Hillary Clinton may have selected Sen. Tim Kaine (R-VA) as her running mate to help her appeal to blue-collar men, but her selection only reinforces her biggest weaknesses with voters.
In an election cycle in which voters are revolting against career politicians like Clinton who play by a different set of rules and are associated with cronyism and corruption, Kaine is none other than a lifelong politician who accepted lavish gifts while he was Virginia’s governor and lieutenant governor.
Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash made waves—and will continue to do so—by thoroughly documenting the cronyism and corruption associated with Clinton Foundation donations made—and speaking fees to Bill Clinton—during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Clinton’s corruption will be highlighted even more as voters discover some of the gifts Kaine had no problem accepting while holding public office.
According to the Virginia Public Access Project, Kaine reportedly “took advantage of the state’s lax gift laws to receive,” among other things, “an $18,000 Caribbean vacation, $5,500 in clothes and a trip to watch George Mason University play in the NCAA basketball Final Four during his years as lieutenant governor and governor.” The report found that Kaine “reported more than $160,000 in gifts from 2001 to 2009, mostly for travel to and from political events and conferences.”
Even the beltway-centric Politico mentioned that “while legal under Virginia’s unusually permissive ethics rules, the gifts could become attack-ad fodder after similar presents led to corruption charges for Gov. Bob McDonnell.” The inside-the-beltway outlet also mentioned that “Republicans could also use the records to portray Kaine as part of the self-dealing establishment in a cycle animated by hostility toward the political class.”
And that’s exactly what Trump did, immediately labeling the tandem “Crooked Hillary” and “Corrupt Kaine” and asking if this was the “same Kaine that took hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts while Governor of Virginia and didn’t get indicted” while McDonnell did.
Is it the same Kaine that took hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts while Governor of Virginia and didn't get indicted while Bob M did?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
The Republican National Committee told voters that Clinton-Kaine “is your ticket” if “you like establishment status quo politics.”
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) July 23, 2016
Trump won the GOP primary by self-funding his campaign and convincing voters that the lobbyists and other big-money donors would never control him like a puppet.
And Clinton’s selection of Kaine will allow Trump to run on the same themes in the general election by painting Clinton and Kaine as career politicians who have needed—and used—government their for personal gain.
At the GOP convention, Eric Trump, Trump’s son, urged voters to “vote for the one candidate that does not need this job.”
Clinton’s selection of Kaine as her running mate will only make it easier for Trump to paint both Democrats as career politicians who have always needed government while Trump was succeeding in the business world. That’s a clear–and winning–contrast in this anti-establishment and anti-cronyism election cycle.