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‘Beneath the Dignity of the Office’: Tim Kaine Thought Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned Over Lewinsky Scandal

Hillary Clinton’s running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in 2002 that politicians facing true allegations of sexual harassment should resign, suggesting Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky is “not appropriate conduct” and “beneath the dignity of the office.”

Kaine’s comments, which were published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Washington Post and the Associated Press, came in 2002 when the Virginia Speaker of the House Vance Wilkins faced a sex scandal, according to the Daily Beast.

“When I read it this morning, my reaction was the same I had when I read about the Clinton-Lewinsky affair: this is not appropriate conduct. It’s beneath the dignity of the office,” Kaine stated, according to an Associated Press story about Wilkins’ scandal, which was published on June 8, 2002.

A Washington Post article published that day also highlighted Kaine’s criticism of Clinton:

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), who may face [state Attorney General Jerry] Kilgore in the 2005 governor’s race, likened the matter to the sexual scandal of President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky, saying, “If the allegations are true, he ought to resign.”

“Somebody in public life shouldn’t behave that way toward women,” Kaine said. “It’s tawdry. It’s not the leadership that Virginia should have.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch report paralleled the Washington Post and Associated Press.

“If the allegations are true, he should definitely resign,” Kaine stated, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch at the time, noting Kaine added that “he held the same view about President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.”

“That is an intolerable way to treat women and it’s not something that the state should be dragged through,” Kaine jabbed.

Spokesperson for Kaine, Amy Dudley, told the Daily Beast that right now Kaine is focused on the future.

“As the Associated Press reported at the time, Kaine characterized President Clinton’s actions as ‘not appropriate’ conduct, but he had previously been on record criticizing the impeachment effort,” Dudley stated. “He believes this election is about Hillary Clinton’s vision to make historic investments to create good paying jobs, make college debt free and build an economy that works for everyone, not re-litigating personal issues from the distant past.”

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