Tim Kaine’s been super busy in key swing states, and will continue to be for the next three weeks no doubt. See the video, and also the following transcript of his speech in Miami from the Clinton campaign:
Yesterday in the neighborhood of Liberty City in Miami, Florida, vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine urged Floridians to register to vote and cast their ballots early, lauding the state’s recent decision to extend the voter registration deadline toOctober 18th. Hip-hop artist Pusha T introduced Senator Kaine to the stage.
Senator Kaine offered his sympathies and prayers to everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Matthew, including the nine Floridians who lost their lives, and the more than 1,000 that perished in Haiti.
“You got it right. Thank you. Wow. Now, that is – this is cool for me to be introduced by Pusha T. That ain’t happened during the whole trail. And – and can you allow me a little Virginia pride? I mean, Pusha T’s from Norfolk, Virginia. I’ve got some Virginia pride here. It is so exciting to be in Miami, be in Florida. This is my fifth trip to Miami since I was rolled out as Hillary’s running mate in Miami. And we’re not here that many times by accident. We’re here because you are important. Miami is important. Florida is important. And it’s great to be here.
I want to thank Pusha T so much. And you’ve had a great preprogram. Especially I really want to say a nice word to your congresswoman, Frederica Wilson, who has just been such a great leader, so helpful to the campaign. Please give her a big round of applause. This – this race is so important. And we’re now in the homestretch. We are three weeks from Tuesday. One more debate Wednesday night that Hillary has against Donald Trump, and they we are sprinting for the finish line.
Hasn’t Hillary done so well at these debates so far? I think she’s shown us – she showed us what it is to be a president. She’s got the demeanor. She’s got the judgment. She’s got the experience. And when the other guys go low, as Michelle Obama says, Hillary goes high. That’s what we do. Hillary shows us that. And I’m – and I’m honored to be her running mate.
She’s so qualified to be president. President Obama said it at the convention. There’s never been a major party nominee as qualified as Hillary Clinton. And when President Obama says that and he’s including himself and he’s including President Clinton and others, that is high praise. And I’m so proud to stand with Hillary. And also it’s going to be cool to help make history and elect the first woman president of the United States. It’s about time. It’s about time.
I want to just talk a little bit about what’s at stake in the election. Pusha T said it. Hillary picked this theme, ‘Stronger Together.’ That wasn’t just a pollster. It wasn’t some marketing genius. She’s trying to express the campaign as simply as she can who she is. She knows because of her life of service starting as a civil rights lawyer in the South. And that’s how I started my career, as a civil rights lawyer in Richmond, Virginia. She knows that we’re stronger together. She also looks at our country. And that is what she sees: this beautiful diversity that makes us great. And that’s the direction she’s going to lead us. This is Hillary Clinton’s vision for the country. And there is a sharp, sharp difference between her vision and the vision of the other side.
And aren’t we seeing that now? I mean, the other side has been about pointing fingers and casting blame and using insults. And now in the last week, it’s come out that the insults that Donald Trump has used, it’s more than about insults. It’s about – it’s about the way he views and treats women. And we’re not going to elect that into the Oval Office. Right? We’re not going to have a president who has those values. We just can’t. We can’t afford to do it.
Donald Trump talked about so many things on this campaign. He started off at his first speech attacking Mexicans as rapists and criminals. And then he perpetrated for five years the bigoted lie that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen, the birther thing. And can I just take one minute on that because this is really important to me and I know it’s important to so many of you?
In Virginia, when Donald Trump was pushing this notion year after year that President Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen, it – it hauled us back to the worst chapter in American life, when if you had African blood, you could not be a citizen. Born free, lived here for 100 years, but the Dred Scott decision said if you had African blood, neither you nor your kids nor your grandkids nor 10 generations could be U.S. citizens. We had to fight a civil war and change the Constitution to establish that people of African descent could be U.S. citizens, like everybody else. Why would Donald Trump want to drag us back to that date by saying that our great President Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen?”
AUDIENCE MEMBER: [….]
TIM KAINE: “It just – it makes no sense. And, well, there – okay. I’ve got a speech writer out here who is just going to summarize it for me. But it’s – it was about Mexican immigrants. It’s about President Obama. It’s Muslims should be treated as second class in a nation that’s devoted to the principle that all can worship and they want and they won’t be preferred or punished.
