Hillary Clinton makes debut with running mate Tim Kaine in Miami

Democratic candidates appear together at FIU

MIAMI – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took the stage Saturday afternoon at Florida International University, introducing her supporters to Tim Kaine one day after selecting him to be her running mate.

Clinton made her first public appearance with the Virginia senator and former governor at a rally in the battleground state of Florida.

Before touting Kaine, Clinton told the crowd that she sees America's future.

"Donald Trump may think that America's in decline, but he's wrong," Clinton said. "America's best days are still ahead of us."

Clinton praised Kaine as a vice presidential candidate who is "everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not."

"He is qualified to step into this job and lead on day one," Clinton said. "He is a progressive who likes to get things done."

The former secretary of state spoke about Kaine's background working as a pro bono civil rights lawyer. She said one of his first cases involved representing a woman who was denied housing because of her race.

"So while Tim was taking on housing discrimination and homelessness, Donald Trump was denying apartments to people who were African-American," Clinton said.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D VA) | InsideGov

She said Kaine helped bridge the racial divide as mayor of Richmond and brought Republicans and Democrats together as Virginia's governor.

"While Mike Pence slashed education funding in Indiana and gave more tax cuts to the wealthiest, Tim Kaine cut his own salary and invested in education from pre-K through college and beyond," Clinton said.

Clinton said the most important qualification in choosing a running mate was selecting someone who could step in and become president if necessary. She said Kaine is that person.

"He fights for the people he represents, and he delivers real results," Clinton said.

Clinton also spoke about Kaine's commitment to gun law reform, immigration reform and LGBT equality.

"This is one of the most consequential elections in our lifetimes," Clinton said. "When someone says 'I alone can fix it,' that should set off alarm bells in not just Democrats' minds, but Republicans, independents, people of all ages and backgrounds. That is not a democracy."

Clinton's remarks were in response to Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention.

Kaine began his speech in Spanish before tearing into Trump.

"We've seen again and again that when Donald Trump says he has your back, you'd better watch out," Kaine said. "From Atlantic City to his so-called university, he leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes."

Kaine took various shots at Trump, including questioning when the Republican presidential candidate was going to release his tax returns.

"Raise your hand if you think those returns would show that he's paid his fair share of taxes?" Kaine asked the crowd.

Kaine said the Virginia Tech massacre was the worst day of his life, and he vowed to work with Clinton to close loopholes that allow dangerous people to own guns.

"Do you want a trash-talking president or a bridge-builder president?" Kaine said of the choice between Trump or Clinton.

The crowd cheered for Clinton.

"Donald Trump trash-talks folks with disabilities, trash-talks Mexican-Americans and Latinos whether they're new immigrants or governors or federal judges, trash-talks women, trash-talks our allies, calls our military a disaster," Kaine said. "Oh, you're right, he doesn't trash talk everybody. He likes (Russian President) Vladimir Putin. You're right. Let's get that straight."

Kaine concluded his speech by praising Clinton's optimistic outlook about the country.

"America was not built on fear," he said. "It was built on courage, on imagination and on an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

Kaine said Clinton was filled with all three.

"That's why I'm with her," Kaine said.

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