White House ignores Kaine's shift on TPP

July 25, 2016


President Obama's top spokesman said Obama supports Hillary Clinton's decision to pick Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate, despite his recent about-face on one of Obama's legacy priorities — ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

[Nicole Duran| July 25, 2016 |Washington Examiner

"I'll let Sen. Kaine discusses his position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership," press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

"Obviously, President Obama and our administration believes that we have a very strong case to make about how the American people and our economy would benefit from the trade agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that raises environmental standards, that raises labor standards, that makes them enforceable, that protects intellectual property that's developed here in the United States."

However, "I'll let Sen. Kaine make his own case or explain his own position on this issue," Earnest demurred.

Earnest noted the "irony" that Kaine was one of the first governors to back Obama over Clinton in 2008, a move that Obama rewarded by making Kaine chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and yet, eight years later, she is turning to Kaine to help her win the White House.

Obama "is quite enthusiastic about Secretary Clinton's choice," Earnest said. "Ultimately, I guess it's a little ironic now — I'm just putting this together — many Democrats were unwilling to commit to supporting Sen. Obama's campaign that early because then-Sen. Clinton was the prohibitive favorite."

Kaine demonstrated so much courage that after Obama won, he "asked then-Gov. Kaine to take on the significant responsibility of running the DNC," Earnest said. "So President Obama is pretty excited about the fact that Sen. Kaine's been added to the ballot."

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