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Kaine Takes on Steele

Rosalind Helderman

Should Gov. Tim Kaine become a Republican?

So says Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, with whom Kaine clashed for the first time on a Sunday morning talk show this morning. Wearing his hat as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Kaine appeared on NBC's Meet the Press alongside Steele to discuss national issues like health care, torture and abortion.

And it was on that last issue that Steele took a chance to rib Kaine. Discussing whether Notre Dame is correct to award President Obama an honorary degree (Kaine says yes, Steele not so much), Steele seemed to take a bit of joy in referring to his fellow Catholic as a "pro-life" governor.

Since his campaign for governor in 2005, Kaine has always said he personally opposed abortion but that he did not favor making it illegal. Not, traditionally, the definition of a pro-life politician.

Still, Kaine did not directly correct his Republican counterpoint. Until he took it a step further.

Addressing the issue of who best represents the voice of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh or Colin Powell, a political topic du jour since Dick Cheney last week said he believed it was the former, Steele said he wants the GOP to encompass both.

"I'd take both of them. I want 'em both," Steele said, before continuing, "As the chairman of the party, I want Rush Limbaugh, I want Colin Powell and I'll even take Tim Kaine. I mean, he's pro-life, he's pro-business, you know, he's pro-second amendment."

Kaine's response to the kind offer?

"My father-in-law was a Republican governor, but I'm a proud Democrat."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 17, 2009; 10:29 AM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Comments

Tim Kaine's thoughtful and measured response to Michael Steele's offer of inclusion in the GOP demonstrates why he has been an effective leader here in Virginia. He is not an ideologue. He balances his personal beliefs and values with what is needed to lead a constituency that is increasingly diverse in times that are changing rapidly. He is not fanatical or extreme, and was the perfect choice to head the Democratic National Committee. He is a true reflection of a stronger and more confident Democratic party. I'm glad Steele got a chance to meet the man who is leading the party that is leading the nation. We are proud that Tim Kaine calls Virginia "home."

Posted by: csread | May 17, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame, Michale Steele. You have already used up about 8 of those minutes and the clock is ticking on the remaining 7. This time next year, Tim Kaine will be sitting next to a new RNC chair and the RNC will still be trying to find a message that resonates with the public because all of the purity purging that's going on in the RNC will leave no one left who has any new ideas.

Posted by: dlpetersdc | May 17, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Great illustration of the difference between Dems and the GOP. To belong to the GOP you have to comply rigidly to the ideology while Dems are permitted to think for themselves. Robots vs. humans!

Posted by: cdierd1944 | May 17, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The program was interesting. Meet the press now resembles that of Tim Russert. Why the media ia always on Rush I do not understand. He nodoubt has the maximum audience in the country. No matter what the media like NBC or cNN try to discredit him will not affect his popularity. I think his popularity has been steadily increasing after Obama's election since these media are trying discredit Rush. Let the president Obama do what he wants to do and let Rush talk. People will have the ability to judge and vote in 2010.

Posted by: ganeshan | May 17, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Michale Steele is fresh air in a very stale room. Kudos.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 17, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Well, sure. The Pope says all forms of abortion are baby killing hence murder hence contrary to God's Will. Therefore, the U.S. being a Christian Theocracy, abortion must be banned, or, at least, a Church review board should decide the outcome of every proposed abortion on a case by case basis. Republicans insist that we Democrats get with program (or die). It would be convenient were it not also God's Will for his creation (people) to desire to pair off and fertilize eggs. Logic has no place in these "debates." Pity.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | May 17, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

This issue is always a 'tough one'. The choice to a frightened teenager: (A) 'Backalley abortion' or (B) one WITHIN the healthcare system? What if 'Her' parents are 'pro life'?... What if 'it' was incest? Or rape?... A 'nine month visit' to 'Auntie' much?.... Uhh Huhhh.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | May 17, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

If Kaine does not hew to the extremist ideology of his messiah, then why has he put his talents at the messiah's disposal?

Posted by: zjr78xva | May 17, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

watch kaine and steele funny video
http://www.frizle.com

Posted by: roverfind | May 18, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

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