FINAL DEBATE: Kaine and Stewart spar over stances on sexual misconduct by public officials

Posted at 11:47 PM, Oct 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 23:47:20-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va -  In their final debate before election day, Senator Tim Kaine (D) and challenger Corey Stewart (R) sparred over the economy, transportation funding, and the federal deficit.  During the People's Debate, sponsored by the AARP of Virginia, WCVE, and CBS 6, both men labeled the other's stance on sexual harassment allegations hypocritical.

"A Virginia that works for all, or take Virginia back. That's the choice before us," Kaine said during his open remarks.

"What do Tim Kaine and the democrats have to offer? Resistance," Stewart said.

Sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh came up throughout the debate and produced the most heated moments.

Kaine said the judge's judicial record was concerning before sexual assault allegations surfaced, and said he plans on voting against Kavanaugh.  Stewart said democrats are tearing down the Kavanaugh's reputation over "rumors."

"Members of the United States Senate, members of the United States House, have for more than twenty years been sexually harassing women in the halls of Congress. And this wasn't just based upon some rumor from 40 years ago when Brett Kavanaugh was in high school," Stewart said, while repeatedly calling for the release of names for any members of Congress who have been accused.

"Don't pretend that you care about victims of sexual assault. If you did, you wouldn't have called Dr. Ford a bunch of crap when she raised her allegation. If you did, you wouldn't have gone to Alabama and campaigned for Roy Moore," Kaine said of Stewart.

Senator Kaine said no allegations have been made against anyone in his office.

Specifically on policy, Stewart said if elected he would protect the Republican income tax cuts, which argued has strengthened the American economy.

"When that tax cut comes up, expires, if he's there he'll vote against it. He's voted against it already,"  Stewart said of Kaine.

Senator Kaine said he would continue to bring federal funds to Virginia to address issues like transportation, mental health, and drug addiction.  Kaine said Stewart is lying when he cast Kaine as an automatic "no" to anything proposed by the Trump administration.

"President Trump has signed 17 pieces of legislation of mine, and there will be two more heading to his desk when we vote on our opioid bill tomorrow. I don't oppose the president on everything. We work together when it's good for the Commonwealth," Kaine said.

Following the hour long debate, moderated by Washington Post correspondant Robert Costa, both mean said they felt they got across the message they wanted voters to hear.

"What's going on in the halls of Congress, what's going on in the United States Senate is a circus, and it needs to end," Stewart said.

"I think we were pretty true to our themes. I think Virginians want to more forward, and move forward together, not backwards. But that is what the election will be about," Kaine said.

Kaine has a comfortable lead in most polls and has secured an $18 million fundraising lead, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Election day is November 6th.  You can watch the entire debate on the CBS 6 Facebook page.

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