Earlier this evening, CBS news magazine 60 Minutes aired the first interview with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and her recently chosen vice presidential running mate, U.S. Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine. The Clinton-Kaine 60 Minutes interview with host Scott Pelley was broadcast at 7 p.m. E.T. Sunday.
“Why Tim Kaine?” Scott Pelley asked Hillary Clinton to start the Clinton-Kaine 60 Minutes conversation.
The former secretary of state answered that her main criteria for a vice president is someone who was qualified to become president if she was unable to fulfill her obligations.
“I don’t think there’s any greater responsibility,” Clinton said of the role of the U.S. vice president. She listed the roles Kaine has played, including as both a governor and a senator, and described him as a “progressive that likes to get things done.”
Clinton cited Kaine’s record on civil rights, firearms safety, education, and climate change and the fact that she believes that he will be “candid” with her and frank as an advisor. Clinton stated that she “doesn’t have all the answers” and that she will work well together with Kaine, as a “team.”
“I’ve been a city councilor, a mayor, a lieutenant governor, and governor, and now in the Senate, I serve on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee,” Senator Kaine answered when asked by Scott Pelley what he told Clinton his skills were. “I’m a utility player.”
Scott Pelley asked the running mates about the influence Hillary’s husband, Former President Bill Clinton, may have on a Clinton administration.
Clinton described a vision of a White House that included the experience her husband’s eight years as president brings to the table and of it being an “all hands on deck” time in history.
Scott Pelley stated that when the 60 Minutes team wrote the question, that he imagined Clinton jumping out of her chair, exclaiming “There’s only going to be one president!”
“Well, no,” Clinton returned. “‘Cause I will be the president. But it does happen to be a historical fact that my husband served as president for eight years and there’s a lot that happened that helped the American people.”
“We have a very positive agenda,” Clinton said to Pelley. “You’ll hear a lot about it in Philadelphia this week.”
Clinton spoke about expanding economic opportunity, and improving education, specifically mentioning a goal to make university and college “more affordable.”
Scott Pelley asked Hillary Clinton if the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives presented a significant obstacle to her plans as president.
Clinton replied that she senses frustration among House Republicans with the direction the party is taking under Donald Trump. She stated a belief that there are Republicans that share her “concerns” and are interested in more than merely “peddling fear and bigotry.”
“I worked with Republicans. I came from a Republican home. My father was a rock-ribbed Republican.”
The former first lady and secretary of state professed a hope that if elected, she would serve with a Democratic Senate and that the Democratic Party would be able to make “gains” in Congress. Clinton spoke of an outside chance of the Democrats once again taking control of Congress.
No matter how the House and Senate are divided among party lines, Clinton professed a commitment to work with Republicans and keep an open mind.
Kaine stated that he feels the Democrats have a good chance of maintaining their Senate majority, but that Congress will likely remain controlled by the Republicans, though by a more narrow margin.
Tim Kaine listed what he sees as key areas in need of policy “reform:” immigration, the tax code, mental health, and criminal justice, all of which need to be addressed by a divided House. Kaine stated that he only sees this being accomplished if each side compromises. The Virginia senator also described House Speaker Paul Ryan as displaying a genuine interest in working together with Democrats to draft legislation seen as beneficial for all Americans.
Kaine spoke at length about his frustration in the aftermath of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, which occurred while he was serving as governor, when he couldn’t convince the Virginia legislature to pass legislation requiring comprehensive background checks for gun purchases, which he believes could have averted the tragedy. He then described his frustration being repeated in the U.S. Senate, following the Sandy Hook shootings.
“We’ve got to have better gun safety rules,” Hillary Clinton said with regard to gun reform. “Comprehensive background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and the online loophole.” Clinton also described a need to increase the turnaround with which databases containing mental health information used to screen gun purchases is updated, as well as preventing guns from being sold until a complete background check has been performed. The presidential nominee reiterated that people on terrorist watch lists should not be permitted to purchase guns.
“We need an intelligence surge,” Hillary Clinton stated with regard to ISIS.
Tim Kaine spoke of Clinton’s desire to build stronger alliances overseas and contrasted it with Donald Trump’s desire for the United States to “tuck its head back into its shell” potentially harming international relations. Kaine feels that Trump’s tactics could reduce the amount of intelligence available from international allies that may aide in stopping ISIS.
Scott Pelley asked Hillary Clinton if she heard the Republican National Convention attendees chanting “lock her up” last week and if she felt “threatened” as a result.
“No, I felt sad,” Clinton answered. “I don’t know what their convention was about.” She described the RNC as “dark and divisive.”
Pelley asked Clinton about Trump’s nickname for her, “crooked Hillary.”
The former first lady stated that she wasn’t worried about what names Donald Trump called her and that she wouldn’t be taking part in his “insult fest.”
Clinton then focused on the things that Donald Trump has done to others, how he has “hurt people in business,” and his bigoted stance against immigrants, people with disabilities, and a federal judge who happens to have a Mexican heritage. She described Trump as being “at odds” with where America presently is and where the country needs to be headed in the future. Trump’s prospective leadership was also colored as “dangerous” and “risky” by the Democratic presidential candidate.
Pelley concluded the Clinton-Kaine 60 Minutes interview by asking about Clinton’s email server scandal, the vague allegations of “corruption” that surround her, and the fact that the Republican FBI director felt that evidence did not warrant prosecution, as well as Clinton’s role in security lapses that resulted in American lives being lost in the Benghazi attack.
Clinton stated that, as secretary of state, she takes full responsibility for her role in the lapses that allowed the attack to occur, despite the fact that nine separate investigations have found that she holds no legal or professional culpability for any sort of failure on her part.
[Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]