Sen. Tim Kaine shares his thoughts on President Biden's re-election and what he's hearing from Virginia voters

Posted at 3:17 PM, Jul 08, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- Speaking Monday in Richmond, Senator Tim Kaine (D - Virginia) said he had complete faith in whatever President Joe Biden decided to do when it comes to his re-election campaign.

While some in the Democratic Party have publicly voiced concerns about the President seeking a second term following his debate with the presumptive Republican nominee and former President Donald Trump, Kaine called Biden a patriot who would ultimately put the needs of the country first.

"I think he'll do that as he makes this decision. If he believes fully that he can do this, I will respect that judgment. But I also completely believe that if he has doubts about whether he can do it, he'll level with the American public about it," Kaine said when asked about any advice he would give President Biden. "Any advice that I have for the President, I'm going to share with the President. I don't feel the need to share it beyond that."

Over the weekend, national news outlets reportedSenator Mark Warner (D - Virginia) was looking to put together a coalition of Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit the race. A meeting on this effort was supposed to happen Monday night but has since been canceled.

“Another Trump term would be perilous for rule of law and for our democracy. President Biden has made America stronger, guiding the nation through some of our most difficult days. I am proud of my work on his agenda With so much at stake in the upcoming election, now is the time for conversations about the strongest path forward," Warner said in a statement Monday afternoon. “As these conversations continue, I believe it is incumbent upon the President to more aggressively make his case to the American people, and to hear directly from a broader group of voices about how to best prevent Trump’s lawlessness from returning to the White House.”

While not sharing their conversations, Kaine said he's spoken with Warner and other elected officials on the topic and has heard from Virginians as well.

"I'm listening to you. I'm taking what you say. Very important. It affects my judgment and what I think should be done," Kaine said when asked about his message to Virginians.

UNCUT: Watch what Sen. Tim Kaine believes about President Biden and the decision to run for re-election

What Sen. Tim Kaine believes about President Biden and the decision to run for re-election

Several Virginia House Democrats have come out in support of Biden, including Representatives Bobby Scott (D - Newport News) and Jennifer McClellan (D - Richmond), as have the Democratic Party of Virginia and the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.

“I stand with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to continue their historic progress to protect our freedoms, build an economy that leaves no one behind, and address the threat of climate change. Communities in Virginia and across the country know how much is at stake this election cycle. We must re-elect President Biden and stop Donald Trump from bringing his anti-democracy, anti-reproductive freedom and anti-health care access policies back to the White House," McClellan said in a statement. “President Biden and Vice President Harris have proven their leadership and delivered results. I will work every day to support Joe Biden, our party’s nominee, and do the work necessary to win in November.”

Virginia Legislative Black Caucus statement

CBS reported Congressman Don Beyer voiced skepticism in a phone call, but later voiced his support in a follow-up statement.

While on CNN, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D - Fairfax) said he wasn't ready to throw Biden overboard and wanted to give him a chance to recover.

"Having said that, at the end of the day, we cannot afford to make a mistake about Donald Trump. We've got to put our best foot forward. And I'm hopeful. That's Joe Biden. I'm open to the fact that sadly, that might not be.

For his part, President Biden sent a letter to congressional Democrats that rejected calls for him to drop out, adding “the question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end.”

And while Warner's Monday meeting has been scrapped, the Democratic caucus does have a lunch meeting planned for Tuesday.

"The Democratic caucus lunch tomorrow will be very spirited. Yeah," Kaine said.

In a statement, the Republican Party of Virginia said Biden was unfit to be President and this Democratic infighting comes as several polls show Virginia is in play.

"But try as they might to save their own skin, Virginians and the American people will not forget that Senator Warner, Rep. Beyer, and their Democrat allies have spent the past four years covering up the truth about Joe Biden’s health, all while voting in lockstep with every one of his extremist policies," the RPV said. "Voters will also not forget that even now Democrats do not have the courage to say publicly what it is clear they privately believe. This gross moral cowardice is an indictment on all of their leadership, and they will have to answer for it at the ballot box this November."

Share your voice on the Presidential Election with the CBS 6 Newsroom.

EAT IT, VIRGINIA restaurant news and interviews



Watch 'The Jennifer Hudson Show' weekdays at 3 p.m. on CBS 6!

📱 Download CBS 6 News App
The app features breaking news alerts, live video, weather radar, traffic incidents, closings and delays and more.