Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine told a small crowd at Carnegie Mellon University that states borders are merely “a dotted line” and a “boundary,” while states which consider themselves to be part of the commonwealth are “aspirational.”
“America only gets in trouble when we’re not together,” Kaine said.
When we push people away from the table or divide against one another. He said “46 states just call themselves states. But four of us — Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky and Massachusetts — we’re kind of, a little bit more aspirational. We don’t call ourselves states; that’s just a dotted line, a boundary, a political subdivision. We call ourselves commonwealth.” He added, “the wealth we hold, we hold in common. We’re stronger together. And that’s why Hillary Clinton chose that as the theme for the campaign.
He proceeded to blast Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for naming a book he published five months after announcing his presidential bid, Crippled America.
“This is the book that Donald Trump wrote when he decided to run for president. The book is called Crippled America. Crippled America,” Kaine said. “First, that phrase is offensive to me… but even getting by that, this is a vision about this country that is negative, gloom and doom, blame America first.”
Kaine noted that he “hated to give [Trump] a royalty but I wanted to motivate myself so I bought a copy” of his book.
At that same moment, the camera zoomed out to show a faded, grey t-shirt with “The Cover Up Clintons” written on it with a black Sharpie pen being held up by someone in the audience. The t-shirt also had written on it “Research #FileGate #ChinaGate #TravelGate #PardonGate.”
Kaine proceeded to comment on Trump’s image on the cover of the book: “He chose it himself, sitting in a penthouse at the top of a very big tower, frowning down at everything around him. This is he what he thinks of the United States of America, or he wouldn’t have called him book Crippled America.”
Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” has been a reaction to his goals of rebuilding the United States into a stronger nation following years of subpar foreign and domestic policy.
“I don’t see what Donald Trump sees. And I don’t think this is who we are, folks,” Kaine said. Trump has since renamed the title of his book to Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.
“You can change the title of your book, but you’re not going to change who you are, Donald Trump,” Kaine told the crowd. “And I think we know who you are. We know who you are.”
The Virginia Senator also touched upon American production, lauding Carnegie Mellon “as a real center of America’s manufacturing.” He announced that he and Clinton are creating a plan Invest “$10 billion in a make it in America manufacturing plan.”
He discussed his and Clinton’s plan to make in state college tuition free for families making less than $125,000 a year and work towards “changing the rules” so that individuals who currently have debt can refinance it. “Do you know that in our country right now, it is easier for Donald Trump to refinance the loan on his jet, than it is for any of you to refinance your student loan debt? And there is something fundamentally wrong about that. And if we have the honor to serve we are going to change that to make it easier for you.”
During a talk to the Steel Workers Union in Philadelphia the evening before, Kaine told the crowd about how he had told his parents, “Hey Mom and Dad, why don’t you travel with me after the debate? I have a plane with my name on it now.”
Kaine also noted that he and Clinton have a deal to target tax relief to middle class families and small businesses. “That’s where two-thirds of American jobs come from… small businesses are the engine of job growth. That’s what we want to do,” Kaine said.
Clinton, like former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has said she “absolutely” will support a $15 minimum wage hike. Many small businesses have complained that this increase will result in the loss of business because they won’t be able to afford maintaining a staff with those rates.
Kaine completed his talk by telling the crowd that he and Clinton hold the winning ticket.
“This is my ninth race. I’m 8 and 0 and I’m going to be 9 and 0 on November 8. I’m gonna give you a little preview: I am not gonna lose this one,” Kaine said. “I’m kind of like a rabbit’s foot: for good luck,” he said, half-joking that he’s “barely likable enough” due to the narrow margin he wins by in Virginia which “is not the bluest state in the bunch… I am the underdog until they call me the winner. That’s the way we have got to think.”
Pennsylvania is a swing state. “Donald Trump knows, as we know too, that he’s got to win Pennsylvania if he wants to be president. And you know what? We’re not going to let that happen. We’re not going to let that happen.”
A poll conducted by Franklin & Marshall late last month indicated that of likely Pennsylvania voters under the age of 35, 55 percent support Clinton while 19 percent are for Trump. A Rasmussen Reports poll released on Tuesday shows Clinton and Trump tied nationally, and in a dead heat, following the first presidential debate.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz