Richmond, VA - Today, former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine met with Northern Virginia women to discuss his economic approach and hear directly from women on issues important to them and their families. During the town hall style meeting, Kaine shared his economic vision and fielded questions from more than 75 Northern Virginia women on topics ranging from infrastructure investments to small business support to strategies for strengthening Medicare and Social Security.
“Three of the most important issues are how we accelerate our economic growth, how we fix our budget challenges, and maybe most importantly, finding balance in our politics and in our ability to work together,” said Kaine. “I think I have some lessons to offer on these. We need to get the budget, tax, and regulatory policies right, but we’ve also got to be smart about our investment strategy in small business success, brainpower, and infrastructure.”
During the meeting, Kaine laid out his economic vision and contrasted his approach to issues important to women's health care and economic opportunity with the Senate record and campaign positions of his opponent, George Allen. Kaine rejects divisive issues like “personhood” legislation that could criminalize all abortions and jeopardize access to contraception, and the Blunt Amendment that would allow employers to deny coverage for preventive services like birth control. Allen has voiced support for the Blunt Amendment and promised to fight for “personhood” legislation at the federal level, even after the Virginia General Assembly rejected it during their last session.
“Part of finding balance and common ground are the issues we choose to focus on,” said Kaine. “One of the things that’s been disturbing to me is a focus in Richmond on people trying to regulate women’s health care decisions. It’s wrong for legislators to believe they can make women’s moral decisions for them. As soon as you focus on those issues you’re not focusing on the issues that bring people together. They’re called wedge issues for a reason and I can’t think of a time when we less needed wedge issues.”
Kaine also expressed his support for measures to help close the pay gap for women including the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. Allen has refused to endorse either bill. Kaine also reminded women of Allen’s votes against the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) while in Congress.
“Support for family leave is an economic issue,” said Kaine. “Paycheck equity is an economic issue. Whether your employer can deny you access to contraceptive coverage, that’s an economic issue. The notion that these are just social issues is condescending and demeaning. These are economic issues that affect families and women’s financial well being.”
Today’s event is the latest in a series of events and advertisements to inform Virginia women on the issues at stake and the choice in this year’s U.S. Senate race. This morning, Kaine’s campaign also launched a radio ad called “Economic Issues,” highlighting a critical exchange from the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Senate debate in which Kaine gave a strong defense of women's rights on issues ranging from equal pay, to the freedom to make their own health care choices, to important protections like the Family and Medical Leave Act.