He even has gone after the military, for gosh sake. I’ve got a boy in the Marine Corps, who is deployed overseas right now for the second time. Donald Trump says the military is a disaster. Donald Trump says John McCain, a POW, isn’t a hero because he was captured. Donald Trump went after a Virginia family, the Khan family, whose son was killed saving others’ lives when he was deployed overseas, and ridicules that family. If there’s no bottom with the guy – just when you think – just when you think that he can’t go any lower, he’s going lower and lower. And now adding to the insults is this horrible set of his comments, where him just – he’s just being him. He’s just saying what he thinks where he talks about the abusive way that he treats women.
And I want to tell you on this I’m offended. Everybody should be offended. But when he says, ‘No. This is just locker room talk. This is just what men do,’ hey, hold on a second. What you saw was the real Donald Trump. But that’s not what real men do. That is not what real men do.
And now what we see, in addition to all of the division, as Donald Trump realizes he’s losing and Hillary Clinton definitely made him realize in that first debate that he was a loser – I think Donald Trump has uttered those words a few times. And he probably thought about it when he walked off the stage after that first debate, but – but he can’t even handle a loss and then try to come back strong. Now he’s blaming everybody. It’s the media’s fault. It’s – it’s the GOP’s fault. It’s everybody’s fault. And now the – right, voter fraud. Now that he thinks he’s going to lose, he’s going around and saying, ‘Oh, the whole thing’s rigged. It’s just rigged against me. Poor me.’ The guy’s just a bully. And you know what happens. Right? If you don’t stand up to a bully, they get more like a bully. But if you stand up to them, they start to whine and complain, and you find they’re not near as tough as they say they are. And that’s what Donald Trump’s doing now. He’s blaming everybody else. And he’s trying to say that if he loses, it’s because it’s rigged.
Here’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to make sure that the margin that he loses by is so big and so clear and so powerful and so unmistakable that when he stands up and says, ‘Poor me’ and ‘It was rigged against me,’ nobody will believe him. And that’s what we need to do. And we need to do something else because now we’re finding and the DNI and the FBI is confirming that Russians are engaged in attempts to cyber attack the election. I mean, I don’t know about you. I actually think I do know about you. We’ve got to win big so we can send a message to anybody else: Don’t think you can come in here and mess around with our election and mess around with our own choice of who our leaders are going to be. We’re going to make that decision ourself.
And then the last thing I want to say about Donald Trump is he just said it during a debate. Some of you know I lived in Honduras 35 years ago. ¿Tenemos hondureños aquí, algunos catrachos? All right. Excelente. And in Honduras, when I lived there, it was a military dictatorship. So you couldn’t vote for president. And people prayed for the day when they could cast a vote. And now the system has moved. And so there is elections. But back then, the military ran everything. When Donald Trump stood on the stage in the second debate and said, ‘Let me tell you what my priority is. If I’m elected president, my priority is I’m going to – I’m going to go after my opponent. My – my opponent needs to be prosecuted. I’m going to – I’m going to go after my opponent and make sure my opponent is in jail,’ it reminded me there are systems in the world like that where, instead of having opposition and voting and debate, if you lose an election, that’s what happens. Up until today, that has not been our system. And I don’t want it to be our system. And Donald Trump saying he’s going to make that our system is just one more reason to make sure that he’s not elected. You got me on that?
And I’ll make you a promise, too. Donald Trump says if he wins, instead of being worried about jobs and things like that, he’s still going to be obsessed with Hillary. Let me tell you about Hillary. If she wins, she’s not going to be obsessed with Donald Trump. She won’t give him a second thought. She’s going to be obsessed with you, better jobs, better schools, a community of respect. That’s what she’s going to be focused on. And Donald Trump won’t get a second thought.
Now, we’ve got some really important deadlines coming up. And I know the staff has passed these around. So I just want to hold them out. Raise your hand if you are already volunteering for the campaign, please. And give all of them a round of applause. It’s great that they’re doing that. If you want to volunteer and you haven’t, these are going around in the audience. You can do that or you can text if you want, FLORIDA, F-L, or TOGETHER to 47246 so you can volunteer.
Second, register to vote. I’m betting everybody who is here is registered, but if you are not, all you have to do is go to iwillvote.com
. If you go to iwillvote.com
, anywhere in the United States, they will take you to the precise place, tell you where you’re registered. And if you are registered and you want to know what precinct you vote in, you can go to iwillvote.com
and get instructions there.
In Florida, I have been told that you can mow register up to the 18th of October, a week from Tuesday. Right? Is that right about that, October 18? And then early vote in Florida starts depending on the county you live in, as early as October 24th. Make sure you encourage folks to register. And then early vote really helps. So that’s what we can do because the stakes are so high.
