not deny the climate science, but … deny that the U.S. can or should be a leader in taking any steps” to address the issue.[171]

Kaine has expressed concern about sea level rise (a major consequence of climate change),[134] and in particular its effect on coastal Virginia.[171] In 2014, he partnered with two Virginia Republicans—U.S. Representatives Rob Wittman and Scott Rigell—to hold a conference on sea-level rise and “local adaptation efforts to protect military installations in the Hampton Roads area.”[134]

Kaine endorses making coal energy production cleaner saying that it is imperative “to convert coal to electricity with less pollution than we do today.”[171] He has criticized those who “frame the debate as a conflict between an economy and the environment,” saying that “protecting the environment is good for the economy.”[171] Kaine co-sponsored the Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation (ACCTION) Act, legislation to increase investment in clean coal technologies.[172] He voted against passage of legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.[173] Kaine supports the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to harvest natural gas from shale formations. He believes this will reduce carbon pollution.[172] Kaine voted against an amendment, introduced by Sen. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), that would have repealed a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that exempts hydraulic fracturing from the underground injection control provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. As a result, regulation of hydraulic fracturing remains in the hands of state agencies; the U.S. EPA cannot regulate hydraulic fracturing nor require a federal permit.[174][175] Kaine supports exporting liquid natural gas (LNG) to other countries.[176]

Like his fellow senator from Virginia, Mark Warner, Kaine applauded the U.S. Forest Service‘s plan to close most, but not all, of the George Washington National Forest to hydraulic fracturing and other horizontal drilling activities.[177]

In 2013, Kaine supported oil and gas exploration off the coast of Virginia, saying, “I have long believed that the moratorium on offshore drilling, based on a cost-benefit calculation performed decades ago, should be re-examined.”[178][179] In April 2015, Kaine reiterated his opposition to the moratorium on offshore drilling.[180] In March 2016, Kaine signaled that his position was softening, saying he was “particularly struck by the material objections of the Department of Defense to the incompatibility of drilling with naval operations off Virginia’s coast… I have participated in this debate for over a decade as a governor and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The DOD has been relatively quiet during this public debate and has never shared their objections with me before.”[180] By August 2016, Kaine stated his support for a ban on offshore drilling, bringing his position in line with of Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.[180]

Kaine supports the development of solar energy and offshore wind turbines.[172]

Based on his votes on environmental issues in the Senate, the League of Conservation Voters has given Kaine a 88% score for 2015, and a 91% lifetime score.[134][175]

Financial regulation

Kaine has said that he is “strongly for the regulation of the financial industry,” and he supports the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[154] In July 2016, Kaine signed a bipartisan letter that “urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ‘carefully tailor its rulemaking’ [under Dodd-Frank] regarding community banks and credit unions so as not to ‘unduly burden’ these institutions with regulations aimed at commercial banks.”[154] The letter prompted criticism from progressives who viewed it as anti-regulation.[154][181] Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, called the letter “a lobbyist-driven effort to help banks dodge consumer protection standards and regulations designed to prevent banks from destroying our economy.” Kaine responded to the criticism by saying, “it’s important you don’t treat every financial institution the same. It wasn’t credit unions that tanked the economy, it wasn’t local community banks that tanked the economy, generally wasn’t regional banks that did things that tanked the economy.”[154] Kaine also signed a letter urging that a requirement that regional banks report liquidity levels on a daily basis be loosened.[182]

Foreign and defense policy

In the Senate, Kaine has supported the normalization of U.S.–Cuban relations and the international nuclear agreement with Iran.[183]

Kained expressed support for Israel‘s right to defend itself during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.[184] Kaine also supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[185]


On the issue of the war in Afghanistan, Kaine’s website states “The main mission in Afghanistan—destroying Al Qaeda—is nearly complete and we should bring our troops home as quickly as we can, consistent with the need to make sure that Afghanistan poses no danger in the broader region.”[186]

War powers

Kaine and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona introduced the War Powers Consultation Act of 2014,[187] which would replace the War Powers Act of 1973, bringing the Congress back into decisions on the deployment of U.S. military forces.[187] The bill would establish a Congressional Consultation Committee, with which the President would be required to consult regularly regarding significant foreign policy matters; before ordering the deployment of the Armed Forces into a significant armed conflict; and at least every two months for the duration of any significant armed conflict.[187][188] Kaine argued for the bill by citing his “frustration” over the sloppiness of “process and communication over decisions of war”, noting that “Presidents tend to overreach and Congress sometimes willingly ducks tough votes and decisions. We all have to do better.”[187] Kaine has stated that “war powers questions” are a “personal obsession” of his.[189][190]

