Home Tim Kaine formally joins Hillary Clinton, Democratic ticket

Tim Kaine formally joins Hillary Clinton, Democratic ticket


clinton-kaineAt a rally in Miami on Saturday, Hillary Clinton introduced her running mate, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

She applauded his lifelong commitment to public service: his work with missionaries in Honduras; as a civil rights lawyer and his leadership as city council member, mayor of Richmond, Governor of Virginia, and U.S. Senator. Throughout his career, he has brought people together to deliver for those he represents. “And that’s why I am so thrilled to announce that my running mate is a man who doesn’t just share those values, he lives them.” Clinton said.

Kaine agreed with Clinton that we must build an economy for all, not just those at the top and that when Americans stand together we are stronger together. “And I know that because Hillary knows that we’re stronger together; we’re stronger when we work together, when we grow together, when we pull together […] So I could not be any more honored to stand by Hillary’s side in this very important campaign.” Kaine said.

Clinton and Kaine’s remarks, as transcribed, are below:


“Hello, Miami. I am so excited and grateful to be here with all of you.  I must say, after everything we’ve just seen at the Republican Convention this past week –– being here with you on this beautiful day is truly like a breath of fresh air. When I look out at all of you, you know what I see?  I see America’s future.  Instead of the fear and the anger and the resentment, the lack of any solutions to help working families get ahead or keep our country safe, I sense the confidence, the optimism that – you know what? – we are stronger together and we’re going to make that future better. Donald Trump may think America’s in decline, but he’s wrong.  America’s best days are still ahead of us, my friends. And when he says, as he did say, ‘I alone can fix it’ – he’s not only wrong, he’s dangerously wrong.

We Americans – we solve problems together.  And if Donald doesn’t understand that, he doesn’t understand America.  I know that no one does anything all alone, and part of our challenge is to make sure we do work together.  I’m looking forward to working with your elected officials.  I want to thank Senator Bill Nelson, who was with me yesterday in Orlando and Tampa.  I want to thank Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. And I’m looking forward to working with her and with Congresswoman Frederica Wilson and Congressman Alcee Hastings. And I want to thank all the elected officials from all levels of government who are here and supporting our campaign and our vision for the country.

Now, next week – next week in Philadelphia, we will offer a very different vision for our country, one that is about building bridges, not walls, embracing the diversity that makes our country great, lifting each other up, standing together, because we know there’s nothing we can’t accomplish once we make up our minds. And that’s why I am so thrilled to announce that my running mate is a man who doesn’t just share those values, he lives them.

I have to say – I have to say that Senator Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not.  He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one.  And he is a progressive who likes to get things done.  That’s just my kind of guy, Tim. We both grew up in the Midwest.  We were raised by fathers who ran small businesses and who taught us about the dignity of work and the discipline of a job well done.  And in both of our families, faith wasn’t just something you talked about at church on Sundays.  It was a call to serve others in every way that we can.  And as you get to know Senator Kaine, you will see that Tim’s lifelong commitment to social justice is a shining example of his faith in action.

During law school, when his fellow classmates were taking internships at prestigious law firms, he took time off to work with missionaries in Honduras. And after he graduated from Harvard Law School, he could have done anything, but instead he chose to become a civil rights lawyer. One of his first cases was a pro bono case representing a woman who was denied an apartment because she was African American. So while Tim was taking on housing discrimination and homelessness, Donald Trump was denying apartments to people who were African American.

He is still fighting those battles today, serving as a non-partisan city council member, and then the mayor of Richmond, Virginia.  He worked hard to bridge racial divides.  He built the first new schools in a generation.  He helped turn that struggling city around.  And as governor of Virginia, he led the commonwealth through the worst financial crisis in a generation.  What did he do?  He brought Democrats and Republicans together to protect the programs that working families count on. And while Mike Pence slashed education funding in Indiana –and gave more tax cuts to the wealthiest– Tim Kaine cut his own salary and invested in education from pre-K through college and beyond. And by the time Tim left office, 40 percent more of Virginia’s kids were enrolled in early education programs. And then as a United States senator, Tim has used his positions on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees to stand up for our veterans and our values and our men and women in uniform and our security. Now, there’s no doubt in my mind – because I’m here with him– that Tim is so qualified to be vice president, and as I have said many times, the most important qualification when you are trying to make this really big choice is can this person step in to be president.  Well, at every stage of Tim’s career, the people who know him best have voted to give him a promotion. And that’s because he fights for the people he represents, and he delivers real results.

