January 31, 2017
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who switched from pro-life to pro-abortion to become Hillary Clinton’s running mate, says Democrats “are so excited that the American public is energized to speak out against the abuses of this administration,” and he believes it will work to their advantage.
He pointed to recent rallies in support of health care, in support of women, and against President Trump’s executive orders on immigration, saying Democrats must “take advantage” of the “tremendous public outcry.”
“What we’ve got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box; and now there’s the momentum to be able to do this,” Kaine told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday.
“And we’re not afraid of the popular outcry, we’re energized by it, and that’s going to help us do our job, and do it better.”
‘Chew up time’ on Tillerson nomination
Asked what recourse he has as a senator to “stop” some of the things Trump is trying to accomplish, Kaine pointed to the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.
“This executive order about immigration, because it affects our relationship with the world, is exactly the kind of thing that should cause us to really chew up some time on the Tillerson nomination and expose our concerns about the executive orders,” Kaine said.
(President Trump has complained about the Democrat delay in confirming the people he needs to help him do his job, tweeting on Tuesday morning: “When will the Democrats give us our Attorney General and rest of Cabinet! They should be ashamed of themselves! No wonder D.C. doesn’t work!”)
Kaine said Democrats are “going to use our time and use the nominations going forward, especially 18 nominations, to demonstrate where we are in contravening these administration policies.”
Kaine also indicated that the Democrats will take advantage of perceived divisions in the Republican Party in an attempt to block Trump’s temporary ban on immigrants from seven nations where terrorism is a problem.
“We’re going to introduce legislation to rescind or dramatically revise it,” Kaine said.
“Now look, we’re realistic. We’re the minority party in both houses, but there are a number of Republicans, especially in the Senate, who have spoken out against this and are very embarrassed by it. So look, we’ll be pushing legislatively and we’ll be pushing in the court, and we will be energized by this activism.”
Asked who is the current leader of the Democrat Party, Kaine demurred: “I think that’s old time thinking…I think it’s old time thinking to think you gotta organize this in a pyramid with one person at the top.”
But pressed on the issue, Kaine finally pointed to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), because he leads the Senate Democrats, who have the tools — including holds, filibuster, cloture — to slow things down or stop them.
“And we’re going to use all those tools,” he added.