Democrat Tim Kaine, who narrowly won a bruising marathon of a campaign against Republican George Allen for U.S. Senate in Virginia Tuesday, said Wednesday he’s looking forward to seeing a little extra facial hair on MSNBC host Joe Scarborough — the would-be result of a rather odd bet Mr. Scarborough made recently with Obama senior adviser David Axelrod.
Mr. Axelrod, in a recent appearance on the program, said he would shave his mustache if Republican Mitt Romney carried Pennsylvania, Michigan or Minnesota. Mr. Scarborough said he would grow one if Mr. Obama carried North Carolina or Florida.
All three of Mr. Axelrod’s states fell into his boss’s column. Mr. Romney narrowly won North Carolina and Florida was still too close to call early Wednesday, but Mr. Obama held a slight lead over Mr. Romney in the Sunshine State.
“Looking forward to seeing that mustache,” Mr. Kaine said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Mr. Kaine also talked about a campaign where he was able to dip into Republican territory and secure some support from people who voted for Mr. Romney. According to unofficial results as of Wednesday morning, Mr. Kaine received about 67,000 more votes in the state than did President Obama, and Mr. Allen received about 6,700 fewer votes than Mr. Romney.
Mr. Kaine noted that his father-in-law, Linwood Holton, was the first Republican governor of Virginia in the 20th century, which helps in his mindset of reaching across the aisle.
“While I’m a proud Democrat, I’ve always felt like the key to success as a mayor and as a governor is try to get everybody at the table,” he said. “Even if people aren’t going to be with you, it’s important that they know you’re going to represent them well if [we] get the office, and that’s what we tried to convey.”
Mr. Kaine also reiterated his call for a “no secret money” rule. His contest against Mr. Allen was tops among U.S. Senate races this year in outside spending from third-party groups, many of whom do not have to disclose their donors.
On the looming “fiscal cliff” — the combination of the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending cuts that will begin to take effect next year absent action from Congress — Mr. Kaine said he’d like to avoid the so-called “sequestration” cuts that would lop about $1 trillion starting next year from equal parts defense spending and domestic programs. He touted his plan he offered during the campaign to let the Bush-era tax rates expire for income above $500,000, allow negotiations with drug companies over prescription drug prices for Medicare, and end tax subsidies for the country’s five largest oil companies — a plan he says would turn a trillion-dollar problem into approximately a $230 billion one.
“If we can do that deal, that will create confidence and can springboard us into the bigger discussion, and I think the bigger discussion has to be one where, kind of along the lines suggested by so many, we’ve got to have two or three dollars of targeted cuts for every dollar of revenue,” he said. “But we can’t fix the balance sheet unless we fix both sides of the balance sheet. So both parties are going to have to give.”