‘Equality is our North Star’: Tim Kaine speaks at Penn State

Kaine talks equality

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine speaks to students and locals during a campaign event Friday, Oct, 21, 2016 at Alumni Hall in the Hub-Robeson Center.
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Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine speaks to students and locals during a campaign event Friday, Oct, 21, 2016 at Alumni Hall in the Hub-Robeson Center.

To Tim Kaine, Pennsylvania is a “checkmate” state.

“If we win Pennsylvania, this race will go to Hillary Clinton,” Sen. Kaine, of Virginia, said.

The Democratic vice presidential candidate spoke to a crowd of 650 on Friday afternoon in Alumni Hall at the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State’s campus. An overflow room held 285 people.

He gave “props” to State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham — who addressed the crowd prior to Kaine’s speech — because he said being a mayor is a tough job.

He also said he knew the campaign stopped in Centre County on a challenging day, with serious flooding affecting parts of the county.

Kaine’s speech, which lasted about 50 minutes, touched on college affordability, equality, jobs, why Democrat Hillary Clinton should be president and why Republican Donald Trump shouldn’t.

Kaine said Clinton clearly won all three debates. She showed grace under pressure, even when Trump tried to get to her and rattle her, he said.

“She showed us judgment. She showed us temperament. She showed us compassion,” he said.

Clinton is doing something that’s never been done before, Kaine said. If it was easy, there would have already been a woman president.

Kaine discussed how important equality was to the framers of the Constitution and Abraham Lincoln.

“Equality is our North Star,” he said.

As time has gone on, he said, Americans have realized that people weren’t treated equally and tried to do better.

Kaine said he and Clinton “want to treat people as equals.”

“I don’t think Donald Trump can look at a woman and see an equal,” he said.

Referring to the tapes released recently in which Trump described kissing and groping women without their consent, Kaine said it’s more than just talk.

When Trump says this is just locker room talk “that makes me mad because that’s not the way real men act,” Kaine said.

Women shouldn’t be demeaned and disrespected, he said. And they should be able to make their own health care decisions.

Kaine also addressed Clinton’s jobs plan and college affordability.

He said college should be debt-free.

“You should not have to mortgage your future in order to prepare for your future and that’s what too many students are having to do,” he said.

Kaine said a jobs plan will be delivered in the Clinton administration’s first 100 days in office. It will have four components: investments in manufacturing and research for clean energy; investing in people from pre-K to career and technical training; increasing the minimum wage and equal pay for women; and investing in small businesses.

When Clinton asked Kaine to be her running mate, he said, “I thought this is great. ... After all these strong women have supported me for so long, what a great thing to support such a strong and compassionate leader as Hillary Clinton.”

Kaine said he’s 8-0 in elections.

“I’m gonna be 9-0 on Nov. 8,” he added.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

Kaine stops by Creamery

Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., made a quick pass through the Penn State Berkey Creamery after his speech.

Kaine ordered an Autumn Delight — a vanilla ice cream with cinnamon apple flavor and cinnamon caramel swirl — in a bowl.

He spoke to the Creamery’s manager, Tom Davis, who also had an Autumn Delight.

Kaine stayed for about 15 minutes, greeting customers and posing for photos.

One of those customers, Christian Hunter, of California, will be 14 on Saturday. He had a Birthday Bash ice cream cone.

Sarah Rafacz

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