Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said that Republican candidates who would support former President Donald Trump even if he is convicted of a crime do not have the “moral compass” to be president.
Stephanopoulos pointed to a segment from last month’s Republican presidential debate where candidates were asked whether they would support Trump in 2024. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy raised his hand immediately, while former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) followed close behind. Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appeared to hesitate before raising their hands, while Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson refused to support Trump.
“What I just heard was the complete lack of moral compass,” Kaine said of Ramaswamy. “If you are unwilling to say that the behavior of Donald Trump trying to overturn the peaceful transfer of power is a disqualifier. If you pledge despite that to vote for him, if you pledge despite that to pardon him should you be elected, it shows you don’t have the moral compass you need to be the leader of the greatest nation in the world.”
“Sadly Mr. Ramaswamy is not alone in lacking the compass. I think that was displayed pretty patently by many of the GOP candidates on the debate stage,” he added.
Stephanopoulos — who served as White House communications chief under President Clinton — then asked Kaine whether Trump should be disqualified from running again.
“I discussed the with colleagues at the time of the second impeachment, George. I thought actually it might have been a more productive way to go than the second impeachment to do a declaration under that section of the 14th Amendment,” Kaine said.
A number of states have moved forward with a scheme to remove former President Trump from the ballot in a number of states, including New Hampshire.