Sen. Tim Kaine made his pitch for presumptive Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton Thursday by asking a Northern Virginia crowd whether they wanted a trash-talker known for the catchphrase “you’re fired” as president or a bridge-builder who puts kids and families first.
“On the economy, do you want a ‘you’re fired’ president or a ‘you’re hired’ president?” Mr. Kaine asked during his introduction of Mrs. Clinton in Annandale.
“Now, what is Donald Trump known for? ‘You’re fired,’” Mr. Kaine said, referring to Mr. Trump’s famous catchphrase from “The Apprentice.”
Mr. Kaine, a possible vice presidential pick for Mrs. Clinton, predicted that what will be remembered about the failed candidacy of Mr. Trump is the phrase “you’re fired,” and perhaps “Trump U” — a reference to his Trump University real estate courses that have been the subject of litigation.
Mr. Kaine also asked the crowd at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus whether they wanted a “trash-talker” president or a bridge-builder.
“I’ll tell you one that gets me steamed,” Mr. Kaine said, saying Mr. Trump wants to be commander in chief but has said “repeatedly” that the American military is a “disaster.”
“Hold on a second,” he said. “1.6 million young men and women volunteer to serve in a time of war now stretching 15 years, and you have the guts to call them a disaster?”
He also asked the crowd whether they want a “me-first” president or a “kids and families first” president.
“Again, Trump U, right?” he said. “Sets up a bogus college named after capital H himself, takes a lot of people’s hard-earned money making promises to them and they end up with something that’s less than the paper it’s written on. And for him, that’s a success.”
Mrs. Clinton tried out a bit of a Trump impression during her own remarks to the crowd.
“I didn’t know you could run for president [and] say ‘I have a plan. I’m not going to tell you,’” she said. “‘But believe me, it’s great. It’s huge. You’ll love it.’ I didn’t know you could run for president and say that.”
Mr. Kaine, a former governor of Virginia who served as a missionary in Honduras, also showed off his Spanish-speaking skills and gave the crowd a lesson on the connotations of the Spanish word “listo.”
“Estamos listos para Hillary,” he said, which translates to “We’re ready for Hillary.”
He said when he was living in Honduras, the best compliment you could pay to someone was to say they were “listo,” “to say that they were ready.”
“In Spanish, in Honduras, what ‘ready’ means is more than just on time — it means well-prepared,” he said. “It means you’re ready to get on the battlefield. You’re ready to fight. You’re somebody that can be counted on.
“We were ready for Hillary because Hillary’s ready for us,” he said. “Hillary’s ready for Virginia. Hillary’s ready to be president.”
Mr. Kaine was the first governor outside of Illinois to endorse then-Sen. Obama over Mrs. Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary contest and was mentioned as a possible running mate for Mr. Obama that year.
But he was one of the earliest supporters of Mrs. Clinton during the 2016 cycle, endorsing her would-be candidacy in May 2014.