Now, I can’t wait for all of you to get to know him the way that I have, the proud father of three grown-up kids –who have their own lives and are making their own contributions, including serving our country – a loving husband of a brilliant wife –, who is a great fighter for progressive causes in her own right; the leader who cares more about making a difference than making headlines – and make no mistake – behind that smile, Tim also has a backbone of steel.  Just ask the NRA.

Over and over again he has had the courage to stand up to the gun lobby in their own back yard. After the horrible Virginia Tech shooting, he signed an executive order to keep guns out of the hands of those who were deemed severely mentally ill. And he has fought for common-sense gun from across the country, as we saw just a few weeks ago when he joined the 15-hour Senate filibuster asking that we get those reforms done.

So when I say he’s a progressive who likes to get things done, I mean it.  He’s not afraid to take on special interests, whether he’s calling for tough regulations on payday lending, or fighting back against a tax on Planned Parenthood and defending a woman’s right to make our own health decisions. Tim has led on some of the most important issues facing our country, from voting rights to LGBT equality – to criminal justice reform to comprehensive immigration reform.

Now, after last week, I probably don’t need to say this, but I will.  This is one of the most consequential elections in our lifetimes. When someone says, ‘I alone can fix it,’ – that should set off alarm bells in not just Democrats’ minds, but Republicans, independents, people of all ages and backgrounds.  That is not a democracy. I said yesterday in Tampa, we fought a revolution because we didn’t want one man making all the decisions for us. And besides, it is just nonsense.  No one does anything alone.

We don’t have a one-person military.  We don’t have a one-person teaching corps.  We don’t have one doctor and one nurse who fixes everything, do we? We work together.  That is what has traditionally set us apart from places that have turned to single leaders, despots, dictators, authoritarians, who have promised people, ‘I can fix it alone.’  You know what that says about us?  That somehow we’re helpless?  We can’t do this work that needs to be done in America ourselves?  That we can’t reach out to one another?  That we can’t make the economy work for everyone, not just those at the top? I reject that.  I reject that.  And next week, starting on Monday in Philadelphia, you’re going to see a very different kind of vision.

So I wanted to come here to Miami.  I wanted to come here to introduce you to the person that I just can’t think of anybody better to have by my side on the campaign trail, in the White House.  Together we are going to take on the challenges that are hurting Americans.  We are going to give the middle class a raise.  We are going to give tax relief to working families to help with the rising costs of raising kids.  We are going to create more good jobs. We’re to make sure every child in America has the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.

So please, join us.  Join us.  Take out your phone right now.  Text ‘join’ to 47246 or go to hillaryclinton.com because we are hiring organizers right here in Florida right now. So be involved in every way that you can because together we’re going to win this election and move our country forward.

Please join me in welcoming the next vice president, my friend, Senator Tim Kaine!”


“Hey, guys, thank you! Hello, Miami! Hello, FIU!   ¡Y bienvenidos a todos! ¡Bienvenidos a todos en nuestra país, verdad, porque somos americanos todos! I’m feeling a lot of things today, most of all gratitude. I’m grateful to you, Hillary, for the trust that you’ve placed in me, and we’re going to be compañeros de alma in this great lucha ahead.

I’m grateful to the country which has given me so much.  I’m grateful to all of you Floridians, my Virginians, all Americans who’ve poured their hearts into this wonderful, wonderful campaign. And today, like every day, I’m especially grateful to my wife Anne – I love you, honey.  I love you, honey – and to three beautiful kids, Nat, Woody, and Annella.  I am the luckiest dad and the luckiest husband in the world.

