American Crossroads’ attack on former Gov. Tim Kaine (D-VA) attempts to paint him as self-serving and ambitious at the expense of the Virginians who elected him. To that end, Crossroads insinuates that his decision to serve as Democratic National Committee chairman during his final year as governor is connected to the state’s job losses, rather than the nationwide recession, and they snatch multiple clips of Kaine out of context to deceive voters about how he talks about his public service.
American Crossroads Blames Gov. Kaine For Global Recession?
Recession Ran From December 2007 To June 2009. From the National Bureau of Economic Research: “The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research met yesterday by conference call. At its meeting, the committee determined that a trough in business activity occurred in the U.S. economy in June 2009. The trough marks the end of the recession that began in December 2007 and the beginning of an expansion. The recession lasted 18 months, which makes it the longest of any recession since World War II. Previously the longest postwar recessions were those of 1973-75 and 1981-82, both of which lasted 16 months. In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.” [NBER.org, 9/20/10]
- Bush Recession Was So Severe That Economy Was Still Shedding Over Three-Quarters Of A Million Jobs Per Month Through First Few Months Of 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy shed 839,000 jobs in January 2009, 725,000 in February 2009, 787,000 in March 2009, and 802,000 in April 2009, for a four-month average of 788,250 lost jobs per month. [BLS.gov, accessed 5/3/12]
During Kaine’s Term As Governor, State Unemployment Rate Remained Well Below National Level, And Mirrored Nationwide Trend During Recession. Below is a graph comparing the unemployment rates in Virginia and the larger U.S. during Gov. Kaine’s term (Jan. 2006-Jan. 2010):
Affordable Care Act Savings Do Not “Cut” Medicare Benefits
Affordable Care Act Reduces Future Medicare Spending, But “Does Not Cut That Money From The Program.” According to PolitiFact: “The legislation aims to slow projected spending on Medicare by more than $500 billion over a 10-year period, but it does not cut that money from the program. Medicare spending will increase over that time frame.” [PolitiFact.com, 6/28/12]
GOP Plan Kept Most Of The Savings In The Affordable Care Act. According to the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler: “First of all, under the health care bill, Medicare spending continues to go up year after year. The health care bill tries to identify ways to save money, and so the $500 billion figure comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated Medicare spending (what is known as ‘the baseline’) and the changes the law makes to reduce spending. […] The savings actually are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries. These spending reductions presumably would be a good thing, since virtually everyone agrees that Medicare spending is out of control. In the House Republican budget, lawmakers repealed the Obama health care law but retained all but $10 billion of the nearly $500 billion in Medicare savings, suggesting the actual policies enacted to achieve these spending reductions were not that objectionable to GOP lawmakers.” [WashingtonPost.com, 6/15/11, emphasis added]
“Huge Energy Tax” Claim Overblown
Reuters: Experts Say House-Passed Clean Energy Bill Would Have “Only A Modest Impact On Consumers.” According to Reuters: “A new U.S. government study on Tuesday adds to a growing list of experts concluding that climate legislation moving through Congress would have only a modest impact on consumers, adding around $100 to household costs in 2020. Under the climate legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June, electricity, heating oil and other bills for average families will rise $134 in 2020 and $339 in 2030, according to the Energy Information Administration, the country’s top energy forecaster. The EIA estimate was in line with earlier projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office which said average families would pay about $175 extra annually by 2020, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which said families would pay at most an extra $1 per day.” [Reuters, 8/5/09]
- CBO: Energy Costs Would Actually Decrease For Low-Income Households. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, if the bill were implemented, “households in the lowest income quintile would see an average net benefit of about $40 in 2020, while households in the highest income quintile would see a net cost of $245.” [CBO.gov, 6/19/09]
- Study: Clean Energy Legislation Would Create Jobs, Boost GDP. According to an analysis by the University of California, Berkley: “Comprehensive clean energy and climate protection legislation, like the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) that was passed by the House of Representatives in June, would strengthen the U.S. economy by establishing pollution limits and incentives that together will drive large-scale investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. These investments will result in stronger job growth, higher real household income, and increased economic output than the U.S. would experience without the bill. New analysis by the University of California shows conclusively that climate policy will strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. Full adoption of the ACES package of pollution reduction and energy efficiency measures would create between 918,000 and 1.9 million new jobs, increase annual household income by $487-$1,175 per year, and boost GDP by $39 billion-$111 billion. These economic gains are over and above the growth the U.S. would see in the absence of such a bill.” [University of California, Berkeley, accessed 5/14/12]
