Hillary Clinton's running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, on Saturday introduced himself as a progressive leader and outlined an extensive agenda he and the former secretary of state hope to implement if elected to the White House, while taking some digs at GOP nominee Donald Trump.
"We are going to make the American economy work for everybody, not just those at the top," said Kaine, a member of several key committees in the Senate. "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 companies share profits with workers rather than ship jobs overseas."
And, taking a dig at Trump, "we'll make sure that Wall Street corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. 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 he's paid his fair share of taxes. I don't see a lot of hands," Kaine continued.
Kaine also promised a fight for paid family leave, equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage to a living wage "to keep families together and to bring them out of the shadows."
Also Kaine said that if elected, he and Clinton, in their administration's first 100 days, will "put forward a comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a path to citizenship."
Kaine, who was governor of Virginia during the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, also noted that Clinton has a plan to stem the "epidemic of gun violence."
"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," said Kaine. "We can do better, folks. We can do better."
"Hillary and I will not rest," Kaine promised. "We will not 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 and NRA owners want it."
While introducing Kaine at Miami's Florida International University in Miami Saturday, Clinton both praised the Virginia senator's achievements and history of public service while slamming Trump and last week's Republican National Convention as painting a dismal picture of 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," Clinton told a cheering rally at Florida International University in Miami while introducing Kaine.
The senator, while admitting that he may not be well known to many Americans, took the stage to deliver a lengthy, spirited speech in both English and Spanish to not only outline his plans for the office if elected, but also to explain his background as a Harvard Law graduate who went on to become a civil rights attorney before entering political life.
His speech also gave several broad clues about the fights he and Clinton will take on when facing Trump, including the GOP nominee's stance about decreasing America's involvement with NATO.
He explained that he and his wife Anne's oldest son, who is a Marine, will deploy to Europe to uphold America's NATO commitments.
"For me, for me this drives home the stakes in this election," said Kaine. "Nearly two million men and women put their lives on the land in this country, as active duty, reservists 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, quote, 'a disaster.'"
Also, said Kaine, Trump said this week once again 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?"
Clinton, meanwhile, downplayed Trump's promises to fix America's problems.
"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," said Clinton. "We fought a revolution because we didn't want one man taking all of 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 fixing everything, do we? We work together."
"We are stronger together and we're going to make that future better," Clinton had said while she introduced Kaine. "Donald Trump may think America is 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."
But Trump's promises to fix America's problems alone, said Clinton, are different from the American way that has "traditionally set us apart from places that have turned to single leaders, dictators, authoritarians who have promised people, 'I can fix it alone.'
Clinton promised that the Philadelphia convention will offer a "very different vision for our country," one about "building bridges, not walls," and "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 Kaine, said Clinton, shares those values.
"He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one," said Clinton. "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."
Kaine has also fought for common sense gun reform, Clinton pointed out, signing an executive order after the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.
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