WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen.-elect Tim Kaine of Virginia says he believes Democrats and Republicans in Congress will come together to avoid the "fiscal cliff" threatening the country at year's end.
Kaine, the former governor of Virginia who defeated Republican George Allen, tells NBC's "Today" show that voters sent a message to Washington demanding "cooperative government." But he also says the election results show that the public doesn't want "all the levers in one party's hands" on Capitol Hill.
In a post-election news conference Wednesday, Kaine continued the bipartisan talk.
"I look forward to joining those senators who are already reaching across the aisle to find that comprehensive answer in a fiscally-smart way that would reduce the deficit without devastating the economy or shredding the safety net," he said.
Kaine credits the rapid growth of the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., for helping President Barack Obama carry the state over Republican Mitt Romney. He says the state "has moved from reliable red to just completely battleground" and that the results show that Obama's victory in Virginia four years ago was not a "fluke."
The senator-elect blames Congressional disfunction for shackling the U.S. economy. He says creating job is another issue that he'll focus on.
"It's good now that we've had more than 30 months of private sector job growth in a row. It's good that the Dow is near its five-year high and unemployment is near its four-year low and consumer confidence is showing some positive signs," Kaine noted.