WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Sen. Tim Kaine addressed about 200 supporters Tuesday inside the Historic Hannah Block USO Building in downtown Wilmington. The Clinton-Kaine campaign team billed it as a "major national security address." Kaine spent most of the speech drawing vivid comparisons between the experience of his running mate and the lack of experience of her opponent in the race for the White House.
"Trump doesn't have credible plans for these challenges. Apparently, he doesn't have a lot of use for real-world experiences – or he says, most of his knowledge comes from reality TV. He says he – quote – gets his insight from – quote – 'the shows' on cable news. He may claim to know it all, but on Middle East policy, he's been all over the map. There's only one thing that's consistent: how dangerous his ideas and his rhetoric really are."
Kaine said that Trump's statements set the United States back with others in the world. In particular, Kaine criticized Trump's statements on the Middle East, Russia and Mexico.
Kaine opened his speech mentioning that his son currently is based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, making the topic of national security a very personal one for him.
Here is a verbatim of Jon Evans' one-on-one interview with Sen. Kaine:
Jon Evans: "Speaking national security today in Wilmington, do you think this is the defining issue of this campaign?"
Tim Kaine: "It is one of the two defining issues. Can we build an economy that works for everybody? Who is best suited to be commander in chief in a really demanding world? Who can build a community of respect rather than a community of division? These are three. But the reason the national security issue is so important is not only are they on America's mind. We want a president who will keep us safe. So often they're a really good window into somebody's character. Are they steady? Are they calm? Do they listen to advice? Are they able to make a firm decision? You see an awful lot about the kind of leader somebody is by the way they approach national security challenges. Hillary has been not only an Armed Services Committee member in the Senate, and I know how well regarded she is even among Republicans, but she's also been the chief diplomat of the country. We've got to be strong militarily but we've also got to have diplomacy and strong alliances. If you get that out of balance you make a mistake but if you keep it in balance you're more likely to keep us safe."
Jon Evans: "I noticed a lot of your speech today mentioned Mr. Trump and his shortcomings versus Mrs. Clinton's strengths and your own because you have said you met with Presidents. Is that what you intended to do, point out his shortcomings?"
Tim Kaine: "I think if you look at the speech it's a very active promotion of Hillary's experience and our plans. We used four areas in the speech: Middle East, Russia, Europe, Latin America and contrasted what Hillary Clinton would do and that's what voters need to hear. But then some issue will come up that we're not talking about right now. What you really need to know about a commander in chief is how they make decisions. I contrasted Hillary Clinton's style of putting a good team together and asking tough questions and making those decisions with Donald Trump who says 'I know more than the generals, I alone can fix this, my best advisor is myself'. That is a very dangerous personality trait for somebody who we're going to be entrusting with the nuclear codes to this nation."
Jon Evans: "You're governor of a state with a lot of beaches, how important will beach renourishment and some of those environmental issues? Will you mandate the federal government get involved with beach renourishment?
Tim Kaine: "We have to do this. Some of the beach erosion is because of sea level rise and that's partially caused by greenhouse gas emissions. We've got to do something about it to stop our communities from being eroded away."
Jon Evans: "Do you think the federal government should be involved in renourishing the beaches?"
Tim Kaine: "We're involved in this. We're re-writing flood insurance bills to provide a better federal role and trying to help communities and businesses and homes that are affected after a Superstorm Sandy we come in and we provide relief, so we're making policy to deal with the aftermath. We ought to be making policy to try to prevent it. Hillary and I will do it, but a ticket that doesn't believe in climate change, you're not going to see them do anything."
Jon Evans: "You think we'll see Mrs. Clinton in Wilmington before November 8?"
Tim Kaine: "I hope so. I guarantee you're going to see a lot of both of us and our spouses in NC. Exactly what zip code I'm not sure, but I'm happy to be here."
Jon Evans: "Thanks for your time."