This is quite a week for me.  And believe it or not, for as powerful as it is to become Hillary Clinton’s running mate, that’s not the only thing on my mind this week.  Anne and I have three kids.  Our oldest son Nat is here today with his fiancée. He’s a proud Marine. And in just a few days, he’s deploying to Europe to uphold America’s commitment to our NATO allies. For me, this drives home the stakes in this election.  Nearly two million men and women put their lives on the line for this country as active duty, as reservists, as guard members.  They deserve a commander-in-chief with the experience and the temperament to lead.

What does Donald Trump say about these great Americans, these two millions?  He repeatedly calls the American military ‘a disaster.’ And just this week Donald Trump said that as president, he’d consider turning America’s back on our decades-old commitments to our allies.  And all of you remember a few months ago when he said about a Senate colleague of then-Senator Clinton’s and mine, John McCain, that he wasn’t a hero because he had been captured and served as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. And he wants to be commander-in-chief?  While our service members are out there on the front lines, Trump’s saying he’d leave our allies at the mercy of an increasingly aggressive Russia, and folks, that’s an open invitation to Vladimir Putin to just roll on in.  Even a lot of Republicans say that that’s terribly dangerous.  When you –“

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “[…] crazy.”

TIM KAINE:  “Alright, I’m hiring for the speechwriting team.  That – We’ve seen again and again that when Donald Trump says he has your back, you’d better watch out.  From Atlantic City to his so-called university, he leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes. We can’t afford to let him do the same thing to our country.  And folks, we don’t have to – because Hillary Clinton is the direct opposite of Donald Trump.”

AUDIENCE:  “Hillary!  Hillary!  Hillary!”

TIM KAINE:  “Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t insult people, she listens to them.  What a novel concept, right? She doesn’t trash our allies, she respects them.  And she’ll always have our backs – that is something I am rock-solid sure of. I know that because Hillary knows that we’re stronger together; we’re stronger when we work together, when we grow together, when we pull together, when we live in the same neighborhood and worship together and go to school together.  When we’re together, we’re stronger.

So I could not be any more honored to stand by Hillary’s side in this very important campaign.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  “We love you both!”

TIM KAINE:  “Well, I’ve spent most of my life in public service because I believe in doing everything I can to make a positive difference in people’s lives, and I can see a lot of you out there who feel exactly the same way – exactly the same way.  I’m one of only 20 people in American history to serve as a mayor, a governor, and a United States senator. So I have been able to see how government works and how sometimes it doesn’t, from just about every perspective, and I’ve always believed that however you serve, what matters is whether you actually deliver results for people.  And that’s been my goal – that’s been my goal in every position I’ve ever held.

Now, I know for a lot of you, this might be the first time you’re hearing me speak, and hey, let me be honest, for many of you, this is the first time you’ve even heard my name.   But that’s okay, because I’m excited for us to get to know one another.  So today, I thought I might tell you a little bit about me and where I come from. Vice president was never a job I thought about growing up in Kansas. Like a lot of people in Kansas City, my parents weren’t that into politics – church, the Kansas City Royals, that’s the kind of thing that we spent time talking about.  They had too much else going on.  My dad ran a union-organized ironworking shop in the stockyards of Kansas City. And my mom, in addition to all the challenges of my two brothers and me, she was my dad’s best saleswoman.  That ironworking business was tough.  It’s the kind of job where you can’t cut corners; if you’re not careful, you can make one mistake and ruin an awful lot of work in an instant.  I learned that working in my dad’s shop.  My two brothers and I, we all pitched in.  Sometimes we were scheduled to pitch in and sometimes dad would just shake us in the morning and say, “I got an order to get out and I really need you guys today.”  I remember once, the last day of summer vacation, I was so looking forward to sleeping in, and then I felt that hand on my shoulder at about 6:00 – “I’ve really got to have your help to get an order out today.”  But that’s what families do.  We would go there early, especially in the summer, to try to get the work done before the day got hot.  That’s what families do.  That’s what families do.

