Kaine: 'Nobody should ever say they're ready' to be president

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Tim Kaine: "Nobody Should Ever Say They're Ready" to be President

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., widely considered to be a top contender for Hillary Clinton's vice presidential pick, said on "Meet the Press" that "nobody should ever say they're ready" for the responsibility of being commander-in-chief.

"Abraham Lincoln wouldn't have said yes to that question," he said. "Harry Truman wouldn't have said yes to that question. Those are my two favorite presidents."

Kaine's cautious response marks a stark contrast to fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who, when asked a similar question by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, said she does believe she is qualified to be president. Warren is also reportedly on Clinton's VP shortlist.

Click through images of Clinton's potential running mates:

Hillary Clinton potential running mates, VPs
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Hillary Clinton potential running mates, VPs

Tim Kaine

The junior Democratic Senator from the swing state of Virginia could be a strategic selection for Hillary. Kaine also served as the governor of Virginia from 2006- 2010.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Warren

The current U.S. Senator from Massachusetts is popular among progressive Democrats, and some even tried to draft her to run for president herself in 2016. 

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sherrod Brown

Insiders believe that the senior U.S. Senator from Ohio could help Clinton increase her popularity with working-class voters, a group she has yet to win in a big way so far in primary contests.  

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cory Booker

The U.S. Senator from New Jersey is both youthful and charismatic and would add racial diversity to a Clinton ticket. 

(Photo by KK Ottesen for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tom Perez

The current U.S. Secretary of Labor is considered a sleeper pick by many Democrats because he is not well known outside of D.C., but some believe his strength and popularity among union workers and other progressive groups could be an asset to Clinton's ticket. 

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Julian Castro

The former mayor of San Antonio and current U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development has been rumored as a possible running mate for Clinton for months, but in May he said in an interview that the Clinton campaign hasn't talked to him about the role.

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Amy Klobuchar

Insiders confirmed that Clinton is definitely considering a woman as her vice presidential pick, and as U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Klobuchar has a seat Democrats would likely maintain. She's also been described as "by far" the most popular politician in her state. 

 (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

Bernie Sanders

The Independent from Vermont has become Hillary Clinton's primary rival for the Democratic nomination, garnering a surprising amount of support. Bringing Sanders onto the ticket could help to unite both sets of supporters who have been split in Democratic primaries.

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Martin O'Malley

A former 2016 rival of Hillary Clinton, and former Maryland governor, Martin O’Malley could help bring some executive experience, along with a slight youthful boost to the ticket.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tom Vilsack

The Secretary of Agriculture since 2009, Tom Vilsack also served as the governor of Iowa from 1999 to 2007. Vilsack could bring some governing experience along with swing state influence.  


Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper delivers his annual State of the State address to lawmakers and guests, inside the state legislature, in Denver, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016. Hickenlooper called upon Republicans and Democrats to return to an era of civility and compromise in his address to the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-led House. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Evan Bayh 

Evan Bayh could bring a more right leaning brand of politics to the ticket. Bayh previously served as the junior U.S. Senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011, and also as the 46th Governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997.  

Joe Biden

While the likelihood of him agreeing to take on the veep job again might be low, Biden's popularity among Democrats would likely boost Clinton's chances. 

(Photo credit MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Bill Clinton

Hillary's husband is technically allowed to serve in the job, and some legal experts even think he'd be able to take office if necessary. Unfortunately for the diehard Clinton supporters, a Clinton-Clinton ticket will probably be a dream that never comes true. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


In the interview with Chuck Todd, Kaine weighed in on the United Kingdom's Brexit vote, arguing that "we have to help [Britain] find a path over the next couple years to do this in a way that can keep ties rather than tear ties apart."

And he criticized Donald Trump's response to Brexit. "It's always got to be about him," Kaine said, referring to Trump. "He said, 'Hey, the British pound is taking a beating now. That could help my hotel out. Your loss, Britain, is my gain.' This is a guy who will always put himself first."

Kaine, who supports Clinton for president and said he urged her to run in May of 2014, addressed his views on various political issues in the wide-ranging interview.

On an assault weapons ban: "I have voted for it and would likely vote for it again. But here's a practical problem that I think you're aware of. As soon as you define what an assault weapon is, you know, you can't sell a weapon, and here's how we describe it, gun manufacturers just make one adjustment or two, and they say, 'See, this isn't subject to the limitation.'"

On abortion: "I don't like it personally. I'm opposed to abortion," he said. "I deeply believe, and not just as a matter of politics, but even as a matter of morality, that matters about reproduction and intimacy and relationships and contraception are in the personal realm. They're moral decisions for individuals to make for themselves. And the last thing we need is government intruding into those personal decisions."

On his leadership ability: "Like a lot of people, I have been a leader in some things and I've been a follower in some things," he said. "I know how to work on a team. And most of life, frankly, to get things done you have to get done, you've got to work as a team."

And on criticism that he is a boring or safe vice presidential pick: "I am boring...But boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country."

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