An energetic Tim Kaine mocked Donald Trump, utilized his fluent Spanish and made the case for Hillary Clinton in the vice presidential nominee’s Democratic National Convention speech Wednesday night.
“Can I be honest with you about something? I never expected to be here,” Kaine said early on in his 25-minute speech before giving the Wells Fargo Arena crowd his backstory as a fledgling politician and role in helping Jesuit missionaries in Honduras.
It was during his year in Honduras, he said, that he “got a first-hand look at dictatorship where a few people at the top had all the power and everybody else got left out.”
“That convinced me that we’ve got advance opportunity for everyone, no matter where you come from, how much money you have, what you look like, how you worship or who you love,” he added.
Kaine balanced the political and personal, referencing his father-in-law, former Virginia Governor Linwood Holton Jr., as a Republican who aimed to desegregate Virginia’s schools in the early 1970s. Kaine drew a wedge between the current Republican party and its past ideals, saying, “Any party that would nominate Donald Trump for president has moved too far away from [Holton’s] party of Lincoln. If any of you are looking for that party of Lincoln, we’ve got a home for you right here in the Democratic party.”
While Kaine extolled Clinton’s past accomplishments, he spent much of his speech mocking Trump and the Republican presidential candidate’s.alleged past transgressions.
“Trump is a guy who promises a lot but you might’ve noticed, he’s got a way of saying the same two words every time he makes his biggest, ‘yugest’ promises: Believe me,” Kaine said, imitating the candidate.
“Hey Donald, what are you hiding?,” Kaine added, referencing Trump’s refusal to release his complete tax returns. “Most people, when they run for president, they don’t just say, ‘Believe me.’ They respect you enough to tell you how they will get things done … You cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth. Not one word. To me, it just seems like our nation is too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking empty-promising self-promoting one-man wrecking crew.”
Kaine pivoted back to Clinton at the end of his speech, contrasting which candidate was more ready (or “listo” as Kaine explained of the Spanish translation) for the job. “The next president will face many challenges,” Kaine said. “We better elect a candidate who’s proven she can be trusted with the job.”