My parents, Al and Kathy, and they’re alive and healthy, and they’re happy today – 81 years old, alive, healthy and happy. They taught me early lessons that have guided my life: the importance of hard work, of faith and kindness, of following your dreams.  My mom once told me – and I’ll say this, she wasn’t much of a lecturer, she just kind of liked to live and then we were supposed to follow the example – but she once told me this:  “Tim, you have to decide whether you want to be right or you want to do right.  If you want to be right, go ahead and be a pessimist.  But if you want to do right, be an optimist.”  And folks, I’ve been an optimist ever since.

I went to a Jesuit boys’ school, Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. And – alright, some Jesuits in the house.  I like that, I like that. The motto of my school, this boys’ school, was, “Men for others,” and that was the – that was what we were taught.  And that’s where my faith, which had been important to me because of my parents’ example, really grew into something more viable.  It became like my North Star, the organizing principle for what I wanted to do – even as a young man because of these great teachers I had and because of my parents’ example, I knew that I wanted to do something to devote myself to social justice.  And that’s why, after racing through the University of Missouri in three years and starting at Harvard Law School, I decided to take a year off from school to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras.  Hay hondureños aquí?  Hay algunos hondureños aquí?  Okay, un poquito, sí. Well, when I got to Honduras, it turned out that my recently acquired knowledge of constitutional law was pretty useless. But the experience of working in my dad’s ironworking shop was actually kind of helpful.  So I taught teenagers the basics of carpentry and welding, and they helped me learn Spanish. And I tell you, my time in Honduras changed my life in so many ways.  Aprendí los valores de mi pueblo: fe, familia y trabajo. Fe, familia y trabajo.  Los mismos valores de la comunidad latina aquí en nuestro país, ¿verdad?  And here’s something that really stuck with me.  I got a firsthand look at a system – this was 1980 and ’81 – a dictatorship where a few folks at the top had all the power, and everybody else got left behind.  And it convinced me that we’ve got to advance opportunity and equality for everybody, no matter where they come from, how much money they have, what they look like, what accent they have, or who they love.

And in 1970, a Republican governor of Virginia, Linwood Holton, believed exactly the same thing.  He integrated Virginia’s public schools after the state had fought for 16 years after Brown v. Board to keep them segregated. Now, in 1970 in Virginia, that took political courage.  And then he and his wife went even further.  They enrolled their own kids, including their daughter Anne, in integrated schools, and it sent a strong signal to the people of Virginia that their governor wasn’t going to back down, wasn’t going to take half steps, or wasn’t going to make rules for others that he wouldn’t follow for himself.

So many years later, that young girl Anne went to Princeton, went to Harvard Law School, guided by her experience as a youngster in the first generation of integrated Virginia schools, and one day in a study group she met this kind of nerdy guy who had been off teaching kids in Honduras. Anne and I got married 32 years ago at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in the Highland Park neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. That is the parish that we still belong today.  Hey, Saint E’s folks, I hope you’re watching.  We will be there at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Marrying Anne was and remains the best decision of my life. And it – am I right?  Am I right? And it turns out she actually learned negotiation a lot better than I did in law school, which is how a Kansas City kid ended up in Virginia. So Anne and I settled down, we started a family, and we sent out kids – we sent our kids to those same public schools that her father had opened up to everybody – including one school that I helped build when I was mayor that our school board named the Linwood Holton Elementary School. How cool was it to see our three kids head out the door with their backpacks on to walk to a neighborhood school named after their Civil Rights hero grandfather.

Lin’s example helped inspire me to work as a civil rights lawyer representing people who had been turned away from housing either because of the color of their skin or because they were an American with a disability.  And this was my civil rights work for 17 years.  I brought dozens of lawsuits when I was in private practice battling banks, landlords, real estate firms, insurance companies, and even local governments that had treated people unfairly. In 1998 I won a historic verdict against a national insurance company because they had been redlining minority neighborhoods, treating them unfairly in the issuance of homeowners insurance.  At the time I won that case it was the biggest jury verdict ever in a civil rights case in American history.  I like to fight for right. I like to fight for right.

