Kaine has said Germany, not Virginia, should pay for Soering’s incarceration. But Republicans have continued to hammer Kaine for failing to explain his reasons for requesting the transfer.
5. Debate packaging
Kaine, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Allen, a former senator, have both had considerable practice with debates and public speeches, though Kaine is considered by some to be the more polished debater. Kaine appeared more relaxed in the first debate while Allen seemed more rattled. In an apparent gaffe, Allen seemed not to understand how birth-control pills work.
Both candidates are looking to be aggressive in their first debate since the general election campaign launched, but also calm and conciliatory. Expect a lot of smiles.
6. Defense cuts
Unless Congress and the White House strike a deal by Jan. 2, the Pentagon — a key economic engine in Virginia — will cut more than $50 billion in spending.
Allen, like many fellow Republicans, has sought to blame the impending cuts on Democrats, imploring them to help approve legislation that would stop the cuts. A majority of Republicans in Congress, and in the Virginia delegation, had voted for the deal that could lead to the cuts.
Kaine has said he wants to “keep pressure on Congress to do their job” by striking a broader spending agreement, rather than just protecting against cuts in defense. If spending cuts happen, he wants the Pentagon to decide how to implement them.
7. Expiring tax cuts
Allen and Kaine will probably be queried about the looming expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, a subject on which they disagree.
Kaine differs somewhat with Obama on this topic. While the president has called for allowing the cuts to expire on all income above $250,000 per year, Kaine wants to move the bar higher, to $500,000. But both generally agree that tax rates on the wealthiest Americans should go up to help reduce the budget deficit.
Allen, like most Republicans, believes that all the tax cuts — which he supported when he served in the Senate — should be extended, arguing that any increases could hurt a still-recovering economy.