UPDATE 12:55 pm: Just saw this from former Virginia GOP Executive Director Shaun Kenney: “So on points?
@TimKaine won the debate by making the differences clear, while Stewart lost the debate by making the differences intractable. Kaine’s mention of his father-in-law towards the end hit home for this Republican… my oh my how we have changed.”
UPDATE 12:41 pm: As Tim Kaine’s comms director Ian Sams tweets, “Corey’s attacks are just so bizarre – he lives in an alt-reality. Kaine helped open the IKEA manufacturing plant in Danville as Governor. We just went back in April. They’re worried about TRUMP trade policies.” Larry Sabato tweets, “Corey Stewart, who campaigned for Senate candidate Roy Moore in AL, won’t renounce him, defends him on the underage girls charges. Well, there’s a Kaine TV ad in the fall.”
UPDATE 12:37 pm: Bottom line – Tim Kaine made us proud, was the adult in the room, stayed focused on the issues that matter most to Virginians. In stark contrast, Corey Stewart spewed his usual embarrassing, ridiculous, nasty, divisive rhetoric, and offered no vision other than 100%, kneejerk supporting Trump. Meanwhile, Kaine laid out an inclusive vision of making life better for EVERY Virignian. So in the end, the choices this November for Virginian voters couldn’t be more stark or more clear. I urge everyone to not just vote for Tim Kaine, but to work as hard as possible to ensure a BIG win for him on election day, and to show the world that Virginia utterly rejects both the substance and style of everything Corey Stewart represents.
UPDATE 12:34 pm: Corey, after bashing Kaine the entire debate, says he’s a “nice guy,” then goes back to bashing him again. So f’ed up. How can ANYONE support Corey Stewart? Barf. Kaine says the choice is very clear – “Trump first or Virginia first?” Kaine says he will stand up against this president when he’s wrong for Virginia, when he says there are good people on both sides of a white supremacy rally. Says he helped make Virginia the best state to raise a family, best state to do business, etc. Says he will work with Trump when he’s right, stand up against him when he’s wrong. Compare that to 100% Trump guy Corey Stewart.
UPDATE 12:30 pm: Question about being transplanted Virginians and about which one or two Virginians they most admire. Corey says he loves this state, “I’m no longer a Minnesotan.” Corey mentions George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, then attacks the “far left” for trying to “take down historical monuments that have sat their peacefully for 100 years.” Kaine talks about his father in law, Lynwood Holton (94 years old), the first elected Republican governor in the history of Virginia, who integrated the commonwealth’s public schools. Kaine says Holton is his hero, talks about the vision of a commonwealth for ALL.
UPDATE 12:27 pm: Question on Putin and the EU being allies or foes. Kaine says Russia is an adversary – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have dealings with them – “and nobody should mistake them for a friend.” “Europe is an ally,” they came to our aid after 9/11. European troops fight side by side with American troops. Corey says yet AGAIN that Kaine opposes everything Trump wants to do, claims that Kaine thinks everything is just fine the way it is. Outrageously, Corey claims liberals like Kaine liked Russia more when it was communist. WTF??????? This guy is completely out of control. No wonder why even his fellow Republicans are distancing themselves from him. Corey says Europe needs to start “acting like” our allies. Ugh.
UPDATE 12:22 pm: Question on Virginia farmers impacted by Trump’s trade war. Corey says we have to “get tough.” Corey keeps claiming he’s an international trade attorney, which is weird because based on how he talks, he knows NOTHING about international trade. Corey says we “have to bust open foreign markets.” Kaine says we have to be tough on trade but we “can’t be foolish.” Kaine says Corey is just saying Trump is always right about everything. Says Trump is hurting our farmers and workers through his trade war. “The president is waging a trade war against American workers and American farmers.” Trump is also waging a trade war against our allies – Canada, the EU. Corey falsely claims, yet again, that Kaine is just “against the president.” Looks like Corey’s gone for a 100% Trump/base strategy, which makes sense on one level, but ultimately is a loser because Trump is wildly unpopular in Virginia. Good luck with that, Corey.
