Tim Kaine at National Press Club: PA-12 Was a “Major Blow to Republicans”

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    On the Democratic victory last night in the PA-12 special election, Tim Kaine said that this “demonstrates Democrats can compete and win in conservative districts.”

    With regard to Kentucky, Kaine commented that “tea party” candidate Rand Paul’s “stunning” victory over the Republican establishment’s choice was a “crushing blow to national Republicans and Senator [Mitch] McConnell.”  

    In general, Kaine argued that the “tea party” is evidence of a “corrosive and divisive civil war occurring on the Republican side.”  Kaine explained that Republicans have been “riding high” for the last 1 1/2 years, but now they are “feeling the tea party’s bite.”

    Later, Kaine responded to a question about conservative claims that the Obama administration is “socialist.” Kaine responded:

    People love to throw that label around and I think for most thinking Americans, throwing that label around actually doesn’t hurt us. It suggests an extremism and an ideological rigidity that isn’t where most Americans are. We are problem solvers…A party that just relies on throwing labels around and refusing to cooperate, they might get a headline but they won’t get support of people

    On Republican demonization of Nancy Pelosi, Kaine basically charged them with being misogynists: “I have my own theories about why Republicans often like to make the speaker a ‘boogeywoman.’ And you might divine my theories from the way I phrased that.” To the contrary, according to Kaine — and I agree with him 100% on this — Nancy Pelosi has “done a very effective job especially in a Democratic caucus that is extremely broad” and also “gets a lot of credit” for winning special elections.

    In the end, Kaine pointed out, we are “in a time of economic anxiety,” which means “there’s going to be electoral volatility.” Still, Kaine is optimistic that the economy will improve by election time, that this will help Democrats, and that the “tea party” movement will “peter out.”  I sure hope he’s right!