Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has announced that she has selected former Virginia governor Tim Kaine as her running mate, a man who identifies as Catholic, but believes homosexuals should have freedom to “marry” and mothers should have the “right” to choose an abortion despite his personal beliefs on the issues.
Clinton unveiled her decision on social media on Friday, Tweeting, “I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others.”
She introduced Kaine during a campaign rally the following day at Florida International University.
“He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one,” Clinton stated before a crowd of approximately 5,000. “When I say he’s a progressive who likes to get things done, I mean it.”
Kaine, who currently serves as a senator in the state, spoke to those gathered in a mix of English and Spanish.
“We’re going to be compañeros de alma (soul mates) in this great lucha (fight) ahead,” he declared.
While Kaine, a Roman Catholic, has outlined that he personally opposes abortion, he believes that women should have the choice as to whether or not to end the life of their unborn child.
“I have taken the position, which is quite common among Catholics—I have got a personal feeling about abortion, but the right rule for government is to let women make their own decisions,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd last month.
“I strongly support the right of women to make their own health and reproductive decisions and, for that reason, will oppose efforts to weaken or subvert the basic holding of Roe v. Wade,” he also wrote on his campaign website in 2012. “We all share the goal of reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The right way to do this is through education and access to health care and contraception rather than criminalizing women’s reproductive decisions.”
Similarly, while Kaine has personal opinions about same-sex “marriage,” he has come out in favor of its allowance in recent years.
“I believe all people, regardless of sexual orientation, should be guaranteed the full rights to the legal benefits and responsibilities of marriage under the Constitution,” Kaine said in a statement in 2013. “I hope the Supreme Court will affirm that principle.”
Clinton characterized Kaine as being both a person of faith and a progressive on Saturday as they hit the campaign trail together for the first time.
“In both of our families, faith wasn’t just something we talked about at church on Sundays,” she said. “It was a call to serve others in every way that we can.”
Kaine was enrolled in a Jesuit high school as a youth and currently attends St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckbee told Fox News following the announcement of Kaine’s selection that he believes Kaine’s “faith is real” although he is perplexed by how Kaine votes opposite of his personal convictions.
“Let’s be clear, Tim Kaine is definitely a liberal. And even though he says he’s personally against abortion, he still always governs with a pro-abortion vote,” he said. “I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean—I’m personally against it, but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway.”