Kaine appeared to take offense, noting that he has a son who is beginning a career in the military.
The mention of the shootings at Virginia Tech arose late in the debate, when Kaine cited the tragedy to explain how Congress and the White House should deal with the recent attack on the U.S. post in Libya. He said officials should figure out why it happened and do whatever is necessary to keep it from happening again.
“We need to take the same model with respect to the attack in Libya,” Kaine said.
Allen said the Libya attack — in which four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, were killed — and the unrest in Egypt were a reminder that the United States should be wary of giving aid to certain countries.
“My general view is that any country that doesn’t protect our embassies [should] not get a penny of American taxpayer dollars,” Allen said.
Combined, Kaine and Allen have raised more than $25 million, and outside groups have poured in at least $26 million to the race, making it the single biggest magnet for outside spending in the country aside from the presidential contest, according to totals maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics. Kaine and Allen have raised more than $25 million combined and are on the airwaves through Election Day with ads touting their records and attacking each other. Allen launched a new spot Thursday saying that “Kaine’s solution is to raise taxes,” while Kaine’s latest ad cites Allen’s previous Senate record to argue that electing him again “will make things worse” in Virginia.
The ads reflect the same arguments the men have made repeatedly for more than 18 months: Allen says Kaine will raise taxes and spend irresponsibly, and Kaine says Allen is beholden to anti-tax advocates and has no realistic plan to solve the country’s fiscal problems.
Kaine pledged at Thursday’s debate to join Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on the “Gang of Six” as the bipartisan group seeks a budget deal. Citing Allen’s rhetoric, Kaine said: “We need less of that in Washington, and we need more people who can build bridges.”
Allen said he thought the two parties could work together on comprehensive tax reform — if the plan lowers rates.
“Tim thinks higher taxes are the answer,” Allen said. “I think more jobs, more hiring and more investment [are] the answer.”
Allen and Kaine will appear before a Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce meeting in Norfolk on Friday before splitting up to spend the weekend rallying their respective bases.