America, Tim Kaine loves your dad jokes

Caitlin Dickson
·Reporter
Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 27, 2016. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 27, 2016. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

America, Tim Kaine has heard your dad jokes, and he thinks they’re funny.

The Virginia senator made his campaign debut last weekend at a Miami rally where Hillary Clinton officially named him as her running mate. But Kaine’s Democratic National Convention speech — a much larger affair in which he revealed himself as a progressive former civil rights lawyer, a fluent Spanish speaker and mediocre Donald Trump impersonator — served as the vice presidential nominee’s introduction to much of the nation.

Based on the stream of jokes that flooded Twitter Wednesday night, one of the biggest takeaways from Kaine’s DNC speech was that Clinton’s running mate is really just a sweet suburban dad.

On Friday morning, Kaine proved he also has a sense of humor, telling CNN’s Alisyn Camerota that he and his wife got a big kick out of the dad jokes his son passed along to them via Twitter Wednesday night.

“We fell asleep at 2:30 in the morning just laughing hysterically,” he said, chuckling.

“I guess I gotta acknowledge I do have a slightly goofy quality, some find it endearing and some find it annoying,” Kaine continued. “I can’t make myself do it or undo it, it’s just kinda who I am.”

But that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate a good “ribbing.”

“You’ll probably see a lot more of it from here to November 8 and beyond,” he said.

All jokes aside, Camerota pressed the would-be veep on whether he’s changed his position on certain issues since joining the Democratic ticket, such as the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

“I really haven’t shifted my position on that,” Kaine said, explaining that while he did vote last year “to give the president the power to negotiate the best trade deal at the time,” there were some aspects of the TPP that he was “very worried about.”

Specifically, Kaine pointed to the part of the partnership that allows “corporations to challenge unfair trade practices in private courts, without giving labor unions and environmental groups and others the same right.”

A year later, he said, his concerns about the TPP have not been addressed.

“The deal is going to come up for a vote and I can’t vote for it with these secret votes,” Kaine said.

Camerota also questioned Kaine about where he stands on the Hyde Amendment, the 40-year-old budget rider that blocks Medicaid funding for abortions which Clinton has promised to repeal.

Her running mate, however, is a longtime Hyde supporter. And contrary to recent reports suggesting that he would now back Clinton’s repeal effort, Kaine told Camerota Friday, “I have been for the Hyde Amendment, and I have not changed my position on that.”