Now, the nice thing is, compared to the negativity we’re seeing from the Trump side, Hillary and I have a positive vision for the country, this Stronger Together vision. That’s what we’re about. And I want to just talk about a couple of the issues. But it starts with the theme, Stronger Together. We are stronger together as a nation. E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one. We don’t want to all be exactly alike, no. We all want to bring our own traditions and cultures and values together. And then, like they taught us in math class in third grade, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. All of our parts combine and we have a nation that is stronger because of our togetherness. That’s what Hillary Clinton deeply, deeply believes in.
And there’s a couple of really important things on the economy. How do you define success in an economy? Do you define it by GDP growth? Do you define it by the size of the wallets of the people who are at the very top? That’s not the way Hillary and I define it. We feel like an economy’s got to work for everybody. And so President Obama, to his credit, without any help from the GOP in Congress, has been able to take us out of the worst recession, and we’ve added 15 million more jobs, and we’ve cut the unemployment rate in half, and people’s 401(k) policies are worth something again. And there’s a reason, now that we’re getting near the end of President Obama’s eight years, you see his popularity going up and up and up and up. People are realizing, we’ve really had a good President, a President we can be proud of, somebody who shows grace under fire and leadership traits.
But we know even though the economy’s grown, we know we’ve got to do more because there are too many places, zip codes, parts of the country, cities, rural America, Coal Country, Indian Country, where people don’t see the ladder that they can climb to success. And so we have to invest in people – manufacturing and infrastructure for high-paying jobs. We’re here at MDC. We want to invest more in skills for community college, pre-K education, great teachers career and technical training,. And that’s what Hillary’s going to do, make the investments we need to grow the economy.
Now, the other guys have a different idea. Their idea is tax breaks for the wealthiest. Hey, we tried that. We tried it and it failed. We tried it 10 years ago and it put the economy in the worst recession since the 1930s. Why would you run for president and say, I want to do just what put us in recession 10 years ago? And that’s what Donald Trump is saying. Why would you do that? Well, the only thing I can think of is you would do that if you thought the plan might help you personally. And tax breaks for the top would help Donald Trump personally and people like Donald Trump, but they wouldn’t help the rest of us.
And so Hillary’s got this plan of growing the economy by making it one that works for all. And that includes let’s make a promise to our students that you can go to college debt-free in this country. And this is something that’s very, very important. If your family makes less than $125,000 a year, you should be able to go tuition-free. And for those who are already out of college and have debt, we have to make it easier for people to refinance debt. That’s something we’re going to do. Do you know right now – this is kind of weird – we live in a country where it is easier to refinance a loan on Donald Trump’s jet than it is to refinance student loan debt? That doesn’t make any sense. And so we’re going to have to change that, and Hillary and I will.
So grow jobs. Education. Here’s something else. Liberty City is a city like an awful lot of communities in this country, where there’s a lot of strong small businesses. Small, vibrant small businesses create 65 percent of the jobs in this country. And Hillary and I are going to focus on small businesses. A lot of the big guys, they can take care of themselves. They’ll do just fine. But if we can make it easier for small businesses to start and to grow and to add employees, the economy will be stronger. Hillary and I both grew up in small business households. Her dad ran a drapery business in Scranton, PA. My dad ran an ironworking and welding shop in the stockyards of Kansas City. We understand the power of small businesses. That’s what we’re going to do.
In the first 100 days, we’re going to tackle comprehensive immigration reform. This is something that we have to do. And this is something where there is a clear difference between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump-Pence ticket. Donald Trump wants to build a wall and become Deportation Nation. That’s what he wants to do, deport 16 million people. I mean, for gosh sake, neighborhood to neighborhood, house to house, finding people to deport, that’s not who we are as a country. That’s not what we’re going to do. Hillary and I want a comprehensive immigration reform that puts at the very top unifying families, not separating them; creating a path over time for people who play by the rules and pay taxes to become U.S. citizens; help employers figure out the immigration status of employees. And we’re going to do this in the first 100 days, and that is going to help the economy, and it’s respectful, building a community of respect rather than one where we trash immigrants.
Next, next, Hillary and I believe very, very strongly in a pretty basic American idea: We’re all equal. We believe in equality. We believe in civil rights. And that plays in a lot of different important issues in the country. So first, we believe deeply in LGBT equality. Everybody’s entitled to be treated equal, and they should be able to marry the person that they love. The other person wants to roll back that and put Supreme Court justices on who want to take us backward. We believe in equality for women. Women should get paid equal for equal work, for gosh sake. And women should be able to make their own health care decisions and not have state legislatures or Congress dictating what women do with their own reproductive rights. We can trust women to make those decisions for themselves, just like we trust men to make their own health care decisions. Right? That’s a matter of fundamental equality.