UPDATE 12:15 pm: Question about tax credits for the coal industry. Kaine says we need education/training, but also research into making coal cleaner. But Kaine says we are moving dramatically into a new energy economy. Kaine also points out, correctly, that coal production is heavily automated. Corey falsely claims Kaine “won’t stand up for you.” Corey name drops Chuck Schumer and President Obama. Corey then lies that “regulations” “shut down the coal industry.” Let me just interject that this guy is absolutely appalling, should literally get ZERO votes this November. Now Corey’s on a rant about Kaine “betraying,” “lecturing,” blah blah blah. Kaine calmly refutes everything Corey said. “You clearly haven’t gotten around very much…you just don’t know very much about southwest Virginia or you wouldn’t make those claims.” Kaine notes that Trump wants to eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission. Corey basically blames Kaine for the opioid crisis, Kaine says Corey is trashing Danville. Have I mentioned that Corey is disgusting and a pathological liar?
UPDATE 12:10 pm: Corey doing his “fossil fuels rock!” routine now. Also gives the credit, falsely, to Trump for the U.S. being a major oil and gas producer; something that’s been building for the past decade or so. Note what Corey is NOT mentioning – the environment, global warming, the plummeting costs of clean energy. Kaine says he supports some but not all of Trump’s energy policies. What Kaine does NOT support is offshore drilling, particularly after the BP oil spill and after Hampton Roads saw the effects of the BP oil spill – and now that region is rock solid against offshore drilling. Kaine says he strongly supports low/no-carbon energy, that Trump made a huge mistake in moving to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, that the U.S. should be in the lead on clean energy. Corey lies and claims it’s “only under President Trump” that the U.S. has become a huge oil and gas producer (fact: we have been for many, many years, wayyyy before Trump). Corey claims again that Kaine has accomplished “nothing” in the Senate. Kaine rattles off his list of accomplishments and says these things matter to Virginians.
UPDATE 12:08 pm: Question on immigration and rural America. Kaine says there are a LOT of immigrants in rural Virginia. Again, Kaine notes that the votes are still there for comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate. On family separation, Corey says everyone was “torn up” about families being separated from families (uh, except for Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose POLICY THIS IS!). Corey just lying again – he’s pathological. And, of course, Corey blames Democrats for everything, even when it’s 100% the fault of Trump and the Republicans, which is usually the case.
UPDATE 12:01 pm: Question on immigration. Kaine says Corey was recently rated “pants on fire” for making it up on immigration. Kaine says immigration helps make our nation great. What we need is comprehensive immigration reform, which Kaine voted for and which the Senate passed (the GOP-controlled House wouldn’t even take it up). Corey claims Kaine wants “amnesty for illegal aliens.” Corey keeps repeating the phrase “criminal illegal aliens.” Corey lies about Kaine supposedly attending an “abolish ICE rally” (note: he didn’t, and in fact he has said multiple times he opposes abolishing ICE). Kaine says Corey is all about pitting immigrants against citizens, that we are a nation of immigrants and need comprehensive immigration reform. Kaine says Trump is making it hard for students, tourists, investors and innovators to come here. Kaine says it’s “just a lie” that he went to an “abolish ICE” rally – “again and again, you stand here and lie [Corey].” Corey lies yet AGAIN, claims falsely that Kaine went to an “abolish ICE rally.” Claims the Dem Party has been “taken over by the radical left” and that – wait for it – Kaine takes “orders” from the “radical left.” Yes, Corey is completely bonkers.
UPDATE 11:53 am: Finally, a question to Corey about his ties to white supremacists and anti-Semites, and who Republicans have abandoned him. Corey claims he believes “all people are equal” and “there’s not a racist bone in my body” (which undoubtedly is why Corey constantly bashes immigrants, hires/hangs out with anti-Semites and white supremacists). Corey tries to turn the tables, mentions Wes Bellamy and Leslie Cockburn (who Corey falsely claims said things she DID NOT SAY – more lies by Corey). Kaine says that Corey chooses to associate himself with people like Jason Kessler – “Corey went to Jason Kessler’s events,” the architect of the horrible events in Charlottesville. “Corey sought out Paul Nehlen…he is a notorious anti-Semite, anti-Islamic, violent language.” Corey called Paul Nehlen one of his “personal hereos.” Corey went to campaign for Roy Moore. Corey “knows who these people are…what they stand for,” yet he chooses to associate with them. Corey yet again brings up Leslie Cockburn and claims – FALSELY – that she’s an anti Semite. Kaine says Corey continues to make it personal, nasty, and make it up. He says Corey did NOT disavow himself from these people. “Only when your caught and it got for you…you haven’t even disavowed Roy Moore yet.” “Leslie Cockburn wrote a book that was critical of U.S. and Israeli foreign policy,” that is NOT the same as being an anti-Semite. Kaine says he’s been to Israel more times than he’s been to any other country. Corey keeps making this false equivalence to Leslie Cockburn. Kaine says he doesn’t have to agree with all of Cockburn’s foreign policy views, but it’s “scurrilous” to call her an anti-Semite. Corey now back to defending Roy Moore against “40-year-old allegations.” Craaaazy.
