Exclusive: John Warner, Tim Kaine sit down with WAVY’s Andy Fox

WAVY/Rob Rizzo

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WAVY) — Only 10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox sat down for an exclusive interview with former U.S. Senator John Warner (R-Va.) and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine.

The interview comes on the day of a major announcement that WAVY News first reported Tuesday at 10 p.m.

This morning in Northern Virginia former Senator Warner — a longtime Republican — endorsed Hillary Clinton for president with her running mate, Tim Kaine by his side.

“To stand up and degrade the Purple Heart and degrade military families or talk about the military being in a state of disaster,  that is wrong,” an impassioned John Warner told the invited guests at an Alexandria Recreation Center.

Warner, who is also a former Secretary of the Navy, told 10 On Your Side he thinks Hillary Clinton is best for the U.S. military. However, that thought is not reflected in a new Christopher Newport University survey of likely Virginia voters who found Donald  Trump better understands issues facing active duty military, and their families, and it is Trump who will do a better job to help veterans. He wins that 47 percent to Clinton’s 44 percent.

Poll: Clinton leads Trump by 10 percent in Va. ahead of debate

Andy asked Kaine about those weak Clinton numbers.

“We are actually improving on that… compared to past races… but we still have six more weeks to make our case,” Kaine said.

Those military numbers in military rich Virginia and Hampton Roads are encouraging to Trump, who has stepped up his campaign in Virginia.

“That is why today is so important. Having someone like John Warner stepping up to say our national security, defense and veteran affairs demands that Hillary Clinton to be president and commander-in-chief,” Kaine said.

Andy asked Kaine why in some polls, only 11 percent of voters think Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy. It is low and it is concerning, but Kaine says drawing contrasts with Trump is the way forward.

“The Hillary I know is someone who has put others first, ever since she was a child in a Methodist youth group. She has measured her life by what she can do for others, especially now with families and children,” Kaine added.

10 On Your Side asked Senator Kaine about his Tuesday night debate with Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

“I can’t talk about me,” Kaine said with a broad smile. “It is a debate fundamentally about whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump should be president, so I need to make this case of Hillary’s lifetime of service — service to others — and contrast it with Donald Trump’s lifetime of putting himself above others.”

That sounds like a line we will hear Tuesday night.

Warner ended his news conference with an afterthought message to Donald Trump as he approached again the podium, “Got that Trump? Loose lips sink ships.”

Warner says temperament and steadiness are essential.

Clinton’s Virginia lead in recent CNU poll based on temperament, experience

A Christopher Newport University survey released this week found, of likely Virginia voters, Clinton has the right temperament to be president: Clinton scored 58 percent to Trump’s 28 percent. She outscores Trump on having a better grasp on National Security: Clinton 62 percent to Trump’s 29 percent. Finally, who has the right experience to be president? Clinton, 69 percent to Trump, 26 percent.

Kaine says, “On the other side, you have Donald Trump who says the American military is a disaster, who ridicules John McCain, who says he is not a hero because he was a prisoner of war. Then he goes after a Virginia Gold Star family, the Khans, who lost their son as he was trying to save the lives of others, and Donald Trump ridicules them. Donald Trump does not have the temperament to be commander-in-chief.”

GOP reacts to Donald Trump’s controversial remarks on Khan family

Andy Fox asked Senator Kaine if Bernie Sanders is doing enough. Many say he is not, and his staying in the race against Clinton severely damaged her as most millennials are not supporting her campaign.

“He’s doing enough. He is campaigning in New Hampshire today. We are with you on climate, equal pay, human rights, minimum wage, immigration. We are with you and all of them are against you.”

WAVY News reached out to the Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck, who replied with this statement:

“Virginians have a great deal of respect for John Warner and rightfully so, but the former senator has declined to endorse the top of our ticket for a number of cycles now. He endorsed Mark Warner over Ed Gillespie. The only news here would be if John Warner had endorsed Donald Trump.”

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck offered the following statement:

Hillary Clinton is utterly desperate to find anyone to reassure Virginians of her trustworthiness. After a 30 year career, that’s truly remarkable. Virginians know the truth. One endorsement from a former Senator won’t undo the failed Russian reset, the Iran nuclear deal, Libya, or her utterly reckless handling of classified information. That horse is already out of the barn, and not even John Warner can close the door.”