Updated: GOP criticizes Kaine for absence during storm
Republicans blasted Gov. Tim Kaine for being in Arkansas on Democratic National Committee business Thursday while a storm continued to flood parts of the state.
Kaine, the DNC's chairman, headlined a fundraiser Thursday in Little Rock along with Arkansas's top elected officials, including Gov. Mike Beebe and Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, according to the Associated Press in Arkansas.
"We're not surprised that he cares more about raising money for the DNC than he does for being here at home to show support for flood victims and oversee relief efforts," said Pat Mullins, chairman of the state GOP.
Kaine declared a state of emergency late Wednesday in response to the anticipated effects of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida and a coastal Nor'easter.
He left Wednesday and returned to the state last night. He was briefed by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management on the storm this morning and expects to assess storm damage around the state Saturday.
"The Rs (Republicans) are going to say what they're going to say In terms of their press release, I don't feel the need to comment on it,'' Kaine told reporters at a news conference today. "I was in close consultation with staff. I've got the best emergency operations (staff) in the United States...They know what they are doing."
Republicans have criticized Kaine for his out-of-state travel before. This summer his office began releasing his travel schedule at the end of each month after pressure by the media and others to disclose his whereabouts.
Kaine said there were four traffic deaths during the storm, but that only two were directly related to the weather. Thousands of residents remain without power.
November 13, 2009; 12:50 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine
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