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Kaine Gets Tough With Clinton

Tim Craig

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), along with other elected leaders from medium size states, sent out a letter to the national media this morning in an attempt to refute Sen. Hillary Clinton's claims that she would be the strongest Democratic presidential nominee this fall because she has won more big states.

The letter, titled "debunking the Clinton campaign's dubious big state spin," argues that Sen. Barack Obama has won a majority of the largest states that are likely to decide the 2008 presidential contest, including Virginia, where Obama got 64 percent of the vote last month.

"Senator Obama has scored important victories in each of our states - states that will play a decisive role in deciding whether or not John McCain will be given the chance to enter the White House and extend George Bush's failed policies for another 4 years," the letter said, which was signed by Kaine, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

"In each of the 30 primaries and caucuses that Obama has now won, including Mississippi yesterday, he's shown the ability to motivate Democrats to turn out at the polls, win the support of blue collar voters in suburban and rural communities and attract the support of Independents and Republicans," the letter said.

Kaine is one of Obama's national co-chairs. In the past, Kaine has argued that, even though he thinks Obama is the Democratic candidate most likely to win Virginia in the fall, he also believes that Clinton will be competitive if she were the nominee.

But the letter indicates that Kaine may now be taking a hard line against Clinton.

"The Clinton campaign's misleading argument about the importance of her performance in the largest states actually highlights the limits of her appeal and her ability to win the general election," the letter states.

By Tim Craig  |  March 12, 2008; 12:39 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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