U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. Tim Kaine painted a picture of stark contrasts between Democratic and Republican agendas this election cycle when he took center stage Tueday evening at the Democratic National Convention.
Kaine said the GOP are "pushing budget-busting tax cuts and economy-busting spending cuts," and plan to raise taxes on the middle-class, turn Medicare into a voucher program.
Under Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's vice-presidential pick U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan Medicare becomes a voucher program for people under the age of 55.
"Remember the last time they were in charge the other side turned a record surplus into a massive deficit with two wars, trillions in tax breaks, loopholes, and entitlements, none of which they would pay for," Kaine said.
The former Democratic National Committee chairman and close political ally of President Barack Obama never mentioned Romney, Ryan or his own Republican opponent former U.S. Sen. and former Gov. George Allen by name. He said over the last four years as the country struggled to recover from the worst recession since the great depression Republicans "pushed ideology and wedge issues."
Democrats in contrast he said "fought for the middle class."
"We cut taxes for 95 percent of American families," Kaine said. "We went from 25 months of job loss to 28 straight months of private sector job growth. The auto industry is back and manufacturers are hiring again."
"But we know, we've got more to do -- and this fall, there is a real choice," he said.
Kaine also highlighted Virginia as a key swing state that went from "red" to "purple" in 2008 when the commonwealth went for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Kaine highlighted his record as governor as one of the reasons the state gave its 13 electoral votes to Obama.
"(W)e showed Virginians that Democrats get results," he said.
"When I was governor, during the worst recession since the Great Depression, Virginia maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in America," Kaine said. "We kept our Triple A bond rating. We were named the most business friendly state; best managed state; best state to raise a child. In Virginia, we cut billions from the state government, while making critical investments in schools, roads and bridges. We worked together with Democrats, Republicans and independents to get results."
In response to Kaine's convention speech, Michael Short, spokesman for the Republican National Committee coordinated campaign in Virginia, said Kaine as the head of the DNC "was chief salesman for a partisan agenda which has left Virginians worse off than they were four years ago."
"With Kaine at the helm of the Democrat Party, President Obama rammed through the stimulus and Obamacare, putting the nation on the path to more than $16 trillion in debt and 42 straight months of unemployment above eight percent," Short said in an email response. "It’s clear the one thing Virginians can’t afford is to reunite Barack Obama and Tim Kaine in Washington."