VP nominee Kaine speaks to military families, supporters in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Democratic vice president nominee Tim Kaine drew on his life as a Virginia politician and as a father of a son serving in the Marines, hoping to appeal to voters in Eastern North Carolina Tuesday afternoon.In a rally at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Kaine stressed the similarities of Virginia and North Carolina saying both are states with strong military communities.”North Carolina is a state so committed to the nation’s military mission, and we are too with the Pentagon, with the biggest naval base in the world, with Quantico where Marine officers train,” Kaine said. “We are all the same in Virginia and maybe I feel this one a little extra having a kid in the military. It’s rare. There are only two senators that do. I feel this a little bit extra.”He added North Carolina’s military was personal to him saying his son trained at Camp Lejeune. He said military is also personal to Hillary Clinton, who served on the Armed Services Committee. Kaine is currently serving on the committee as a Virginia senator. Kaine told supporters one of the missions Clinton had on that committee was helping out military families, and she will continue to fight for them as president. “We can’t make military service easy,” Kaine said. “It is always going to be hard, but we can make the life of military families a little bit easier. We can lift their burden a little bit. And that’s what Hillary and I are set to do.”Kaine took time to offset Clinton’s rhetoric from her rivals. Kaine said Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump often said “the American military is a disaster” while on the debate stage. “I don’t think in the history of the United States there has been a major party nominee who has talked with such disrespect about our military,” Kaine said. “There are 2 million young men and women who volunteer in a time of war to serve as active guard and reserve. They do it knowing they could get hurt or killed and so can their friends. We need a commander in chief to not talk about them with contempt and disrespect, but will talk about them with respect and compassion and support. Anybody who says the American military is a disaster is unfit to be commander in chief.”Kaine continued by saying this is “not the worst thing he has said,” using Trump’s comments toward Arizona Sen. John McCain as a former prisoner of war and toward the Khan family who spoke at the Democratic National Convention about their son who died in war. “Going after a Gold Star family, I have to believe that is viewed the same way here that it is in Virginia,” Kaine said. “That is not the kind of person that we need in office.”Kaine contrasted Trump’s response to the Khan family with Clinton’s response to families of Benghazi victims who spoke at the Republican National Convention. “The week before in Cleveland they paraded one person after the next to challenge Hillary Clinton,” Kaine said. “Families who were grieving because they lost people in the raid in Benghazi. They put them on stage and let them trash Hillary Clinton. Did Hillary Clinton turn her attention from the campaign trail to direct her anger and her fire at grieving family member who have every right to grieve? Of course not. That is not what a president does.” Kaine’s wife and former Virginia Secretary of Education Anne Holton spoke before Kaine to praise Clinton’s ability to be a doer. “She is fundamentally a pragmatic, get-things-done person, right?” Holton said. “Our military communities understand that this is not red state, blue state stuff. This is not us, them stuff. We all need to pull together and be stronger together and get things done on behalf our nation.”He also spoke about Clinton’s five-point economic plan, saying North Carolina has led the way in energy innovation. “You have really built up an expertise in renewable energy — wind, solar,” Kaine said. “Some great projects in the state, the new manufacturing, the new energy is the economy of tomorrow.” He said the Clinton campaign will continue to stop and campaign in North Carolina. “We are not here by accident,” Kaine said. “It is because we are going to win North Carolina. That’s why we are here.”Kaine spoke in Asheville on Monday and Holton will be making stops across the state in campaign offices this week.