Sen. Tim Kaine on continuing Virginia political scandals

Published: Feb. 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM EST
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Sen. Tim Kaine stands by his call for Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign their posts.

Virginia lawmakers are calling for Northam's resignation following a scandal over a photo showing someone in a Ku Klux Klan robe and someone in blackface on his page of a 1984 medical school yearbook. Recently, Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to darkening his skin in a costume decades ago as a college freshman, and he apologized for it.

"The revelation of these insulting blackface photos from some of the state's top officials, just as the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, demonstrate we're not past the challenges and the legacy of slavery and racism. We have more to do," Kaine said.

Fairfax is also facing controversy as two women have accused him of sexual assault years ago, including one accusation from Duke University and one from the Democratic National Convention. He has denied any wrongdoing, saying each encounter was consensual.

"I think they've lost the confidence and the ability to do the job," Kaine said of the Commonwealth's top two leaders.

Kaine does not believe it is likely the GOP would take control of the Virginia Governor's Mansion, even though that is a possibility if all three top state officials were to step down.

"That's not what the voters want. The voters elected certain people and we just need to follow those processes," he said.

Northam has refused to resign and initially apologized for appearing in the racist photo, but then reversed course and said he did not appear in the picture, though he did admit wearing blackface at another time for a Michael Jackson costume, and is determined to stay in office.