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Tim Kaine Says He Has No Plans to Run for President in 2020



U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who returned to Capitol Hill this week after his failed bid for the vice presidency, said Thursday he doesn't have any plans to run for the White House in 2020.

"I want to be in the Senate for a long time. I’ve learned about what I’m good at and, frankly, where I think I can do the most good," Kaine said in a telephone interview.

The Virginia Democrat, who is running for re-election in 2018, said he doesn't think the executive branch of the federal government needs repairs but Congress "needs a lot of fixing."

Kaine strongly condemned one of President-elect Donald Trump's first staff appointments but said he wants to see specifics of the Republican's executive actions or proposed legislation on issues such as climate change, health care and immigration before offering his views.

"I don’t think we need to prejudge actions that he may take and then opine about them. ... He gets the ability to say "OK, this is what we're trying to do,' " said Kaine, who opposed many of Trump's pledges during the presidential campaign.

For example, Kaine said he's encouraged that Trump has already softened his objections to major components of the Affordable Care Act.

But Kaine said he won't stop loudly objecting to Trump naming Norfolk native Steve Bannon as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor.

"When your top appointment in the White House – your principal adviser – is somebody with ties to white nationalism and anti-Semitism, that is exactly in my view what a president should not do," Kaine said.

"I don’t think that's something that should ever be normalized. ...This is a very big thing that is highly disturbing. ... We’re not going allow anti-Semitism and white nationalism to be normalized in the greatest government in in the world."

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