VP nominee Kaine rallies for his neighbors in Greensboro

Mike Segar—REUTERS
Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton celebrates among balloons with her vice presidential running mate Senator Tim Kaine (L) after accepting the nomination on the fourth and final night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Vice presidential nominee and Virginia senator Tim Kaine spoke to his “neighbors” on Wednesday, stressing how North Carolina is a key component of ensuring a Hillary Clinton presidency.Kaine addressed controversies in N.C., including the passage of H.B. 2, voter ID laws and tuition costs for historically black colleges and universities. He told the audience the General Assembly passed the bathroom bill in the middle of the night to avoid complaints, but were met with many.”This is not who North Carolina is,” Kaine said. “These are not our values. And that’s one of the reasons why North Carolina is so intensely focused on this race is — Roy Cooper said to me when he walked in, ‘We don’t (want) people around the country thinking that we’re fighting to go backward rather than forward.”Kaine added Republican vice presidential nominee and Indiana governor Mike Pence approved similar legislation in his state and received similar backlash. He then moved to discuss the recent court ruling on voter ID laws, which said requiring voters to show ID was discriminatory to minority voters. He explained to supporters that if their vote didn’t matter, Republicans wouldn’t pass voter ID legislation.”If you ever talk to anybody who’s a friend or family or neighbor or anybody and they tell you that they think their vote doesn’t matter, then what you tell them is this: If your vote doesn’t matter, why is the other side working so hard to keep you from being able to vote?” Kaine asked. He spoke about Clinton’s college affordability plan that has especially resonated with young people and was one of the platform ideas inspired from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign. The legislator got backlash with Senate Bill 873, which was a plan to slash tuition to $500 a semester for several UNC colleges. Three black campuses, Fayetteville State, Elizabeth City State and Winston-Salem State universities, were later dropped after protesters said it would diminish the value of the universities. “At the higher ed. level, Hillary Clinton has been pretty bold,” Kaine said. “We’re going to have debt-free college, debt-free college. And it’s not — it’s not just about debt-free college. It’s historic investments in HBCs and other minority-serving institutions.”Kaine said a Clinton presidency would be a way to show his support to women who have supported him throughout the years. “More than half of the voters, more than half of the voters, in this country are women, definitely more than half of the voters who pull levers for Democrats,” he said. “So again and again, I have benefitted because strong women have been able to stand up and say, ‘I’m going to support you to do what you’re trying to do for the community.'”Kaine spoke about how the campaign will be focusing on North Carolina with plenty of campaign stops in the future from Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. “We’re all on the field,” Kaine said. “Are you on the field with us? We will make history on Nov. 8th with North Carolina the wind in our sails.”