Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine have commenced campaign together, sounding an optimistic message of hope in the future, in contrast to the past week’s Republican Party convention, where many speakers warned the United States is in decline.
Clinton introduced Kaine to a crowd of cheering supporters in the state of Florida, saying she and her choice for vice president will “offer a very different vision” for America, one that calls for “building bridges, not walls” – a jab at Republican Donald Trump’s call for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants.
“Senator Tim Kaine is everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence [the Republican running mate] are not,” Clinton declared. “He is ready to step into this job and lead on day one. And he is a progressive who likes to get things done.”
Trump had no campaign appearances Saturday but spoke out in a series of tweets that appeared to be aimed at dividing Democratic voters, especially over economic issues. The Republican candidate labeled Kaine a “job killer” for his support of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. The TPP was strongly opposed by Clinton’s opponent during party primary elections and caucuses, Senator Bernie Sanders.
“Bernie supporters are outraged,” Trump claimed.
President Barack Obama warmly welcomed Kaine to the Democratic ticket for November’s general election. The senator from Virginia is “a true progressive” who “will make a great vice president,” Obama said in a fund-raising appeal sent out earlySaturday. “You just can’t find anyone with a bad thing to say about him.”
Clinton said the Democratic Party convention beginningMonday in Philadelphia will emphasize that “embracing diversity” makes America great, and she portrayed Kaine as a fighter for minorities and the impoverished.
She and Kaine spoke to a huge crowd in Miami, at Florida International University. Many of those present were Hispanic, and Kaine displayed his fluent Spanish, acquired when he worked in Honduras during a break from law school.
Standing beside Clinton, Kaine told the crowd, “We’re going to be ‘compañeros de alma’ in this great ‘lucha’ ahead’’ – “soul mates in this great fight ahead.’’
Kaine introduced himself to the Florida voters, speaking about his family, his values growing up and his career as a mayor, governor and U.S. senator. Known as a staunch Roman Catholic, he said his family embraces “faith, family and work” as its main values.
Trump, meanwhile, sent a text message to his supporters declaring that Obama, Clinton and Kaine were “the ultimate insiders” – members of the Washington establishment that many American voters say they strongly oppose.
Trump implored his supporters not to “let Obama have a 3rd term” – another of his campaign themes depicting Clinton’s policies as indistinguishable from those of the two-term president, who will leave office in January.
Kaine told Democrats Saturday that Trump is a callous businessman who “leaves a trail of wrecked lives wherever he goes.”
Clinton said her running mate supports tighter restrictions on guns and equal rights for women, including the right to make their own decisions about abortion. She also hailed his record in support of equal rights for gay and transgender people, as well as immigration reform.

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