UPDATE 11:50 am: Kaine asks Corey about skipping a PW County Board meeting to go campaign for Roy Moore, who had a “long history of preying on teenage girls.” Why? Corey says Kaine skipped “entire four years as governor of Virginia.” Other than being laughable, note that Corey isn’t responding about his support for scumbag Roy Moore. Corey now ranting and raving about Kaine supposedly not fixing the roads in Virginia. Kaine says as governor, Forbes named Virginia the best place to do business, we were AAA bond rated, Pew named Virginia the best-managed state in America. Kaine says he has done a ton of good stuff in the Senate.
UPDATE 11:47 am: Kaine says first that Corey ducked the question about the Mueller investigation, but that he’s called it a “witch hunt” that “should be terminated,” which would be a “disaster.” Kaine says “President Trump is caving to the Russians,” that he “picked a fight with allies,” but then when he was on the stage with Putin “he went all soft.” Trump believed Putin over patriotic, hard-working Americans. Kaine says he’s a Virginia-first guy, Corey is a 100% Trump-first guy. Corey claims the Mueller investigation IS a “witch hunt.” Corey claims Kaine “takes orders” from Chuck Schumer. “All that they’re trying to do is undermine the President…who has been incredibly successful.” Seriously, this is real life and there’s a real Republican candidate for U.S. Senate saying this crazy shit.
UPDATE 11:44 am: On the Mueller investigation, Kaine says it has to be protected, that it’s looking into very serious charges, that it has to be allowed to get to its end point, that there have already been multiple indictments, but that he wont pre-judge it until it’s done. We do need to get to the bottom of it, so that we can protect our electoral system. Corey says Kaine seems surprised that Russians are behaving “like Russians.” Corey then claims Kaine was “silent” when Russia invaded Crimea. Corey is laughed at when he claims that Trump is standing up to the Russians. Claims Kaine wants to jeopardize the relationship with Russia, “and that’s frightening.” This is called Fox “News,” far-right, alternate-reality bizarro world. My god…
UPDATE 11:40 am: On abortion, Corey says if Roe is overturned – which he thinks it SHOULD be – then it goes back to the individual states. Corey then quickly goes back to claiming that Kaine “automatically” opposes everything Trump does. Corey claims Kaine “has the nerve to say” he supports the military, which of course Kaine does – and has for many many years. Kaine says he supports the military as a proud member of the Armed Service Committee and because his “own flesh and blood” serves in the military. Kaine says he has battled for veterans, expanding the Navy, which will create thousands of jobs. Corey keeps claiming that Kaine voted against the military because he’s a “left-wing radical liberal” and opposes “everything President Trump does.” In fact, Kaine said he voted for the appropriations bill that funded all of the things we needed to fund with regard to the military; Secretary Mattis said it was great.
UPDATE 11:37 am: Corey of course says that far-right Judge Kavanaugh is wonderful. Corey claims Kaine will “play decoy” but ultimately vote no on Kavanaugh, “because he’s against anything President Trump does” (another lie – in fact, if Trump had appointed a reasonable justice like Merrick Garland, Kaine would have strongly supported it!). Corey says he’s a constitutional originalist. Of course, the constitution “as written” had all kinds of bad stuff. Kaine responds again with the slogan, “Make it nasty, Make it personal, Make it up.” Kaine talks about all kinds of legislation he’s helped pass, including stuff that Trump has supported. In fact, Kaine points out, Corey is 100% for Trump, including the “horrible Helsinki summit,” the family separation policy, etc. Kaine says he’s an independent thinker for Virginia. Says he will meet with Judge Kavanaugh, which Republicans REFUSED TO DO with Judge Garland. “I’ll do it on the merits.”
