Tim Kaine Distances from Rashida Tlaib: ‘I Am Not in the Camp that Says … We Should Disrespect Police’

US Senator Tim Kaine speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 18, 2021. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANNA MONEYMAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
ANNA MONEYMAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) distanced himself from members of the radical left Wednesday, stressing he does not agree with those who say “we should disrespect police.”

“We definitely need reforms in the space of qualified immunity,” he said during a press conference Wednesday. “But I, I am not in the camp that says, you know, we should disrespect police, we should reform police where police are necessary.”

“I don’t need to tell anybody what to say, you asked me what I think,” Kaine said when pressed on the controversial tweet posted by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who called for the end of policing and incarceration.

“I was a mayor with a police force. I was governor with the state police force. Our police, I mean, look, I’m going to a funeral for a police officer right now who gave his life to protect us and our staffs, and we need good policing,” Kaine, who ran as the vice presidential candidate alongside Hillary Clinton in 2016, added.

Tlaib made waves Monday after concluding that the fatal officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright “wasn’t an accident.”

“Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression & violence. I am done with those who condone government funded murder,” she said, calling for “no more policing, incarceration, and militarization.”

“It can’t be reformed,” she concluded:

The incident has been described as an “accidental discharge,” as the officer, who has since resigned, was believed to have been reaching for her taser.

“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” former police chief Tim Gannon said.

“This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright,” he added.

The far-left has remained at odds with more moderate Democrats over calls to defund police. Following the 2020 election, which saw Democrats losing House seats, narrowing their majority even further, some House members demanded that the party never again utter “defund the police” or use the word “socialism.” Those narratives, they surmised, contributed to their losses.

“We have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) said during a conference call following the election.

“We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again,” she added. “It does matter, and we have lost good members because of that.”

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