Transcript: Remarks by former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine at the Democratic National Convention
Edited by Jenny Jiang
Transcript of remarks by former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who is running for U.S. Senate, at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, September 4, 2012:
“Good evening! It is so great to be here tonight! Charlotte’s doing a great job, and I especially want to give my thanks to my friends from Virginia!
“You know, a few years ago, very few imagined that Virginia would be a battleground state. Virginia had last voted for a Democrat for president in 1964, but in 2008 we proudly cast our electoral votes for President Obama.
“In 2006 and in 2008, we elected two outstanding senators—Jim Webb and Mark Warner. And if I have anything to do with it, we’ll win again in 2012!
“How did Virginia go from red to purple? We did it with grassroots excitement and hard work. And we showed Virginians that Democrats get results. When I was governor, during the worst recession since the Great Depression, Virginia maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in America. We kept our AAA bond rating. We were named most business-friendly state, best managed state and best state to raise a child.
“In Virginia, we cut billions from the state budget, while making critical investments in schools, roads and bridges. We worked together with Democrats, Republicans and independents to get results.
“Now over the last four years, the GOP pushed ideology and wedge issues. Just last week, they passed a platform demanding privacy for Super PACs and denying privacy to women making health care decisions.
“Meanwhile, Democrats fought for the middle class. We cut taxes for 95 percent of American families. We went from 25 months of job loss to 29 straight months of private-sector job growth. The auto industry is back. Manufacturers are hiring again, but we know we’ve got to do more. And this fall, there is a real choice.
“The other side fights to protect subsidies for Big Oil. But we want to invest in America’s small businesses. They want bigger tax cuts for those who need it least. We want to invest in our communities—roads, bridges and infrastructure that will make us more competitive. They want to slash education and job training. We want to invest in our future.
“Now, there’s just as stark a choice when it comes to fixing America’s budget. The last time they were in charge, the other side turned a record surplus into a massive deficit with two wars, trillions in tax breaks, loopholes and entitlements they wouldn’t pay for. And today – well, you see what they’re pushing. They’re pushing budget-busting tax cuts and economy-busting spending cuts.
“To pay for the plan, they’d raise taxes on the middle class. They’d turn Medicare into a voucher system. And rather than raise taxes on the wealthy by even one penny, they’d put thousands of defense jobs at risk. So let’s be clear: That’s not fiscally responsible. That’s fiscally reckless, and we can’t afford to try it again!
“We’ve got to move forward, because while we’ve made progress, we still have a long way to go. We’ll only get there if we elect leaders who put results over ideology.
“I support President Obama, because he’s that kind of a leader. He said he’d end the war in Iraq, and he has. He said he’d draw down troops in Afghanistan, and today every single Virginia National Guard unit is home for the first time in a decade, and we’re so happy. He said he’d go after al-Qaida and take out [Osama] bin Laden. And with our great SEAL team that’s exactly what he did.
“He said he’d try something that Teddy Roosevelt first talked about: reforming the health care system, and he did. He promised to fight for equal pay for women, college affordability for students and fair treatment for LGBT Americans—and he’s kept his word. He’s a tough leader who gets results.
“Next week, we commemorate the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Many Virginians – too many Virginians – lost their lives at the Pentagon that day and in the wars we’ve fought since. When I was governor, I went to funerals of Virginia Guard members. I know people who lost their kids and I know service members who returned, their lives forever changed. Their sacrifice reminds us we’re not Democrats or Republicans first. We’re Americans first.
“So we’ve been through tough times as a nation, but we are tough people. And remember tough times don’t last but tough people do last. So let’s come together, show how tough Americans are and prove that our best days will always, always be ahead of us.
“Thanks and have a great night. Appreciate it!”