UPDATE 11:33 am: Corey asks Kaine about changes in policy positions over the years and charges that the Hillary Clinton campaign forced him to do so. Kaine said that’s not true, and mentions that Corey pledged to run a “vicious” and “nasty” campaign. Kaine notes that on offshore drilling, coastal communities – and also the Defense Department – almost all changed their positions after the Gulf of Mexico offshore oil disaster. Corey claims we “all want to play by the truth” – rich, coming from this pathological liar. Now Corey is asking Kaine about his position on abortion, including “up to the moment of birth.” Kaine says “make it nasty, make it personal or make it up.” Kaine says he took an oath to uphold the constitution. “YOu want to repeal Roe v Wade” and go back to the day when women can be arrested for having an abortion. “I live by my church’s teaching,” but does NOT believe it’s his job as a public official to prevent women from making their own health care decisions. This really reminds me of the infamous “Hitler ads” from the 2005 campaign, by the way…
UPDATE 11:28 am: Question specifically on preexisting conditions. Corey says the ACA has been a “disaster,” which of course is totally false, but he does say he supports preventing insurance companies from barring people with preexisting conditions (of course, it all fits together, so how would that work if you gut the rest of the ACA???). Corey continues to lie and lie about the ACA…not even going to repeat the lies. Kaine talks about mothers bringing disabled children who benefited from the ACA to his office. Kaine says the GOP has slashed funding for Medicaid that helps disabled kids. “My opponent was rooting on the destruction of health” for Virginians like those disabled kids. Stewart again puts false words in Kaine’s mouth, this time about “Washington bureaucrats” supposedly “knowing better” blah blah. Classic government-employee-bashing and government-bashing demagoguery. Corey basically demonstrates he knows nothing about health care.
UPDATE 11:24 am: Question about health care. Kaine says he supported the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion in Virginia, says Corey wants to repeal Medicaid and funding for Planned Parenthood. “We are very very different on health care.” On prescription drug prices, Kaine says the federal government should negotiate under Medicare Part D. Demagogic, no-answers Corey again mentions Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, apropos of nothing. Of course, Corey claims the ACA isn’t working, but completely ignores the fact that Republicans have been SABOTAGING it relentlessly. Premium increases, by the way, are largely the result of that GOP sabotage. Corey also again puts (false) words into Kaine’s mouth – god this guy is obnoxious and insufferable. Kaine says that hundreds of thousands of Virginians with preexisting conditions have benefited, as have kids who couldn’t stay on family policies until 26, etc, etc. Uninsured rate now at lowest level in 50 years. “Of course this doesn’t mean anything to my opponent.” “He slashed public health spending [in PW County] by 35%.”
UPDATE 11:20 am: Kaine correctly points out that the Republican tax bill was the biggest deficit-busting bill in history. Kaine also notes that benefits to individuals from the tax cuts were temporary, expiring, small (and I’d add, heavily skewed towards the wealthiest Americans). Kaine says we need to shore up Medicare and Social Security and maintain their solvency going forward. Corey bizarrely calls Kaine an “extreme liberal,” goes to the usual Republican nonsense about tax increases, “radically left,” blah blah blah. And note that Corey has dodged any serious answer on the deficit/debt and the GOP tax cut’s role in exploding those things. You see what Corey the demagogue does?
UPDATE 11:18 am: Question about the deficit/debt, which Trump and the Republicans are causing to explode. Corey manages to mention Nancy Pelosi, which has nothing to do with anything. Then he lies about the Trump/Ryan/McConnell tax cuts – and when I say lies, I mean that Corey’s claims have been debunked by independent fact checkers time and again. Corey claims that Kaine “jacked up” the deficit, which is completely false as well. Lies, lies and more lies. Also lies about the U.S. growth rate. Not even sure what to do with someone who just makes shit up, no connection to reality or the facts.
UPDATE 11:15 am: Corey puts words into Kaine’s mouth, very obnoxious as always. Corey also focuses on the problems that exist in Virginia and blames it 100% on President Obama and the Democrats. Bashes trade agreements. Claims we need to “force open” foreign markets. “President Trump is doing the right thing to pry open foreign markets” (hahahahaha – not). Corey hits Kaine for opposing the Republicans massive tax cut for rich people, one that blows up the deficit/debt by the way. Kaine points out that the Republicans’ priority is giving “deep, permanent tax cuts for corporations,” not regular people. Need to help people.