Voting rights – Hillary and I want to have voting registration be automatic on your 18th birthday. Just like that. There is no days you can register and days you can’t register, and a legislature can change it if they want to suppress the vote. No. You turn 18, you’re a citizen, you are registered to vote. And then we want to make it easier to vote – more early vote, more vote by mail, no-excuse absentee voting. Why does the other side work so hard to make it harder for us to vote? Right? Why are they doing that? Why are they doing it? They’re doing it because they know that your vote is important. If your vote didn’t matter, they wouldn’t be spending so much time to try to make it harder to vote. But they’re doing it that because they know your vote matters and they know if everybody participates, it’s hard for them to win. So Voting Rights Act is a key civil rights act and a key civil rights issue that we’re going to battle, too.
The last issue I want to bring up – there’s so many to talk about – but this is important in Miami and it’s important in Virginia, climate change. Look, our climate is changing. Human activity and CO2 is changing it. And you’ve got sea level rise right here, and storms that are extreme. And in Norfolk, where […] in Norfolk, Norfolk, that part of Virginia, next to New Orleans, is the second most vulnerable part of the United States in sea level rise. In Norfolk, Virginia, climate change isn’t about tomorrow. It’s about today. There’s neighborhoods where you really can’t sell a house today because tidal action means that the flooding is so frequent that nobody’s going to buy your house. And the businesses get hurt, and our naval bases get hurt.
Hillary and I believe we’ve got to do something about climate change. You know the challenges of sea level rise here in Miami. They’re intense. And Hillary and I want to work to invest in communities and bring down our use of CO2 to slow climate change. And guess what? Our President, President Obama, he has worked and gotten 200 nations to sign a pact where they will each take steps to fight climate change. That’s hard to do. It’s hard to get Congress to pass a Mother’s Day resolution. To get 200 nations to all sign up to battle climate change? That’s what President Obama’s done. But on the other side, Donald Trump says climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese. His running mate, Mike Pence, says it’s a myth. And they say they’re going to tear up the Paris pact on day one and have the U.S. back away from global leadership. Now, we’ve got to battle climate change, not battle to deny science. And that’s a really important issue, important in Florida, important in Virginia, important all around the world.
So a lot’s at stake. But it all comes down to are we stronger together or are we a nation that wants to divide against one another? Stronger together. That’s right. We’re stronger together.
So I just want to close again and tell you how important you are. That’s where I started. I said I’m here in Miami for the fifth time because you’re important. You know how presidential races go. I don’t know – you call yourself the Sunshine State. I call you the Close State. I mean, in presidential elections, you start with 50 states, but then some are really red, some are really blue, and by the end you’re down to a handful where they are really close and it really matters. And Florida is always one of those handful, and Florida is in that spot today. You’re important. You matter. You will be the – you will dictate the outcome of this election. Donald Trump basically feels like you guys are checkmate. If he loses Florida, it’s checkmate. So let’s do some checkmating here. Right? Let’s do some checkmating and win.
Now, right now I feel pretty good about where we are. But let’s remember where we were. When we went into the convention in Cleveland – the Republican convention was first – the race was tied. Dead heat. When we came out of the Philadelphia convention, and I met a couple people here who I saw in Philly who were there, we came out of Philly and we had a boost. That was great. We were up. And then that lasted for three or four weeks. That was great. But starting about Labor Day, the edge that Hillary had got whittled down, whittled down, and whittled down, and by the Monday of her debate, September 26, the first debate, it was dead tied again. In fact, some of the pollsters said on that day that Hillary was slightly behind. And then over the last two weeks her debates, my debate, some of the stories that have come out about Donald Trump, we’ve built a good lead again. But if it went back to tied, I mean, we can’t take it for granted, can we? We can’t take it for granted.
And I’ll tell you another reason we can’t. Hillary’s trying to do something that’s never been done before. There’s never been a woman president. Never been a woman president. And Frederica knows this, but I didn’t know this till recently somebody gave me the stats on this. It’s not just that there hasn’t been a woman president, it’s that we have a really hard time electing women to federal office in this country.
Do you know right now, in Congress, we are the best we’ve ever been in the history of the United States, and there’s 19 percent women in Congress, and that ranks us 75th in the world. 19 percent. Iraq is 26 percent. Afghanistan is 28 percent. Rwanda is number one: 64 percent. We are good at a lot of things, but for some reason – I understand some of it and I don’t understand and I’ll probably never understand all of it – we have not been a place where it’s been easy to elect women to federal office.
And so what that means is while we like what we see in the polls right now, Hillary is trying to do something that’s never been done. She’s trying to do something that’s hard. And what we have to do is this: We’ve got to put in our mind a thought, and this is where I’m going to close – this is the thought I put in my own mind when I run races. This is my ninth race. I am 8-0 in races, and I’m going to be 9-0 on November 8th. I’m not on this ticket to get my first loss, I’ll tell you that. We’re going to be 9-0. We’re going to be 9-0.
But the way I am able to do it – because Virginia isn’t the bluest state in the bunch. It’s a battleground. It’s tough, like Florida is. When I run, I put this thought in my mind: I’m the underdog until they call me the winner. I am the underdog until they call me the winner. And Hillary feels the same way. I talked about this with her in 2014 when I encouraged her to run. I said, ‘Just tell yourself no matter what you see in a poll or an endorsement, I’m the underdog till they call me the winner. You’re trying to do something hard that’s never been done.’
And the thing I like about that underdog mentality is this: it’s more than just a campaign thing. It’s kind of a little bit about who we are. It’s a little bit about who we are. I used to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee for two and a half years. President Obama asked me to do it, and for him I would say, sure, I’ll do it. Traveled all around the country. Went to a lot of Democratic meetings. And Democrats are kind of a mildly dysfunctional, pleasant family. Like, I mean, we’re – we’ve got environmentalists, we’ve got the labor guys, we’ve got civil rights, we’ve got the – you know, we’re all these different constituencies. Will Rogers in the 1920s said – a hundred years ago – he said, ‘I don’t believe in organized politics, that’s why I’m a Democrat.’ And there’s still something about that that kind of rings true.
So when I would travel around the country as the chair, I used to ask myself, what is the common thread? If I’m in a – with the super Blue Dogs or the super progressive, what’s the common thread in the Democratic Party? And I eventually came to this realization. Democrats are underdog people. We’re underdog people. We’ve just got – maybe it’s in the DNA. I don’t know. But we’ve just got the urge to help somebody out who needs a hand. And in my church, in my church – and we all have our own faith traditions. This is a story that everybody knows. We would kind of call ourselves Good Samaritan people, and you know the story. So somebody is beaten up and on the side of the road, and then a whole lot of people just walk on by, and they’re – some of them are great moral leaders and some of them are people who should know better, but they just walk on by. And I bet somebody walked on by and looked at that person and said, ‘You’re a loser,’ you know, and just walked on by. But here’s what I believe about us – and I don’t know you personally, but I think I know this about you: we’re not the people who just walk on by. Hillary Clinton is not a person who just walks on by. I’m not that person. We’re the people who roll up our sleeves and even when we don’t have all the answers, and even when we don’t know even the right words to say, we’re going to roll up our sleeves and we’re going to go over and help out.
So this is what we need in the last closing stretch of three-plus weeks in this campaign. Let’s put that thought in our mind. We’re the underdog till they call us the winner. We’re trying to do something tough. We’re trying to make history. That’s never been easy. But the stakes are high. We know the stakes, and we know how to do it.
I know Florida. I mean, I don’t live here, but I’ve watched you do your best work. When it was in 2008 and people didn’t think Florida would go for President Obama, you did your best work and Florida went for President Obama. In 2012, when people thought there was going to be a realignment and a backslide, you did your best work and Florida and Virginia went for President Obama and he had an eight-year term. And the thing about this race that’s similar to that one is this: the moment President Obama was elected in 2008, the moment he was elected – he’s done a whole lot of great things in the eight years since – the moment he was elected, he immediately created a whole group of successors who had never been able to see themselves as president of the United States, but when Barack Obama was elected, the people said, ‘Hey, I can be president of the United States, and if I can be president of the United States, I can do anything I want to.’ And we’re going to have the same thing happen on November 8th. The moment that Hillary Clinton is elected, a whole bunch of young women, kids, students sitting at school desks who never would have thought they could be president of the United States, they’re going to realize, ‘I can be president of the United States, and if I can be president, I can be anything.’
You all can make that happen. Not every election is about changing history. Not every election is about defining who we are as a nation. But this election is, and you can make it happen, and if you keep that underdog spirit I know Florida will make it happen.
Thanks for having me. Great to be in Liberty City. Great to be back in Miami. Let’s go win. Thanks a lot!”