Presidential races

Kaine showcases faith and family in VP debut

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Tim Kaine on Saturday introduced himself to America, touting his tight-knit family and religious belief and mixing in more than a little Spanish.

“I learned the values of my community: faith, family and work. Faith family and work. The same values of the Latino community in our country, right?” Kaine said in Spanish, talking about his experience serving as a missionary in Honduras.  

{mosads}Kaine, a father of three, called himself the “luckiest dad and the luckiest husband in the world” and said his faith has guided him like the “North Star” since he was a student at a Jesuit high school. 
“That’s where my faith, which became important to me because of my parents’ example, really grew into something more viable. It became like the North Star — the organizing principle for what I wanted to do even as a young man,” he said. 
“God has created a rich and beautiful tapestry in this country. It is a rainbow of cultural diversity that embraces all people,” Kaine added later. 
{mosads}Kaine, acknowledging that some in the crowd may have never heard of him before Clinton’s announcement Friday night, recapped his life story, which started growing up in a working-class family in Kansas.
“My parents weren’t that into politics,” he said. “Church, the Kansas City Royals — that’s the kind of thing we spent time talking about.”
But he was drawn to public service because “I believe in doing everything I can to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” 
The Virginia senator didn’t shy away from driving into Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, displaying the attack dog skills he can offer the campaign. His overall message — especially attuned to Hispanics in the room — countered Trump’s rhetoric on immigration and questioned his business record.
“When Donald Trump says he has your back, you better watch out,” Kaine said. “From Atlantic City to his so called university, he leaves a trail of broken promises and lies wherever he goes.”
Hinging on Trump’s recent comments on the military he characterizes as depleted and weak, Kaine mentioned one of his sons who will be deployed to Europe in the coming days with the U.S. Marine Corps.
“For me, this drives home the stakes in this election. Nearly 2 million men and women put their lives on the line for this country,” Kaine said. “What is it Donald Trump says about these great Americans? These 2 million? He repeatedly calls the American military, quote, ‘a disaster.'”
Clinton announced Kaine as her running mate Friday night via text message and Twitter, a pick that is widely viewed as a “safe” one but has garnered criticism from Bernie Sanders for not being progressive enough. 
A former governor and mayor, Kaine was reportedly recommended by President Obama, who passed him up in 2008 as his own VP for not having enough foreign policy experience. 
Now Kaine serves on the Foreign Relations Committee and has found a home in the Clinton campaign. 
“Hillary Clinton — she doesn’t insult people. She listens to them. What a novel concept,” Kaine said. “She doesn’t trash our allies. She respects them, and she’ll always have our backs. That is something I’m rock solid sure of.” 
He ended his speech comparing Trump as a “you’re fired” candidate to Clinton’s “you’re hired” attitude and described her as “kids and family first” while Trump is “me first.” 
Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Tim Kaine

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