As the 2016 presidential election descends into chaos over new sexual assault accusations against Donald Trump, Tim Kaine dropped by The View on Thursday morning and tried his best to steer the ship back to substantive issues. It wasn’t easy.
Because it was the “hot topic” of the day, Whoopi Goldberg couldn’t help but begin Kaine's segment with the allegations against Trump. As he said last Friday when the 2005 tape of Trump bragging about groping and kissing women without their consent emerged, Kaine reiterated that he was “shocked but not surprised” and a little sick to his stomach. What did surprise Kaine was Trump’s assertion during the second debate on Sunday that he only said those things and did not actually do them.
“I felt like, how many days is it gonna be until folks are coming out and saying, no, that’s exactly the way he treated me?” Kaine asked. As it turned out, it took about three days until the first couple of women said just that to The New York Times.
Thus far, Trump's reaction has been to smear his accusers, threaten to sue the media organizations reporting their stories, and attempt to create an equivalency between his actions and the allegations against former President Bill Clinton. Joy Behar asked Kaine if he thinks his running mate’s husband’s past should be “fair game” in this campaign, whatever that means at this point.
“Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two on the ballot,” Kaine said. “That’s the relevant comparison.” After the first debate, Kaine said Trump set out to make the Clintons’ marriage an “issue.” But, he added, “it’s not an issue for voters,” who would rather talk about jobs and security.
“This is the most surreal race I’ve ever seen, and I’m in the middle of it,” Kaine added, noting that Trump’s pre-debate press conference with Bill Clinton’s accusers “took it to the next level.” At the same time, he said he was impressed with how “professionally” Hillary Clinton handled the debate under those “weird” circumstances. “She handled it like someone who’s got the temperament and the judgement to do the job,” he said.
Earlier in the show, when Behar wondered how any woman in America could vote for Trump at this point, Jedediah Bila drew a parallel to those voters who were able to forgive Bill Clinton’s transgressions in the 1990s. She said people looked at Clinton and said to themselves, “Look, I don’t like this about him, but policy-wise I believe inthe direction he’ll take the country.” Even though many people don’t like Trump’s “character,” they feel “stuck” with him.
“But Trump seems incompetent on top of it,” Behar argued. “That’s the problem.”
The rest of the interview focused on the latest WikiLeaks revelations about how Hillary Clinton ran her campaign and what kind of vice president Kaine would be if his ticket is elected. One of the lighter moments came when the hosts brought up his interruption-filled performance at the vice presidential debate earlier this month.
For this line of questioning, he had a zinger in his back pocket: “I’ve apparently watched too many episodes of The View.”