(NEW YORK) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine has acknowledged that he disagrees with Clinton on the federal Hyde Amendment that restricts Medicaid funding of abortion.
Kaine, a devout Catholic, has previously said he is personally opposed to abortion but does not believe it is the government’s role to intervene in a women’s decision on whether to have one. Clinton has vowed to repeal the Hyde Amendment which bans the use of federal funds for abortion except in certain cases, such as rape, incest or to save the mother’s life.
“My voting position on abortion hasn’t really changed,” Kaine said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I am a Catholic and I accept the church’s teaching on this issue, but I do not believe that the job of somebody in public life is to basically say, ‘I’m a Catholic so my job is to make our lives consistent with Catholic doctrine and make everybody follow it.
“This is an important personal matter and I’ve always supported Roe V. Wade,” Kaine said. “I think the last thing we need is government that intrudes upon the decision-making of women and men too when it comes to matters of whether it’s abortion rights, contraception,” said Kaine in an interview airing Sunday.
When pressed on his support of the Hyde Amendment, the Virginia senator acknowledged he still supports it but implied that his personal views won’t impede his ability to support Clinton and her campaign promise to repeal the amendment.
“On Hyde, my position is the same. I support the Hyde Amendment. I haven’t changed that. But as a vice president I had to get comfortable with the notion that I can have my personal views, but I’m going to support the president of the United States and I will,” Kaine said.
Last week, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told CNN that Kaine “has said that he will stand with Secretary Clinton to defend a woman’s right to choose, to repeal the Hyde amendment.”
As governor of Virginia, Kaine supported certain abortion restrictions, including a ban on partial-birth abortions. However, as a senator, his voting record has earned a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood.
In addition to explaining his stance on abortion, Kaine was also asked on CNN about the recent Democratic National Convention and whether the party left its Philadelphia convention united. He acknowledged there was still work to do to the unite the party, but said he felt the party was in “good shape.”
“I was Democrat Party Chair, so I’m used to the fact that we’re a big family with a lot of different points of view. I think that Bernie did a good job this week by telling his folks why Hillary was right and why Donald Trump is you know, directly contrary to every value he’s ever held or advocated for in his entire life,” Kaine said.
Kaine is on the last day of a three-day bus tour with Clinton that has them stumping in the critical swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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