And I found myself going to city council meetings in Richmond to raise the issues that I was dealing with every day on behalf of my clients, but I was frustrated at the division and infighting.  So in 1994 I did something that seemed even crazier than what I’m doing now. I decided to run for local office.  Man, I was so scared the day I announced, but I wanted to help my city and my community.  I knocked on every door in my district.  I won my first race beating an incumbent by 94 votes – the first of many nail-biters and squeakers I’ve had since then.  And as I’ve often said, if I’m good at anything in public life, it’s good because I started at the local level listening to people, learning about their lives, and trying to find consensus to solve problems.

In the years that followed I became mayor of Richmond.  I was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia.  And in 2006 I became the 70th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  When we moved – when we moved into the governor’s mansion after the inauguration, my wife became the only person who had ever lived there first as a child and then as a an adult. We had to make tough decisions when I was in office because it was the deepest recession since the 1930s.  But that didn’t stop us from expanding early childhood education, from building more classrooms and facilities on our college campuses so more could go to school, because we knew that education was the key to everything we wanted to achieve as a state and it’s the key to everything we want to achieve as a nation.

We invested in open space preservation and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay because our kids and grandkids deserve to enjoy the beautiful commonwealth that we love, just like you love the beauty of your Sunshine state. And we achieved national recognition for our work in tough times.  When I was governor of Virginia, best-managed state in America, best state for a child to have a successful life, best state for business, one of the lowest employment rates, one of the highest bond ratings, one of the highest family incomes.  We did that during tough times.

And so today I am proud to carry that work forward as a Virginia senator serving on the Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Budget Committees.  They actually just added me to the Aging Committee, too.  I don’t know why they would have done that, would have done that.  I’m proud to support my wife’s public service.  She has been a legal aid lawyer, juvenile court judge, foster care reformer; now she’s Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

And Anne and I are both so proud of our great commonwealth and of our great nation.  And isn’t it great already? I mean, isn’t it great already?  What a great country. As I look back over these experiences, what I’ve learned is that God has created a rich and beautiful tapestry in this country.  It is a rainbow of cultural diversity that embraces all people – regardless of their race or economic status, regardless of their religion or their gender, regardless of their sexual orientation or where they’re from.  We’ve got this beautiful country that should be a country of welcome, that should be a country of inclusion, and I know that that is a fundamental value that Hillary Clinton shares.

Soy católico, soy católico.  I’m a Catholic. And Hillary is a Methodist, but I tell you, her creed is the same as mine:  ‘Do all the good you can.’  Pretty simple. Do all the good you can.  Measure your life by the positive effect you can have on other people’s lives.  Be of service to one another.  Now, that’s a notion that Americans of every faith tradition and every moral tradition believe in, and it’s a message that Hillary Clinton has taken to heart for her entire life, for her entire life.

Fighting for children and families, like when she was First Lady.  After she tried and a recalcitrant congress blocked her in the big advance that we needed on health care reform, she said you know what, I’m not stopping; if we can’t get it all, can we pass a program to provide health insurance to 8 million more American children?  And that’s what she did. And that’s what she did.  That’s who she fought for.

Fighting for – fighting for equal rights for African Americans, for Latinos, for people with disabilities, for LGBT Americans – in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, fighting tenaciously to make sure that 9/11 first responders in New York and other localities would get health benefits. Now, there are an awful lot of people – an awful lot of people who’ve put their trust and their faith in Hillary, and she’s always – and she’s always delivered for them, from working with the Children’s Defense Fund, to first lady of Arkansas, to first lady of the United States, to senator, to secretary of state, she has always delivered.  And – and you know what?  Here’s something you can tell about a great leader:  She not only delivers in the easy times or the simple times, she delivers in the tough times and she even delivers when she’s on the receiving end of one attack after another.  She never backs down.  She never backs down.

Hillary, whatever the drama, whatever the attack, whatever the situation, stays focused on what matters: helping people.  That’s what keeps her going.  So here’s how Hillary and I are going to continue that work: with a strong, progressive agenda. We’re going to make the American economy work for everybody, not just those at the top.  Not just those at the top. And we’ll do that by making the largest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II. We will make college debt-free for everybody. We’ll rewrite the rules so that companies share their profits with workers rather than ship jobs overseas, and we’ll make sure that Wall Street corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.

