Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Friday threw his support behind Joe Biden, endorsing the former vice president less than a week before Virginia’s Democratic presidential primary.
“Democrats have many good public servants and admirable people running for President. I will vote in the Virginia presidential primary for Joe Biden,” Kaine said in a statement.
Kaine’s endorsement of Biden comes as three of his colleagues — Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) — are battling with Biden for the party’s presidential nomination.
Though Sanders, the front-runner, and Warren are ideologically farther to the left than Kaine, Klobuchar occupies a similar middle ground, but has struggled to break out from the party’s crowded presidential primary field.
Kaine, in his statement, touted Biden’s work during the Obama administration, saying former President Obama “wisely chose” Biden to be his vice president.
“Vice President Biden worked hand-in-hand with President Obama to rescue the American economy from catastrophe, expand health care to millions of people, revive creative diplomacy to keep Americans safe, tackle global challenges like climate change, and appoint high-quality people across the executive and judicial branches of our government,” Kaine said.
He also contrasted Biden with Trump, who he does not mention by name, and compared him to former President Truman.
“America is afflicted by a President who delights in division, cruelty, lies, chaos, and self-congratulation. We are better than that, and Americans deserve better in the Oval Office,” Kaine said.
“It is sad to have a President who no one holds up as a role model for America’s kids. By contrast, Joe Biden has exemplary heart, character, and experience. He reminds me of Harry S. Truman, an outwardly ordinary man whose work ethic, faith in the goodness of everyday Americans, and love of country made him a great President. I am proud to vote for Joe Biden,” he added.
Though most Democratic senators have stayed away from endorsing in the primary, several including Sens. Christopher Coons (Del.), Doug Jones (Ala.), Tom Carper (Del.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) have said they will support Biden.
Kaine was Hillary Clinton’s running mate after she won the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He also previously served as governor of Virginia.
His endorsement of Biden comes as the former vice president is hoping to use a strong showing in South Carolina this weekend to give his campaign a boost of momentum heading into Super Tuesday, when voters in 15 states and territories will cast their ballots.
Though Biden once led the Democratic primary field, he’s struggled in early primary and caucus states like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Biden also remains at the bottom of the list as the lowest spender in Super Tuesday states, where Sanders is drastically outspending him
in online ads.