Iowa Republicans claim Kaine has flip-flopped on major policy issues
Democratic vice-presidential candidate hosting rally in Cedar Rapids
James Q. Lynch
CEDAR RAPIDS — Before Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine had a chance to introduce himself to Iowa voters Wednesday, the Iowa GOP’s chairman gave him a new nickname: Weather-Vane Kaine.
Kaine, who Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said was chosen to offset Hillary Clinton’s lurch to the left, is showing he is a “policy chameleon” by flip-flopping on a variety of issues ranging from taxpayer-funded abortion to offshore drilling for oil.
He’s changing his position to please “the very left-wing base Hillary Clinton had to follow in order to beat the 73-year-old socialist,” Kaufmann told reporters Wednesday morning ahead of Kaine’s rally at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids.
The campaign said the Virginia senator and former governor would discuss Clinton’s vision for economic fairness and creating an economy that works for everyone. He is expected to highlight her 100-day jobs plan.
“These aren’t small positions, obscure little topics,” Kaufmann said. “These are fundamental policy opinions he had in his previous political life.”
For example, Kaine precious supported the Hyde Amendment that banned taxpayer-funded abortion. Recently, he’s adopted Clinton’s position, which Kaufmann said is in line with Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice organizations.
One of the biggest flip-flops, Kaufmann said, is Kaine’s sudden opposition to offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. However, in 2013, he and Virginia Sen. Mark Warmer introduced legislation to lift the moratorium.
“Now Weather-Vane Kaine puts his finger in the wind and, wow, he’s banning offshore drilling,” Kaufmann said.
Kaine now says he against right-to-work legislation, which Kaufmann noted Iowa Democrats couldn’t repeal when they controlled the Iowa Legislature and governor’s office.
Also, after attacking opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade proposal for promoting a “loser’s mentality,” Kaine now opposes President Barack Obama’s plan to expand trade relations.
Despite Kaine’s moves to the left, Kaufmann predicted the candidate will sound very moderate in his remarks in Iowa “since we’re a purple state.”