Syria, Iraq, and ISIL

In 2014, Kaine argued that the U.S. military intervention against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), undertaken by President Obama, was unconstitutional without a new congressional authorization for the use of military force against ISIL.[191] In November 2014, at the Halifax International Security Forum, Kaine, together with Senator John McCain, emphasized the necessity of such a congressional authorization, saying: “You just can’t have a war without Congress. You can’t ask people to risk their lives, risk getting killed, seeing other folks getting killed or injured if Congress isn’t willing to do the job to put their thumbprint on this and say, this is a national mission and worth it.”[192]

On December 11, 2014, after a five-month campaign by Kaine, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved by 10–8 (straight party lines) a measure authorizing military force against ISIL, but barring the use of ground troops.[193][194] In 2015, Kaine criticized Obama’s approach to the Syrian civil war, saying that the establishment of humanitarian no-fly zones would have alleviated the humanitarian crisis in Syria.[195][196]


Kaine is a gun owner.[183] He has supported expanded background checks for weapons purchases as well as “restrictions on the sale of combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.”[183][197] As governor, Kaine oversaw the closing of loopholes in Virginia law that allowed some who had failed background checks to purchase guns.[183] In the Senate, Kaine has supported legislation which would require background checks to be performed for weapons sold via gun shows and via the internet.[183] He also supports legislation to bar weapons sales to suspected terrorists on the No Fly List.[183]

Kaine has a 100% rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence[198] and an “F” rating from the NRA.[199]


Kaine supported passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (“Obamacare”), saying in 2012: “I was a supporter and remain a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. I felt like it was a statement that we were going to put some things in the rear-view mirror.”[200] In 2013, Kaine said that he agreed that changes to the ACA should be debated, but criticized Republicans for “wrapping them up with the threat” of afederal government shutdown.[201]


Kaine supports President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs,[202] which would allow up to five million undocumented immigrants to gain deferral of deportation and authorization to legally work in the United States.[183] Alongside fellow Virginia senator Mark Warner and many other members of Congress, Kaine signed on to an amicus brief in support of the program in the Supreme Court case of United States v. Texas.[203][204]

Kaine also supports comprehensive immigration reform, which would allow persons illegally present in the U.S. to earn legal status by paying a fine and taxes.[183]

LGBT rights

In 2006, Kaine campaigned against an amendment to the Virginia State Constitution to bar same-sex marriage,[205] and in March 2013, Kaine announced his support of same-sex marriage.[206][207]

In the Senate, Kaine co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[208]

In 2005, Kaine said: “No couples in Virginia can adopt other than a married couple — that’s the right policy.”[209] In 2011, however, Kaine shifted his position.[210] In 2012, he stated that “there should be a license that would entitle a committed couple to the same rights as a married couple.”[211]

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Kaine noted that his position on same-sex marriage was “at odds with the current doctrine of the church that I still attend.” He predicted that the Roman Catholic Church would someday adopt his view.[212] In response, two bishops heading the doctrine and marriage committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the church’s position “cannot change” and reaffirmed their opposition to same-sex marriage.[213]


Kaine supports allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those with incomes above $500,000.[214]

In 2012, Kaine supported raising the cap on income subject for the FICA (Social Security) payroll tax “so that it covers a similar percentage of income as it did in the 1980s under President Reagan, which would greatly extend the solvency of the (Social Security) program.”[215]

In the Senate, Kaine has supported the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes in the same manner as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.[216][217][218]


Kaine supported granting President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA or “fast track”) to allow him to negotiate free trade agreements.[219] Kaine stated that the goal should be to “negotiate deals that protect workers’ rights, environmental standards and intellectual property, while knocking down tariffs and other barriers that some countries erect to keep American products out.”[219]

In July 2016, Kaine said that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was “an improvement of the status quo” in terms of it being an “upgrade of labor standards… environmental standards… intellectual property protections”, but maintained that he had not yet decided how to vote on final approval of the agreement, citing “significant concerns” over TPP’s dispute resolution mechanism.[220] Later that July, Kaine said that he could not support the TPP in its current form.[221]

Kaine has been a proponent of NAFTA.[222]

