Richmond, VA - Following "The People's Debate" co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Virginia, AARP Virginia, WTVR CBS6, and WCVE PBS this evening in Richmond, Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine released the following statement:
"In tonight's debate, Virginians saw the clear differences between Tim Kaine and George Allen. Tim Kaine offered specific, bipartisan solutions to pressing challenges facing our nation like extending Medicare's solvency, avoiding harmful defense and domestic sequestration cuts, responsibly reducing our deficit, and creating jobs for hard-working Americans. George Allen, on the other hand, offered voters the same empty rhetoric on fiscal responsibility that contradicts his fiscally reckless record and the same failed economic strategy that helped create the current economic mess.
"As Tim Kaine travels across the Commonwealth, he hears again and again that what voters want are people who can work together to break gridlock in Washington. Throughout his time in public service, Governor Kaine has done exactly that, working across lines of division to bring people together for results. Whether it was building new schools and reducing crime as Richmond's mayor or investing in pre-K, higher education, and major infrastructure projects as Virginia's governor, Tim Kaine has a proven record as a bipartisan leader. Tonight, voters heard George Allen attempt to re-make himself as the same bipartisan leader, but Virginians remember his repeated efforts to malign his perceived opponents and pit Virginians against one another throughout his decades in politics.
"Instead of offering middle ground positions on key issues, George Allen continued to put partisan rhetoric over results. On sequestration, George Allen’s proposed solutions, like holding the 34th vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, actually add to the deficit and increase gridlock. In contrast, Tim Kaine offered a specific compromise that avoids the cuts while beginning to responsibly reduce the deficit. On retirement security, Allen endorsed partisan approaches that shift costs onto current seniors and threaten the stability of safety-net programs like Social Security by privatizing funds. In contrast, Tim Kaine pledged to strengthen these programs by making smart adjustments like allowing the government to negotiate for lower cost prescription drug prices. And Tim Kaine made it clear he understands that women's issues are really economic issues, making a strong defense for equal pay and full preventive health care while George Allen continued to dodge questions on closing the pay gap and legislation that limits women's health care choices. Finally, George Allen endorsed the all-cuts approach backed by Washington lobbyist Grover Norquist that would slash spending on priorities like Medicare, defense, and education while Tim Kaine backed a balanced approach that cuts spending while finding new revenues for investments that help rebuild the economy.
"If George Allen's economic philosophy were a success, we wouldn't be where we are today: recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Virginians can't afford to go back to his approach. It's time to move forward with a leader like Tim Kaine who has a proven record of making responsible choices in a tough economy."