Tim Kaine on a 2020 run: ‘Nope’

Posted at 2:51 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 14:51:11-05

RICHMOND, VA – AUGUST 01:  Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) speaks to voters during a campaign event August 1, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia. Kaine returns to campaigning in a homecoming rally after he was picked by Hillary Clinton to be her running mate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Democrats scrambling to find new party leaders will have to look somewhere other than former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine. He said Thursday that he has no plans to put his name in the ring in 2020.

The Virginia senator was asked by the Richmond Times Dispatch whether he would run for president or vice president in the next cycle.

“Nope. Nope,” Kaine told his hometown paper. Kaine spokeswoman Amy Dudley confirmed to CNN he will not run.

The Virginia senator is planning to run for re-election in 2018, calling his work in Congress “my highest and best use.”

“In terms of where there is the most need for good to be done, I think it’s here,” he told the paper. “And I can’t tell you how good it’s made me feel the last couple of days, even as I was licking my wounds, just the kindness of the people on both sides of the aisle welcoming me.”

“I’ve built felt very, very good relations, even in a short time, with Republican members in the Senate and some in the House side,” he said. “I kind of have a sense of … the work that needs to be done to improve this branch.”

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck called Kaine’s decision “a wise one.”

“After the voters of Virginia go to the polls in 2018 to weigh in on his dramatic abandonment of virtually everything he’s ever stood for to be Hillary’s running mate, it would be very difficult for then former-Sen. Kaine to get any traction at all,” Whitbeck said in a statement.