Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) might be Hillary Clinton’s freshly-minted running mate, but he made clear Friday that he doesn’t agree with the Democratic nominee on a key abortion rights issue—at least publicly.
After representatives for Kaine and the Clinton campaign jointly confirmed to Bloomberg that Kaine has privately told Clinton he would support repealing the Hyde Amendment, which reproductive rights advocates say limits abortion access for low-income women, Kaine insisted his support for Hyde has not changed.
“I have been for the Hyde Amendment, and I have not changed my position on that,” Kaine told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Friday. When Camerota asked again if he still supports the amendment, Kaine reiterated, “I have not changed my position. Have not changed my position on that.”
Kaine is a Catholic who has said he personally opposes abortion but has drawn a line between his personal and political beliefs, maintaining a pro-abortion rights voting record while in the Senate.
A spokesman for the Clinton-Kaine campaign acknowledged to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Kaine is “not personally for repeal of the Hyde Amendment” but is “committed to carrying out Secretary Clinton’s agenda.”
The Hyde Amendment, a rider that’s been tacked on to every annual spending bill since 1976, bans the use of federal funds for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life.
In her January speech to accept an endorsement from Planned Parenthood, Clinton name-checked the amendment as an anti-abortion measure “making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.”
Representatives for Kaine and Clinton’s campaign did not immediately respond Friday morning to requests for comment from TPM.
Watch Kaine’s CNN interview below, with his remarks on the Hyde amendment starting around the 2:20 mark: