Interesting comments by Sen. Tim Kaine earlier today on the Gene Rossi Show, regarding the Kurdish/Syria/Turkey situation, as well as impeachment and vaping.
On the first issue, Sen. Kaine said he thinks that Trump made a “massive mistake by turning his back on the Kurds,” who Kaine called the “strongest battlefield ally that the US has had in the effort [against ISIS].” Unfortunately, due to Trump’s foolishness, Kaine predicted that “we will likely see a resurgent ISIS,” while also “mak[ing] future allies very reticent about partnering with the United States…because they’ll believe that the U.S. won’t be there for them.” As for what the Turks are up to in northeastern Syria, Sen. Kaine called it “ethnic cleansing,” which Kaine said is not something the U.S. should be “enabling.”
On impeachment, Sen. Kaine said what the House is doing is “necessary,” “deadly serious” and “unpredictable.” Sen. Kaine believes it’s “necessary” because “when the president got a warning about what was right and what was wrong and decided, I don’t care, the rules don’t apply to me, I’m gonna do it anyway, the House had to move forward.” Sen. Kaine believes it’s “deadly serious” because of “foreign interference” and “obstruction of justice.” On the “unpredictable” nature of the impeachment process, Sen. Kaine said he hadn’t realized that Rudy Giuliani was being deputized to work with others to run Ukraine policy instead of Secretary of State Pompeo,” and also hadn’t realized that “there had been a whisper and smear campaign to kick out an able career State Department foreign service officer, the Ukrainian ambassador.”
In general, Sen. Kaine believes that “some facts are going to come out that are going to be shocking,” and that “when it gets to the Senate…Senate behavior is unpredictable…[Trump] is making Republicans so mad.” Sen. Kaine said that Trump is “incredibly emotionally volatile,” and that it’s Kaine’s job to help “protect the country, communities I care about, our values from” Trump. Bottom line: it’s going to be a “highly volatile next few months.”
Finally, on vaping, Sen. Kaine discussed his bipartisan bill with Sen. McConnell to raise the tobacco age from 18 to 21. Sen. Kaine noted that from 2017 to 2018, the number of young people smoking rose nationally by 1.7 million, in large part due to marketing of e-cigarettes directly to young people by companies, using “popcorn flavor, cotton candy flavor,” etc.