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Kaine: 'Nobody Should Ever Say They're Ready' to Be President

by Justin Peligri /  / Updated 
Tim Kaine
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2016, file photo, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., gives a 'thumbs-up' as he takes his seat at the head table for the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Hillary Clinton???s search for a running mate is moving into a more intense phase, according to several Democrats, as aides contact a pared down pool of candidates to ask for reams of personal information and set up interviews with the vetting team. Those on the shortlist include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Kaine, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

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Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., widely considered to be a top contender for Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick, said on "Meet the Press" that “nobody should ever say they’re ready” for the responsibility of being commander-in-chief.

“Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t have said yes to that question,” he said. “Harry Truman wouldn’t have said yes to that question. Those are my two favorite presidents.”

Kaine’s cautious response marks a stark contrast to fellow Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who, when asked a similar question by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, said she does believe she is qualified to be president. Warren is also reportedly on Clinton’s VP shortlist.

In the interview with Chuck Todd, Kaine weighed in on the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, arguing that “we have to help [Britain] find a path over the next couple years to do this in a way that can keep ties rather than tear ties apart.”

And he criticized Donald Trump’s response to Brexit. “It’s always got to be about him,” Kaine said, referring to Trump. “He said, ‘Hey, the British pound is taking a beating now. That could help my hotel out. Your loss, Britain, is my gain.’ This is a guy who will always put himself first.”

Kaine, who supports Clinton for president and said he urged her to run in May of 2014, addressed his views on various political issues in the wide-ranging interview.

On an assault weapons ban: “I have voted for it and would likely vote for it again. But here's a practical problem that I think you're aware of. As soon as you define what an assault weapon is, you know, you can't sell a weapon, and here's how we describe it, gun manufacturers just make one adjustment or two, and they say, ‘See, this isn't subject to the limitation.’”

On abortion: “I don’t like it personally. I’m opposed to abortion,” he said. “I deeply believe, and not just as a matter of politics, but even as a matter of morality, that matters about reproduction and intimacy and relationships and contraception are in the personal realm. They're moral decisions for individuals to make for themselves. And the last thing we need is government intruding into those personal decisions.”

On his leadership ability: “Like a lot of people, I have been a leader in some things and I've been a follower in some things,” he said. “I know how to work on a team. And most of life, frankly, to get things done you have to get done, you've got to work as a team.”

And on criticism that he is a boring or safe vice presidential pick: “I am boring…But boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country.”

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