AWKWARD: Tim Kaine Once Said Clinton Was UNFIT to Lead, Should RESIGN

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 10.03.19 AMFor a man that is now running side-by-side with Hillary, he has made some damning statements in the past about the potential first gentleman. Check out the hard hitting attacks he made against Bill when he was sitting president.

Bill Clinton should have resigned over the Monica Lewinsky scandal—at least, that’s a view Tim Kaine once held.

Kaine’s remark—reported 14 years ago in the Richmond Times-Dispatch in the aftermath of a state-level sex scandal—hasn’t drawn any attention thus far in the 2016 presidential cycle. But it suggests Hillary Clinton’s running mate at one point harbored reservations about the integrity of the man poised to become the country’s first first gentleman.

Kaine commented on the Lewinsky scandal in 2002, when allegations of sexual harassment had rocked the Virginia House of Delegates. The speaker of the house, Vance Wilkins, was a Republican power broker who had just helped his party flip the House and build its majority after Democrats had historically controlled the chamber.

Just one problem: Earlier in 2001, Wilkins agreed to pay $100,000 in hush money to a former female employee at his construction company who said he sexually harassed her.

The woman, Jennifer Thompson, alleged privately that Wilkins groped her and pinned her against office furniture. She considered pressing charges, according to a Washington Post report that broke the news on June 7, 2002. But she ultimately decided not to, accepting the $100,000 from Wilkins and signing a confidentiality agreement. The Postcited “sources familiar with the settlement” in their report on it. Wilkins held—and still holds, as he stated in an interview with The Daily Beast—that he didn’t sexually harass Thompson, and that he only paid her to keep her allegations from becoming a scandal that would have undermined Republicans’ efforts to control the House.

The Post’s report caused an immediate firestorm, and top Republicans called for Wilkins to resign. Jerry Kilgore, then the state’s attorney general and top-ranking elected Republican, joined the chorus.

So did Tim Kaine, who was the state’s lieutenant governor at the time. And according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he said he also believed Bill Clinton should have resigned from the presidency over his own sex scandals.

Here’s what the paper wrote, in a story published June 8, 2002:

“If the allegations are true, he should definitely resign,” Kaine said, adding he held the same view about President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.

“That is an intolerable way to treat women and it’s not something that the state should be dragged through.”

The Times-Dispatch story is behind a paywall in its archive.

A report in The Washington Post, also published on June 8, 2002, characterized his views the same way:

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who may face [state Attorney General Jerry] Kilgore in the 2005 governor’s race, likened the matter to the sexual scandal of President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky, saying, “If the allegations are true, he ought to resign.”

“Somebody in public life shouldn’t behave that way toward women,” Kaine said. “It’s tawdry. It’s not the leadership that Virginia should have.”

An AP story that ran on the same day also highlighted Kaine’s criticism of Bill Clinton.

“When I read it this morning, my reaction was the same I had when I read about the Clinton-Lewinsky affair: this is not appropriate conduct. It’s beneath the dignity of the office,” he said.

Amy Dudley, a spokesperson for Kaine, said the Virginia senator is focused on the future.

“As the Associated Press reported at the time, Kaine characterized President Clinton’s actions as ‘not appropriate’ conduct, but he had previously been on record criticizing the impeachment effort,” she said. “He believes this election is about Hillary Clinton’s vision to make historic investments to create good paying jobs, make college debt free and build an economy that works for everyone, not re-litigating personal issues from the distant past.”

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