Senate Version Of Cap-And-Trade Also Estimated By EPA To Have “Relatively Modest [Economic] Impact” On Households. From the Christian Science Monitor: “A stalled climate-energy bill in the Senate got a boost Tuesday from federal regulators who reported it would not be too costly, then from President Obama. […] The bill, which includes a market-based ‘cap and trade’ mechanism to put a price on carbon emissions from US smokestack emitters, would hike energy costs for both businesses and consumers. But with rebates for consumers in the plan, as well as other factors, the overall cost to American households would be $79 to $146 annually, the EPA found. The American Power Act would have ‘a relatively modest impact on US consumers,’ assuming that the ‘bulk of revenues from the program are returned to households lump-sum,’ the study’s authors wrote. The EPA also found that the cost to polluting businesses, such as coal-fired utilities, would not be too onerous. The cost to them to purchase allowances from the government for each ton of emissions was projected to be $16 to $17 per metric ton of greenhouse gases by 2013 and $23 to $24 per ton by 2020.” [Christian Science Monitor, 6/16/10]
Ad’s Kaine Quotes Are Lifted Out Of Context
“Pinch Myself” Quote: Kaine Was Saying He Never Intended To Go Into Politics, Let Alone Rise To Prominence. At the 2011 Virginia Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, then-DNC Chairman Kaine said: “When I accepted the invitation to come tonight, I had two purposes in mind, one to deliver a message as the national party chair, how the national party and our president look at VA today. My second purpose, and I’m looking forward to it, is introducing a great friend to you, the governor of Maryland, Mark O’Malley, but I’ve decided to wedge in a little third purpose too. There’s been some discussion about my future, and I may just have a word or two about it as I get into my comments. Now let me do the important one that I wanted to deliver first, and that’s about our mission, why we’re here, why we do this year after year. And here we are in 2011 with some big battles ahead. Let me tell you about Virginia from the standpoint of national party chair. Tim Kaine as national party chair, I still have to kind of pinch myself. If you had told me I would be in politics when I was a kid, I would say you must be joking, but if you had told me I would be national party chair I would’ve said, ‘What’re you smoking?’” [Kaine Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Remarks via YouTube, 2/19/11]
“I’m On TV All The Time” Quote: Kaine Wasn’t Bragging About His Career, But Was Responding To A Question About How Democratic Party Puts Its Message Out. Below is the transcript of the relevant exchange between Kaine and ABC’s Christiane Amanpour from the October 24, 2010, edition of This Week:
AMANPOUR: So why didn’t you — I mean, you are a seasoned pol. Why didn’t the Democratic National Committee, the group…
AMANPOUR: … make sure to get the message out if it was so powerful?
KAINE: Now, Christiane, we have to do better as well. Now, I’m on TV all the time talking about the president’s accomplishments, and I’m happy to say, as I campaign around the country, most Democrats are proud of their president, proud of their party, proud of the accomplishments.
AMANPOUR: But what could the party have done better so that the narrative could still be controlled?
KAINE: Well, we’re going to have to figure out a way to spend more time — as the president said, we plead guilty to focusing on substance. You know, we were in an economic freefall with two wars that were open-ended blank checks, and we have taken a shrinking economy — it’s now a growing economy — nine months of private-sector job growth. We’ve got a lot to do. Finding that right balance between focusing on the substance and the explanation of the work is something that we wrestle with. [This Week, 10/24/10]
“Serve The President” Quote Comes From Kaine’s Explanation Of Why He’s Proud Of His Accomplishments For Virginians In The Year He Served As Governor And DNC Chair. At the December 2011 Senate debate, former Sen. George Allen (R) and Kaine had the following exchange:
ALLEN: The Virginia governor gets one four-year term. Most people realize that’s a great honor and you have to work really hard every single day. Yet you chose to spend the fourth year of your term as governor by taking on the most partisan job in America and I’ve wondered for some time and now have opportunity ask, what was your thought behind taking on the most political partisan job as chairman of the Democratic National Committee in your last year of office rather than devoting all your attention to the needs of the people of Virginia?
KAINE: George, my job was not the most partisan job in America at the time ’cause you can look at the way I conducted myself and there’re a whole lot of people who were a lot more partisan than me. The answer is to serve the president. The president who is our commander-in-chief, the president who has helped capture bin Laden and wipe out the al Qaeda leadership. My last year as governor in some ways was my best year in terms of serving the people of Virginia. We were named the best state for business in America by both CNBC and Forbes.com in my last year. I was able to finally do something I’d really wanted to do which is ban smoking in restaurants and bars in a bipartisan coalition in my last year. I announced moving of many Fortune 500 headquarters from other states to Virginia in my last year: Hilton, SAIC, Northrop Grumman announced they were moving before I left and then they picked their real estate in Northern Virginia after I left. So I’m very proud of my service to Virginia in the last year and I’m proud of my fiscal record. I was governor in the midst of the worst recession in seventy years. [Kaine-Allen Debate, 12/8/11]
NARRATOR:] When Tim Kaine went to Washington, he left Virginia behind.
[KAINE CLIP:] “I started to spend more time in Washington–”
[NARRATOR:] As Virginia lost over 65,000 jobs, Kaine put partisan ambitions first.
[KAINE CLIP:] “Tim Kaine as national party chair, still have to kinda pinch myself.”
[KAINE CLIP:] “I’m on TV all the time—”]
[NARRATOR:] Selling policies he knows hurt Virginians. Medicare spending cuts, a new energy tax—why’d he do it?
[KAINE CLIP:] “The answer is to serve the president.”
[NARRATOR:] What about Virginia? American Crossroads is responsible for the content of this advertising.
[American Crossroads via YouTube.com, 6/13/12]