Transportation and growth

Kaine supports some smart growth-style policies (which Kaine calls “a balanced approach to growth”) to control sprawl and improve transportation.[223] He favors a transportation policy that includes public transit, bicycles, and pedestrians.[224] As governor, Kaine pushed through a $100 million open-space acquisition initiative.[224] Under Kaine, Amtrak service in Virginia was expanded.[225][226][227] Kaine also participated in a White House roundtable discussion on high-speed rail in 2009.[225]

Workers’ rights and gender equality

Kaine is “generally pro-union” and has received a 96 percent lifetime Senate voting rating from the AFL-CIO,[134] which praised his selection as vice presidential nominee.[228] However, Kaine supports Virginia’s longstanding “right-to-work” law, which “frees union nonmembers from any legal obligation to pay fees to a union that bargains collectively on their behalf”.[134]

Kaine supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which expands the cases in which worker can sue against gender pay discrimination.[229] Following his selection by Clinton as a running mate in 2016, Kaine was praised by the National Organization for Women.[228][230]

Kaine favors an increase in the minimum wage.[134]

Electoral history

Virginia Senate Election 2012[231]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tim Kaine 2,010,067 52.9
Republican George Allen 1,785,542 47.0
Virginia Gubernatorial Election 2005
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tim Kaine 1,025,942 51.7
Republican Jerry Kilgore 912,327 46.0
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Election 2001
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tim Kaine 925,974 50.4
Republican Jay K. Katzen 883,886 48.0
Libertarian Gary Reams 28,783 1.6
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Democratic Primary Election 2001
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tim Kaine 64,008 39.7
Democratic Alan Diamonstein 50,753 31.5
Democratic Jerrauld C. Jones 46,640 28.9

Personal life

Anne Holton in 2016

In November 1984, Kaine married Anne Bright Holton, the daughter of A. Linwood Holton Jr., who was the Republican governor of Virginia from 1970 to 1974.[5][232] The couple met while they were both students at Harvard Law School.[16] Holton has been a judge for the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Richmond.[233] After serving as first lady of Virginia during her husband’s term, she was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2014 to be Virginia’s secretary of education,[233][234] and held that position until July 2016, when she stepped down after her husband was named as the Democratic vice presidential candidate.[235] The couple has three children:[17] Nat (b. 1990), Woody (b. 1992), and Annella (b. 1995).[9] Nat, the eldest son, is a United States Marine.[19][236] Kaine and his wife have been congregants of the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond, a mostly black congregation, for 30 years.[236][237]

He has played the harmonica for over twenty years,[238][239] and often travels with several.[19]

Kaine is fluent in Spanish as a result of his year in Honduras.[15]

Awards and honors

Kaine has received the Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, then the Virginia Region of the National Conference for Community and Justice(2000),[240] the Virginia Council of Churches’ Faith in Action Award (2009),[241] the University of Richmond School of Law‘s William Green Award for Professional Excellence (2012),[242]the Appalachian Trail Conservancy‘s Congressional Award (2015),[243] and the Center for the National Interest‘s Distinguished Service Award (2016).[244]


  1. Jump up^ Many news reports say that Kaine worked in Honduras as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps,[11][13] a U.S.-based organization that did not sponsor overseas programs until 1984.[14] By his own account, while a high school student in 1974 Kaine visited a Jesuit mission in Honduras that had ties to his Jesuit high school. In 1980, after completing his first year of law school and without the support of any organization, he contacted that mission and arranged to work at its vocational training school as a volunteer teacher.[12]
  2. Jump up^ Until 2004, the mayor of Richmond was chosen by the city council from among its membership; under the present system, the mayor is chosen by popular vote.[22]
  3. Jump up^ The Virginia Constitution gives the Virginia General Assembly the power to appoint state judges, but gives the governor of Virginia to power to make judicial appointments when the General Assembly is out of session.[92][93]Once the General Assembly convenes, it has thirty days to confirm the appointments; if it does not, the seats become vacant.[94] The General Assembly typically confirms the governor’s choices, as it did with both of Kaine’s appointments.[92][93]
  4. Jump up^ Millette was formerly a Prince William County Circuit Judge whom Kaine had previously elevated to the Court of Appeals of Virginia via an interim appointment. Nine months later, Kaine elevated Millette to the Supreme Court via an interim appointment.[92][93]
  5. Jump up^ Introducing Kaine, President Obama refers repeatedly to the “chairman”, not “chair”, of the Democratic National Committee.
  6. Jump up^ Virginia remains second only to Texas in the number of executions since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.[34]

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