One of the finalists to be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's running mate is reportedly Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). Here are five things you need to know about him.
1. His record as governor of Virginia was terrible. As The Daily Wire has previously written, "Tuition skyrocketed by 30 percent during Kaine's tenure as governor of Virginia, the state lost 65,000 jobs during his last year and couldn't get his own party to vote for his tax increases." In fact, according to Bearing Drift, Kaine "tried to raise taxes every year."
Kaine also signed a bill banning smoking in numerous bars and restaurants throughout the state. Kaine also appointed Esam Omeish to Virginia's Immigration Commission, who was later discovered to have made virulently anti-Israel statements and advocated for the "jihad way to liberate your land." Omeish resigned from his position, and Kaine said in a statement that he was "made aware of certain statements he has made which concern me. Dr. Omeish indicated that he did not want this controversy to distract from the important work of the Commission."
This isn't to imply that Kaine shares Omeish's views, but it does show that Kaine and his team did a poor job vetting Omeish's background.
2. He was the chair of the Democratic National Committee during Barack Obama's first term as president. He also endorsed Obama in 2008 and supported his agenda items as the DNC chair from 2009-2011. In the Senate, Kaine has been a reliable lockstep voter for Obama's initiatives.
3. Kaine is horrible on gun rights. Back in 2015, Kaine supported a bill that would hold gun manufacturers "criminally liable for a bad sale if they didn’t take reasonable, affirmative steps to determine the customer met federal criteria," according to The Roanoke Times. This would be a terrible policy, as The Daily Wire has explained here.
In an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press in June, Kaine argued in favor of "limitations on the size of magazines and ammunition clips."
"As soon as you define what an assault weapon is -- you can't sell a weapon and here's how we describe it -- gun manufacturers just make one adjustment or two and they say see, this isn't subject to the limitation, whereas if you say you can't sell an ammunition clip or a magazine that would have more than 10 or 12 rounds...I really think that's probably the way to tackle the problem more effectively," said Kaine.
4. Kaine has claimed that Obama is waging an illegal war against ISIS. Back in 2015, Kaine said in an appearance on HuffPost Live that Obama's air strikes against ISIS were illegal since Congress never officially declared war against the terror group.
"The president says that the authorization passed after 9/11 that said that the president could take action against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks covers this," Kaine said. "Hold on a second! The perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks are Al-Qaeda. ISIL didn’t form until 2003, and ISIL is battling Al-Qaeda in Syria right now. So the notion that there’s any legal justification for this war without Congress weighing in, to me is ridiculous."
However, Kaine blamed Congress for failing to rein in Obama.
Kaine made a similar claim about the ISIS strikes back in 2014, and Hot Air's Ed Morrissey pointed out at the time that Kaine's argument distinguishing between ISIS and al-Qaeda is not as black-and-white as he makes it out to be:
The two are not at open war with each other, as Kaine suggests, although units in their respective networks may have clashed in Syria occasionally. ISIS declares its loyalty to Osama bin Laden’s vision, and was an early offshoot of the main AQ network run by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as “al-Qaeda in Iraq.” AQ designated Zarqawi as the network’s “emir” during the insurgency. We certainly considered AQI as a legitimate target under one or both AUMFs during that period, and it’s not clear why a name change would make a difference now.
Morrissey also pointed out that Kaine had no problem with Obama acting unilaterally to invade Libya in 2011, although he did argue that Obama working with Congress would be a better look for him.
5. His eyebrow once raised eyebrows. When Kaine gave the rebuttal to then President George W. Bush's State of the Union address in 2006, everyone noticed something peculiar:
That raised left eyebrow briefly captured the attention of the nation, according to the Daily-Press:
Literally thousands of responses nationwide to the Democrat's response from Kaine mentioned his wandering eyebrow. It's comforting to know that people are zeroing in on the real issues.
A quick check of just one blog search engine, Technorati, found 120 postings that mentioned Kaine's eyebrow in the 48 hours after his 11-minute speech.
"Tuesday night's State of the Union was more or less ho-hum, but the real entertainment came, as far as I was concerned, with 'The Eyebrow' that followed. I was literally transfixed by Tim Kaine's left eyebrow,' '' blogged "Lulu's Mama."
"For real men, Tim Kaine's eyebrow is a national issue,'' wrote "Malea."
"Watch out, kids, or the eyebrow might be coming to get you in 2008,'' wrote Amanda B. Carpenter, assistant editor for the blog Human Events.
In 2008, numerous pundits thought that the eyebrow was enough to prevent Obama from selecting Kaine as his running mate. Will it be enough to sway Clinton against picking Kaine to be her vice-president?