And while we’re on the subject of taxes, where are Donald Trump’s tax returns?  Raise your hand if you think those returns would show that he’s paid his fair share of taxes.  Well, I don’t see a lot of – I don’t see a lot of hands.  We’re going to fight for paid family leave, equal pay for women, and raising the minimum wage to a living wage – to keep families together – to keep families together and to bring them out of the shadows.  In our administration in the first 100 days, we’ll put forward a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a path to citizenship.

En el senado, hicimos eso hace casi tres años, y estamos esperando todavía para la casa de representantes tener un debate, un voto, en el sistema de inmigración reforma, ¿verdad?  Entonces, vamos a trabajar juntos en eso en los primero cien días de la administración.

I will encourage you – if you haven’t done this, go to a naturalization service where people become U.S. citizens.  It is – how many of you – raise your hand if you have been a naturalized citizen, if you – Yeah.  Well, thanks for choosing us.  Thanks for choosing us.  If you haven’t been to one of those services, it’s going to be one of the most powerful things you’ll ever see.  Often, after the oath is taken, there’s an open mike and people get to just walk up and say, ‘Here’s why I decided that I wanted to become a citizen of the United States,’ and it will just bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face when you hear what these people think about the greatness of the United States of America. And when you go to one of these naturalization services and you see the people’s desire to join this great country, you will – you’ll basically have this pretty amazing thought:  Cualquier persona que ama tanto a los Estados Unidos merece estar aquí.  Anybody who loves America this much deserves to be here – deserves to be here.

Now, there’s one last part of Hillary’s plan that means a lot to me personally that – kind of emotional for me, and I bet it’s emotional for you: how to stem the epidemic of gun violence that kills 33,000 Americans every year.  As governor during one of the most horrible shootings in America’s history, this issue is very close to my heart, very close to my heart.  And I know that many of you here feel exactly the same way after that tragic shooting in Orlando in June. We can do better, folks.  We can do better.

It was in April of 2007, about halfway through my time as governor – I had just arrived in Japan on a trade mission to bring jobs back to Virginia – had checked into the hotel room, had fallen asleep when the knock came at my door and the head of my security detail said, ‘Governor, you got to turn on the TV.  We’re going to get on the phone.  There’s a horrible shooting underway at Virginia Tech,’ this wonderful college in Blacksburg, Virginia.  And as jetlagged as I was and just arrived, I said, ‘Take me back to the airport.  I’m getting the first plane home.’  It was 14 hours over; it was 14 hours back.  And I walked onto that campus jetlagged and in the wrong time zone, but I knew that as a leader, even though I didn’t have any magic words to say that would take away the horror of the tragedy, I had to bring comfort in some way to the families of those who had been killed, to the students and professors who had been injured, and also to the first responders who had been there to help them.  This – April 16, 2007 – that was the worst day of my life.  It was the worst day of so many people’s lives, and for the parents and the loved ones of those kids and professors, that pain never goes away.  Precious 17-year-olds, a 70-plus Lithuanian-born Holocaust survivor who was a teacher, who could survive the Holocaust, who could survive the Soviet takeover of his country, but who fell victim to gun violence because he blocked the door and told his students to climb out the window as his body was being riddled with bullets.  Survive the Holocaust, survive the Soviet takeover of your country, and fall victim in Blacksburg, Virginia to the horror of American gun violence?

So when the vast majority of Americans, and even a majority of NRA members, agree that we have to adopt commonsense gun safety measures, Hillary and I will not rest – will not rest.  We will not rest – until – we will not rest.  We won’t rest – we won’t rest until we get universal background checks and close loopholes that put guns in the hands of criminals, terrorists, and dangerous people who should not have them.  It’s so easy.  The American public wants it, gun owners want it, the NRA members want it.  We will not rest.

Now, folks, I know the NRA.  Their headquartered in my state, in Virginia.  They campaigned against me in every statewide race that I’ve ever run, but I’ve never lost an election.  I’ve never lost an election. I don’t mind powerful groups campaigning against me.  That just is like an extra cup of coffee to me, folks.  It just gets me more excited. I’m 8 and 0 and I promise you I’m not about to let that change, especially when Donald Trump stands in the way of progress on every single one of these issues that Hillary has laid out as core to her campaign, and many, many more.

