Fayetteville, N.C. — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has a plan to boost the U.S. economy in the coming years, while Republican rival Donald Trump's economic proposals will only send the country back into recession, Clinton's running mate, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, said Tuesday.
Kaine noted that nonpartisan economic research firm Moody's Analytics has vetted Clinton's five-point plan to invest in infrastructure and education, raise taxes on the wealthy, punish companies that shift jobs overseas and push for a higher minimum wage and more support for child care and determined that it would create 10 million jobs over the next four years. Meanwhile, Moody's found that Trump's plan would cost 3.5 million jobs over the same period, Kaine said.
"Donald Trump would be a 'you're fired' president," Kaine told a crowd at Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, referring to the billionaire businessman's catchphrase on his reality television show, "The Apprentice."
"Hillary Clinton will be a 'you're hired' president," Kaine said. "We cannot afford to hand (the country) over to a 'you're fired' guy."
Raising the minimum wage would put more value in hard work, he said, noting a full-time, minimum wage job leaves a working mother with a couple of children living in poverty.
"If we value work and if we value workers and if we value families, then we ought to have policies like a livable minimum wage that show we value it and enable people to live in a decent and dignified way," he said.
Meanwhile, raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and investing that revenue in education and infrastructure would lift the entire economy, including those paying more taxes, he said.
"Everybody does better with an economy where there's prosperity and opportunity and ladders of success that everybody can climb. The whole society does better," he said.
Andy Wall, a teacher who attended the rally, said he likes Kaine because their priorities match up.
"He's a man of service. His life has always been a life of service, and that's what I always look for," Wall said.
Kaine also spoke to an audience filled with veterans, military members and their families about Clinton's plans to expand the GI Bill and continue to improve the operation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Their emphasis on paid family leave and child care support would benefit military families, he said, adding that they would also look at taking family considerations into account when making deployments and other assignments.
"We can't make military service easy. It's always going to be hard," he said. "But we can make the life of military families a little bit easier."
Clint Tate, a retired airman who attended the rally, said the Clinton-Kaine ticket needs to convince him that their commitment to veterans isn't just lip service to win his vote.
"They need to do a lot more for veterans then they actually say. Put their words into action," Tate said.
In an interview with WRAL News, Kaine said he has worked as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to "end the shackle of sequestration" to free up money in the budget for veterans' benefits.
"It's not all about money. It's also about holding people accountable and pushing them to do well with the money that we invest in them," he said. "We've got to figure out the best ways to serve, but we can't be stingy."
Kaine also said in the interview that the election will provide people a clear choice on immigration. While Trump wants to wall the U.S. off from Mexico, Clinton wants to reform the U.S. immigration system to ensure people who are in the country illegally contribute to its success, he said.
Kaine is known for speaking Spanish on the campaign trail, and some have said that doesn't mean he can identify with the problems faced by Latinos. He answered that criticism by noting that he is able to listen in two languages, so he can better understand the worries and hopes of Latinos.
"I'm not Latino," he said, "but my experience has given me a connection that I really cherish."
The Fayetteville stop was part of a two-day swing through North Carolina for Kaine.
On Monday, he campaigned in Asheville, where he sharply critiqued Trump's decision not to release his personal tax returns.
"Americans have a right to know what the financial situation is," he said.
Later Monday, he wailed on a harmonica at Catawba Brewing and sang harmony on a couple of tunes with a local bluegrass band.
Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, stopped by the brewery after eating dinner next door at Buxton Hall Barbecue.