Tim Kaine in Charlotte: ‘This is not a television show, this is not a reality show’
Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine told supporters at Heist Brewery in Charlotte on Thursday that voters can’t permit Republican presidential chosen one Donald Trump to “affront our democracy” by not accepting the results of the election.
The rally came a day after the third and last presidential level headed discussion between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Amid the civil argument, in Las Vegas, Trump declined to say whether he would accept results of the election if he lost.
“I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News.
Kaine took aim at those comments Thursday.
“This is not a television show, this is not a reality show,” he told the 300 or so people packed into the brewery. “This is about running a nation. You gotta do better than that.”
Talking to reporters after his speech, Kaine criticized Trump’s decision Thursday to double down on his controversial refusal to concede if he loses.
Trump said at a rally in Ohio that he would accept the results of the presidential election “if I win.”
That comment, Kaine said, proves that Trump “has a profound misunderstanding for the institutions of government. … He is trying to upset a tradition that’s been one of the notable features of American life.”
Asked whether Trump’s defiance would make it harder for Clinton to lead if she’s elected, Kaine said he and his running mate are already reaching out to “moderate GOP members (who) are horrified” by Trump’s suggestion that he may not abide by the election results.
If Clinton becomes president, Kaine said, “there are some Donald Trump supporters that would be very difficult for us to win (over). But there are many who have economic anxieties … and we’ve got to demonstrate to them in that first 100 days when we’re putting an economic package on the table that we’re speaking to their concerns and their communities.”
In his speech Kaine, a former mayor of Richmond who now represents Virginia in the U.S. Senate, also questioned Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that Russia has been behind the hacking of several email accounts of Democratic officials.
“You won’t defend American democracy, but you will defend Vladimir Putin on stage?” Kaine asked.
He said voters need to elect Clinton by a large margin, which he said would “send a resounding message” to other countries.
“Don’t think you can come into our country and mess around with an American election — no way,” Kaine said.
Kaine began his speech by criticizing other Republicans in the state. He said the Charlotte City Council and Mayor Jennifer Roberts did the right thing when they expanded the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance for gay, lesbian and transgender individuals.
“When Charlotte decided to step forward and protect people from discrimination, state government said we have to crack down (with House Bill 2),” Kaine said. “I used to be a mayor. I didn’t like a state cracking down on us.”
He said North Carolina has “a proud progressive tradition,” but that the GOP-controlled legislature and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory did “a 180 to show a very different face” of the state.
Kaine said many N.C. voters “aren’t taking this lying down.”
Kaine’s rally coincided with the first day of early voting in the state. He told supporters that if Clinton wins North Carolina, Trump will have no viable path to 270 electoral votes. No Republican presidential candidate has won the White House without carrying North Carolina since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.
Both sides are working hard to win this key battleground state’s 15 electoral votes. Kaine’s Charlotte stop — he was in Durham later Thursday —was his second visit to the state in just over a week. Trump will speak today at a rally in Fletcher, near Asheville.