Kaine's crime-busting past may hurt Clinton's outreach to blacks

US Senate candidate and former Governor of Virginia Kaine addresses delegates during the Democratic National Convention in CharlotteBy James Oliphant RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) – Democrat Hillary Clinton’s pick of Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate could hamper her efforts to reach out to African-American voters because of Kaine’s past embrace of crime-fighting strategies that have driven up the U.S. prison population and are unpopular in the black community. The now-defunct Project Exile that Kaine backed was so unusual it was championed by Republicans and Democrats alike and by both the top U.S. gun lobby group and gun-control advocates. Clinton has come under fire herself from black activists for her past support for tough-on-crime policies of the 1990s now blamed for a surge in U.S. prison population and heightened tensions between law enforcement and black communities.

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