WILMINGTON — The Clinton campaign continued to work hard to secure the North Carolina vote on Monday. Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Tim Kaine spoke in the Port City as part of the final push to win the state’s tightly contested 15 electoral votes.
Senator Kaine and Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate for governor of North Carolina, were in downtown Wilmington at the Brooklyn Arts Center. The two have been campaigning together in North Carolina and were joined by New Hanover County Commissioners Jonathan Barfield Jr., State Representative Susi Hamilton and State Attorney General candidate Josh Stein.
After Barfield warmed up the crowd, Hamilton and Stein stressed the importance of local races and moreover of North Carolina’s role in the presidential election. Cooper criticized Pat McCrory, the sitting governor, for creating a negative public perception of North Carolina, abandoning public education and “writing discrimination into law with House Bill 2.” Cooper added “This is not who we are. It might be who this governor is … but it is not who we are.”
Cooper ceded the stage to Anne Holton, Kaine’s wife, getting a laugh from the crowd by suggesting that both he and Kaine had both “overmarried.”
Holton thanked Wilmington Democrats for their work organizing early voting and voting drives, saying, “Democracy works when people participate, and so many of you have been helping making democracy work.”
Holton also made a special point to acknowledge teachers, telling the crowd: “One thing Hillary specifically asked me to do is to go and talk to educators and bring ideas back to the campaign.”
Holton noted the historic opportunity for the United States to elect a woman to the office of the president.
“When, not if, when we inaugurate Hillary,” Holton told the cheering crowd, “we will be breaking the glass ceiling.”
Holton then turned the microphone over to her husband, saying: “Tim is a strong man who gets what it means to be supportive of strong women.”
Kaine greeted the crowd, “we’ll see if I have any voice left,” acknowledging the heavy campaigning schedule that saw him speak twice in North Carolina today. He then devoted the majority of his speaking time to a pointed comparison between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
“I wanna talk about the differences between Hillary and Donald, so do you have about four-and-a-half hours?”
Kaine talked about Clinton’s passion for protecting and supporting families and children. He narrated the story of President Bill Clinton’s failed attempt to push universal healthcare through congress during the 1990s. He told the crowd that, though the Clintons failed, it was Hillary’s reaction and determination that make her presidential material.
“What Hillary did was this … if we can’t get health insurance, can we get health insurance for every low income child in this country?” Kaine told the crowd that Hillary’s passion allowed her to forge ahead, despite setbacks. “We know about Hillary… she’s gonna say I’m still not gonna give up, I’m still not going away.”
Kaine then turned to Trump’s “passion.”
“I’ll give this to Donald Trump, he does have a passion … it’s just that his passion is Donald J. Trump,” Kaine said.
Kaine was less humorous when he compared Trump’s participation in the so-called ‘Birther’ movement — alleging President Obama was not a U.S. Citizen — with the racist legal system that created the landmark Dred Scott case.
Kaine said of Trump: “He is hauling us back to the most painful chapter of American life. He’s never apologized for it.”
Kaine also criticized Trump for insolvency of his tax-based economic plan, his business failures and resulting lawsuits, and his claims that climate change is a Chinese hoax. Kaine was particularly empathetic about the need for the president to root their public policy in science, getting a laugh from the line, “We believe in science. Can I get away with that here? Can I say that here?”
Kaine closed by again turning to the historic importance of the first woman’s election to the White House.
“We have made it uniquely difficult in this country to elect a woman to federal office,” Kaine said. “We are trying to change history.”
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