Kaine and Stewart attend forum at Virginia Tech

Published: Aug. 25, 2018 at 7:59 PM EDT
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Corey Stewart and Tim Kaine spoke from the same stage Friday, but not at the same time.

Attending a forum organized by the Collegiate Times, College Republicans and Young Democrats, the two candidates took turns answering questions submitted by the audience.

Both returned to familiar themes, including Stewart's support for the policies of President Trump, and Kaine's call to build a Virginia for all.

One of the issues that drew a strong response from the audience and the candidates was illegal immigration.

"If you're here illegally and you commit a crime you should be deported. That's what we have to do to save lives," Stewart told the audience. "Ever since I've put that policy into place, I've been called every name in the book, racist, bigot, everything else, but I'll tell you something, if it saves one life it was worth it."

Kaine didn't get the same question during the forum, but responded to a question from reporters.

"Do we need to have laws that are better? Sure," Kaine said. "And do we need to enforce the laws that we have? Absolutely. And does that include border security? Sure. But I sometimes get the feeling on the Republican side that they don't really want to fix it, they just want to use it over and over as a political issue, because if they wanted to fix it we've been at the table for five years with a proposal."

Virginia Tech Professor and WDBJ7 political analyst Bob Denton said both candidates stayed on message, and spoke to their core constituencies.

"I think I saw some improvement in terms of Corey Stewart, his public presentation," Denton said. "And of course, Tim Kaine certainly shows his experience in his exchange with the audience, so I think both of them had a pretty good exchange in the forum."

The U.S. Senate campaign promises more forums like one at Virginia Tech, but only two more face-to-face debates between now and Election Day November 6th.