So now I’m going to wrap this up with three easy questions.  We’re at a university; I can give you a test, right?  I can give a test.  These are three questions to ask yourselves.

One, do you want a ‘you’re fired’ president or a ‘you’re hired’ president?  Of course, you want a ‘you’re hired’ president.  Donald Trump is the ‘you’re fired’ guy.  That’s what he’s known for, and when this whole campaign is done and everybody’s forgotten it, the one thing they will remember about Donald Trump is, ‘You’re fired!’ Bankrupting companies.  Shipping jobs overseas.  Stiffing contractors.  Being against federal minimum wage.  Being against equal pay for equal work.  He’s the ‘you’re fired’ guy.  Hey, we’ve got a ‘you’re hired’ president – a ‘you’re hired’ president! Let’s do debt-free college so people can have skills.  Let’s build bridges and roads and airports and ports so people can have jobs.  Let’s go for equal pay.  Let’s raise the minimum wage.  Let’s bring back the dignity and respect of work.  A ‘you’re hired’ president.

Alright, you’re one for one. Question two:  Do you want a trash-talking president or a bridge-building president?

AUDIENCE:  “Bridge-building president!”

TIM KAINE:  “Of course you do. Donald Trump trash talks folks with disabilities, trash talks – trash talks Mexican Americans and Latinos, whether they’re new immigrants or governors or federal judges, trash talks women, trash talks our allies, calls the military a disaster. Oh, you’re right, he doesn’t trash talk everybody – he likes Vladimir Putin.  You’re right. Let’s get that straight.  But this is a bridge-builder president.  As a member of the Armed Services Committee, built great ties with our military and military families.  As a Secretary of State, made history building our relationships around the world and putting central to U.S. foreign policy the treatment of women and children around the world.  She’s a bridge-builder, and that’s what we need.

And last – alright, Florida International, you’re two for two, so here’s number three.  Do you want a ‘me first’ president or a ‘kids and families first’ president?”

 “Kids and families!”

 “Of course.  With Donald Trump it’s, ‘Me first.  I’m not showing you my tax returns.  I’m going to run a university that will take people’s money and rip them off.’ Donald Trump was in Britain when they cast the Brexit vote to leave the EU, and as the British pound, their unit of currency, was getting pummeled, he said, ‘Hey, this could be good news for my golf course.’  ‘Me first.’ But we’ve got a ‘kids and families first’ president – who from her earliest days has been – and I’ll tell you something.  I’m going to give you a secret about those of us in politics.  If you want to try to judge the character of somebody in politics, I’ll tell you how to do it.  It’s really simple.  Look at their life and see if they have a passion in their life that they had long before they got into politics, a passion that’s not about themselves, a passion that’s about somebody else.  And then see if they have held onto that passion through thick or thin, in good times or bad, whether winning elections or losing elections, come hell or high water.  Look to see if they have a passion that’s about somebody else, and look to see whether they’ve held onto it all the time.

And that is character, and that is our “kids and families first” Hillary Clinton.

All right.  When I was a kid growing up, my favorite President was another Kansas City guy, Harry Truman.  Great Democratic President.  Great Democratic President. And let me tell you something that Harry Truman said that could have been written five minutes ago.  He said it in the late 1940s, and it’s so well put.  America was not built on fear.  America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.

Let me tell you that one again.  That’s so good.  America was not built on fear. America was not built on fear.  It was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.  Friends, Hillary Clinton – Hillary Clinton is filled with that courage, that imagination, and that unbeatable determination.  And that’s why we trust her to fight for all Americans.  That’s why I’m with her.  That’s why I’m with her.  Are you with her? That’s why we’re with her.  That’s why we’re with her.  These are tough times for many in our country, but we’re tough people.  And that’s something else I learned from my folks:  Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.

And they don’t come any tougher or any more compassionate than Hillary Clinton.  So let’s go make history and elect Hillary Clinton the 45th president of the United States!”



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.