Hillary Clinton introduces running mate Tim Kaine

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-24 10:05:56-04

Hillary Clinton introduced her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, to a Miami audience Saturday as "a progressive who likes to get things done."

Florida is a huge prize on the political map and Kaine wasted no time connecting with an audience at Florida International University that included many Hispanics.

"Welcome all to our country, because we are all Americans,"  said Kaine in his fluent Spanish. The Jesuit schooled, Harvard trained lawyer with an early career focused on civil rights learned Spanish while doing volunteer work in Honduras.

Kaine rose from Richmond mayor, to Virginia governor, then on to the U.S. Senate. Those ties, Democrats hope, will help in a state they consider vital to their fortunes this fall.

Kaine, who has a son in the U.S. Marines, quickly took up the attack on Donald Trump. He said, "And all of you will remember a few months ago when he said about (Sen.) John McCain that he wasn't a hero because he had been captured and served as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. And he (Trump) wants to be commander in chief."

It is a theme Clinton is hammering on following Trump's acceptance speech in Cleveland. Trump said part of the problems facing America, "I alone can fix it."

Clinton told the Miami audience, "We work together .... That is what traditionally has set us apart from places that turned to single leaders, despots, dictators, authoritarians who have promised people , 'I can fix it alone.'

In the end, the Clinton-Kaine strategy seems to be that the mood of voters is one that will embrace what they call an inclusive, optimistic message. Clinton said, "Donald Trump may think America is in decline  but he's wrong ... America's best days are still ahead of us."

It's on to Philadelphia now for the Clinton-Kaine ticket and the Democratic National Convention next week. But the eyes and attention of both campaigns won't stray far from Florida as voters here will once again be instrumental in deciding the race for the White House.