Former DNC Chairman Suddenly Hedges After Signaling Support
As President Barack Obama continues his swing-state tour to try and sell Americans on his proposal for hundreds of billions of dollars in new reckless government spending and record $1.5 trillion in job-killing tax hikes, a growing public backlash against the scheme has resulted in a long and growing list of Washington Democrats who are reluctant to get on board.
The Virginian-Pilot editorialized Sunday that it represents the “same old” tax-and-spend policies Obama and Kaine have been pushing all along, “well-worn measures that Congress has rejected over and over again.”
After spending the last several years in Washington as the #1 cheerleader for President Obama’s costly, failed agenda, former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine initially signaled his support for Obama’s new “stimulus” spending and record tax hikes, standing side-by-side with Obama in Richmond as they attempted to sell Virginians on the plan, while the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that “Kaine campaign spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine responded that Kaine supported the tax proposal.”
But as Politico reports today, facing an uphill campaign amid a growing revolt by both the general public and his own fellow Washington Democrats, Kaine is now attempting to back away from his reflexive support for the Obama agenda:
Tim Kaine, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who is now running in Virginia for the Senate, applauded Obama’s “short-term approach” but said he wants time to review tangible legislation before he jumps on board. An aide cautioned that Kaine is in no rush and will wait for the “jockeying” to subside before deciding whether he can support the particulars.
“After years of supporting President Obama’s tax-and-spend plans and sticking Virginians with the bill, it was no surprise that Tim Kaine signaled his early support for Obama’s new $1.5 trillion in job-killing tax hikes. So why is he being so shifty about it now?” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesman Chris Bond. “Kaine has always gone along with Obama’s deficit spending and job-killing tax hikes before, so what – besides the fact that he and Obama are linked together in an uphill election battle – has changed?”
Kaine’s love of job-killing tax hikes and evident fear of standing up to his boss, President Obama, make it dubious that he will join the growing bipartisan opposition to the tax hikes. As Governor, he twice attempted to slam Virginians with multi-billion-dollar transportation tax hikes and even proposed the largest tax hike in Virginia history in the waning hours of his term. Then, as Obama’s hand-picked DNC Chairman in 2009, Kaine enthusiastically cheered for Obama’s initial $800 billion stimulus spending spree, which failed to create the jobs they promised. In 2010, Kaine eagerly backed Obama’s $2.5 trillion government health care bill, including its $570 billion in tax hikes.
SEN. JON TESTER (D-MT): …Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who likely will face GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg in next year’s reelection bid, hedged a bit, saying he backs provisions in Obama’s plan that call for closing tax loopholes that benefit millionaires and corporations. “This plan isn’t the one I would have written, nor is it the one that will end up passing Congress,” Tester said.” (Scott Wong And Jake Sherman, “Moderate Dems Duck, Cover On Hikes,” Politico, 9/19/11)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), another Democrat facing a tough race, also declined to weigh in on Obama’s plan Monday evening; he said that he needed to examine it and would have a statement Tuesday. (“Some moderate Democrats lukewarm on Obama’s deficit-reduction plan,” Washington Post, 9/19/2011)
SEN. BEN NELSON (D-NE): Nebraska Dem Ben Nelson tonight said talk of raising revenues, raising taxes “not helpful at the moment”, “we’ve got to cut the spending” (NBC’s Libby Leist Tweet, 9/19/2011)
SEN. CLAIRE McCASKILL (D-MO): U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D., a vocal proponent of “cleaning up goodies” in the tax code and ending the Bush tax cuts for higher earners, was quiet regarding the president’s new proposal…. (Eli Yokley, “Mo. Democrats react to Obama deficit reduction proposal,” PoliticMO, 9/19/11)
SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): The offices of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. (“Leaders split on Obama tax plan,” Livingston Daily, 9/20/11)