INTERVIEW: Tim Kaine discusses his Senate bid

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's a job that at one time, he said he didn't want. But now former governor Tim Kaine is moving forward with an effort to win a seat in the United States Senate.

Kaine is vying to replace current senator Jim Webb, who will not seek re-election.

Well, it is a job that at one time he said he didn't want, but now former governor Tim Kaine is moving forward with an effort to win a seat in the united states senate. He's vying to replace current senator Jim Webb, who will not seek reelection. He joins us now to talk about his race for the senate. Welcome to first at 4:00.

TIM KAINE: Thank you. It's great to be with you today.

RYAN: Let's talk about this decision that you made to run. You did say at one point that you weren't interested in running for the Senate.

TIM KAINE: Absolutely.

RYAN NOBLES: Do you have the fire in your belly to win this seat? Because it's definitely going to be required.

TIM KAINE: Ryan, I never do anything unless I do it all in, and I'm all in to win this race. You're right. It was a little bit of a surprise. I never thought I would be in politics. I got mad at the [Richmond] city council one day and I ran and served four terms. I was on my way out of local politics when a good friend of mine developed pancreatic cancer and had to drop out of a race for lieutenant governor, and so I was a surprise entrant into that race. I was very confident and optimistic that Jim Webb would run again. When he announced he wouldn't, my wife Ann and I spent three or four weeks really thinking about it and decided for a variety of reasons we really needed to do to this. And now that I'm in, I'm all in. I'm excited about it.

RYAN NOBLES: One of the big fights on Capitol Hill right now is over spending and balancing the budget.


RYAN NOBLES: You have obviously balanced a lot of budgets. It's a requirement when you're the Governor of Virginia.

TIM KAINE: It's a good trait in state law.

RYAN NOBLES: Can you balance the budget at the federal government level without raising taxes in some respect?

TIM KAINE: First, you can't just balance the budget like this. We have a traditional at the state level of doing it every year, but we've allowed surpluses in some years and mostly deficits for a long time. It's going to take a while to get back to the flight path that works. The effort I'm supporting right now is the effort of the gang of six in the senate, a bipartisan effort to look at all options. Dramatic reductions in expenses but revenues, as well, filling in loopholes, not giving subsidies to oil companies, a whole series of things you can do. I think it's going to take ideas that both parties like and probably ideas that both parties don't like. But we'll only do it if we can get a bipartisan agreement. Democrats don't have the votes and republicans don't either.

RYAN NOBLES: You're going to be replacing a man if you win who has extensive experience in foreign policy, Jim Webb. Where are you now on how the administration has handled the situation in Libya?

TIM KAINE: My sense is in, what we found was a terrorist leader who had committed acts of terrorism against the United States in the Lockerbie bombing about ready to commit atrocities against his own people. After escalating sanctions, after a resolution and request by the United Nations, he wasn't backing down and significant bloodshed was going to happen with the support of both the U.N. Security Council and Arab League, the United States stepped in to prevent bloodshed. I do think that was the right thing to do so long as it was multilateral. We shouldn't be doing this on our own, but with the support of the Arab League and U.N. Security Council, I think it was appropriate.

RYAN NOBLES: But should the United States be taking the lead? I think there has been some criticism from Republicans.

TIM KAINE: My position is this, we should always defend ourselves unilaterally, but when we're going in another nation on a humanitarian in addition to prevent bloodshed, it is important to do it with other nations. In fact, in this case, we went in with other nations. NATO is now taking the lead, which is the right strategy, I believe. It's not up to us to be the police force, but on a humanitarian mission like this, we should join with other nations.

RYAN NOBLES: My last question for you, it looks, as though the Republican candidate could be George Allen. He had a faux paux, some may say when he mentioned a word that was caught on tape. He has tried to atone for that. If he is the Republican nominee, is that going to be part of your campaign or something put in the past?

TIM KAINE: I don't know yet who my opponent will be. I think you're right, most people think Senator Allen is my likely opponent. We're both going to be judged on what we've done and what we've said, and that's fair, but I'm not running against anybody. My campaign is Kaine for Virginia, and I'm going to be talking about what I think we need to do. My simple motto is this, America has got challenges. Virginia has answers, and I'm going to be talking about a positive message of things.

RYAN NOBLES: We've have much more to go. Thank you for being here.

TIM KAINE: Thank you.

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