This evening, former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine spoke to the Richmond World Affairs Council about the challenges facing our nation abroad. Throughout the event, Kaine focused on his strategies to tackle challenges in international affairs and his approach to keep the United States competitive in a growing global marketplace.
During his speech, Kaine described how the economy and politics of the United States have become increasingly linked with countries across the world, noting America's changing role presents enormous opportunities and steep challenges that will require U.S. policymakers to put progress above politics.
"Global power is the careful balancing of four things- military strength, diplomatic strength, economic strength, and the strength of our moral example," said Kaine. "If we keep those balanced, we will keep the role I believe we're destined to play. Our best days are when we're united as a nation."
Kaine emphasized the need for the United States to adopt foreign policy strategies with a focus on the Americas, describing his background working as a principal of a technical school in Honduras, and how it increased his awareness of the effects American actions have on a global scale. Kaine also outlined his belief the United States should work to improve its standing throughout the Americas, given the potential mutual benefit from their sizeable economies and the important role the region will play in America's future.
"The experience of working in Honduras had a profound effect on me," said Kaine. "I had the ability to see the transformative power of education and learn that finding and growing talent is a path to success."
Kaine highlighted many of the challenges facing the United States today, stating Iran presents a pressing threat both to our security and to the security of Israel. Kaine advocated keeping all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran, but emphasized his hope that the United States can continue to use non-military measures.
"If Iran gets a nuclear weapon it would be a disaster for the world, not just Israel," said Kaine. "Diplomacy and sanctions are by far the best options. We cannot allow Iran to get nuclear weapons."
Kaine concluded his remarks by outlining emerging economic challenges facing the United States, voicing his support for policies that maintain America's security without carelessly committing the men and women of our armed forces. In addition, he urged a responsible approach to the threats of Iran and the situation in Syria, while supporting the continued drawdown of our troops in Afghanistan and the conclusion of the war in Iraq.
For more than a year, Kaine has traveled across the Commonwealth meeting with communities to share his approach to strengthen the economy and ensure America's competitiveness.