UPDATE 11:13 am: First question to Sen. Kaine, on the economy. “The Virginia economy was strong before President Trump came into office…but there are [now] warning signs” like “foolish trade wars,” “these tariffs the president is imposing…they’re going to cost America…jobs.” “We need to stop the trade war that is hurting American farmers…and American workers.” Using trade sanctions against Canada and Europe is “painful.”
UPDATE 11:11 am: Sen. Kaine talks about building a “Virginia that works for all.” Kaine says he listens and works to solve Virginians’ problems (which of course is EXACTLY what we want in a U.S. Senator!). Virginia problems – Virginia solutions – Tim Kaine. Kaine also says “it’s about work, working people and jobs.” And “it’s got to work for ALL…we have a president who’s too divisive…we need leaders who know how to pull us together; we saw the pain of division last year in Charlottesville…Virginia does not want to go back to division.”
UPDATE 11:09 am: Neo-Confederate Corey’s opening statement now has the gall to brag that Prince William County is one of the most diverse jurisdictions in Virginia. Corey takes about 1 minute to talk about “criminal illegal aliens.” Corey now claims Kaine is a “nice guy,” after attacking him viciously the past few months, even saying he should be put in jail. So basically, looks like Corey’s going to pretend to be relatively civil today. Don’t buy it.
UPDATE 11:03 am: Former VA GOP Executive Director @svkenney tweets, “That sends two messages: (1)
@CoreyStewartMN has no intentions of firing Landrum, and (2) he has no apologies for associating with the alt-right. An alt-right with deep and serious connections to Russian influence.”
UPDATE 11 am: And so it begins…glad that this is being live streamed.
This should be fun, as far-right, neo-Confederate Corey Stewart appears in his first U.S. Senate debate with Sen. Tim Kaine starting at 11 am today (see video stream, above). I’m planning to live blog it, so stay tuned. Should be, er, interesting to hear what Crazy Corey as to say. I hope that moderator Judy Woodruff really quizzes Corey on his ties to white supremacists, among other things. The bottom line is that Senator Kaine is fighting to make things better for all Virginians – and all Americans – while Corey Stewart is focused on tearing people apart, proving that he’s Donald Trump’s faithful “mini-me,” and generally lowering the level of our public discourse into the gutter. [note: Kaine tweeted this morning, “I’ve debated a lot in my life—from my time in the courtroom as a civil rights lawyer to my time as Governor—each time, my focus has been on helping people and making things fairer. Today won’t be any different.“] This election should be about which candidate will serve ALL Virginians, as opposed to the far-right fringe. The choice is crystal clear – reelect Tim Kaine in a landslide; end Corey Stewart’s disastrous political career.
P.S. The first one of these VBA debates I covered was back in 2005, as then-Attorney General Jerry Kilgore debated then-Lt. Governor Tim Kaine at the Greenbrier in West Virginia. I also covered the 2006 VBA debate at The Homestead, that time between then-Sen. George “Felix Macacawitz” Allen and Jim Webb. Ah, memories…
It’s #VASEN debate day – @timkaine got up in the 5am hour to hit the gym here, so he can better flex on @CoreyStewartVA. ? He’s already making VBA staff laugh – and considering doing the thing in resort casual. ???♂️
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) July 21, 2018
— Jenna Portnoy (@jennaportnoy) July 21, 2018
This says it all…
As does this!
For any and all media wondering: @CoreyStewartVA aide Brian Landrum is in attendance at #vbadebate, in case you’d like to ask him why he spent months in contact with Jason Kessler in a group chat used for planning Unite the Right 2 before he left it.
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) July 21, 2018
— Amy Friedenberger (@AJFriedenberger) July 21, 2018
Snap coverage of #vbadebate will come and quickly dissipate – but this moment of @CoreyStewartVA refusing to disavow Roy Moore and DEFENDING him against accusations of sexually abusing teenage girls will live on for a while…#VASEN pic.twitter.com/SU0qkFJdBd
— Ian Sams (@IanSams) July 21, 2018