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Published On: Tue, Aug 9th, 2016

Tim Kaine talks jobs in Daytona Beach, full speech transcript

So look, I’m going to close now.  You can tell I’m a wonk, and once I get going, I can talk for five hours. But let me close on one thing – sí, se puede; sí, se puede; sí, se puede; gracias, Martiza – I want to close on one thing that is important in any election, maybe as important as anything, which is character – character.  And I want to tell you, I’ve known Hillary for a long time.  When I was mayor, she was First Lady, and we worked on some stuff.  When I was a governor, she was a Senator, and we worked on military families’ issues.  When I was in the Senate and then now she’s Secretary of State, diplomacy issues.  So I’ve seen her in different roles.

And at Cleveland, you heard a lot of Republicans – they just wanted to turn it into an anti-Hillary fest, right.  So let me just say something about character.  A tip – if you want to know something about the character of people in public life, here’s the best way to make a judgment.  Look to see if they had a passion for something important before they got in politics.  And then look to see whether they held onto that passion, come hell or high water, in good times and bad, in victory and defeat, whether they were in office or out, whether they held onto that passion throughout their entire life.

Now, with Hillary it is so easy to see it.  As a kid in a Methodist youth group in the suburbs of Chicago, she had a great Methodist pastor who kind of opened her eyes to the broader world, took her to see Martin Luther King speak in Chicago, took – helped her see the plight of migrant families.  And she has been battling for families and children her entire life. The health insurance program that gives 8 million kids health insurance.  She’s been battling for […] at the Children’s legal Defense Fund as an attorney and on maternal nutrition programs when she was First Lady of Arkansas and the CHIP program to give 8 million kids insurance when she was First Lady of the United States, health care for first responders and their families when she was Senator. And Hillary’s been around the world as Secretary of State.  There’s a consistent theme that runs throughout Hillary’s Clinton’s life no matter what office she’s in or when she’s out of office.  That’s character, folks.

And when she loses at something, like when she didn’t get all the health care done in the mid-‘90s, she didn’t give up.  She said, we couldn’t get the whole thing done; can we get health insurance for kids?  And they did.  That’s character.  She’s had consistent passion to serve people, not just herself, before she was in office that she’s held throughout her life.  That’s character.

Donald Trump has a consistent passion too – that showed up long before he was thinking about running for president and that he has followed with rigid consistency throughout his entire life.  And you already guessed the punch line.  That passion is Donald J. Trump.  We don’t need a ‘me first’ president; we need a ‘kids and family first’ president, and that’s the kind of president that Hillary Clinton would be.

I’m proud to be on the ticket.  I’m proud to be in Daytona.  I’m proud to be in Volusia.  Thanks, Daytona State.  Let’s go out and win this election.  Thank you.”

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