US Elections 2016

Democrats sharpen their claws against Trump

US Vice-President nominee Tim Kaine acknowledges the crowd after delivering remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention.
US Vice-President nominee Tim Kaine acknowledges the crowd after delivering remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention.PHOTO: AFP

Democrats sharpened their attacks on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the third night of the Democratic National Convention, with Vice-President Joe Biden and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine leading the charge.

Described as a racist, a con and a danger to the country, Mr Trump was subject to the same treatment Mrs Clinton had received at the Republican National Convention last week.

Accepting the party's nomination for vice-president before launching into his attack, Mr Kaine argued that the New York billionaire had made many promises to American voters, but had not detailed plans on how he would achieve them.

"Most people when they run for president, they don't just say 'believe me', they respect you enough to tell you how they will get things done," he said, mocking Mr Trump by doing an impersonation.

He compared this to Mrs Clinton, who has outlined all her plans on her website, including how she would invest in new jobs, build on Wall Street reform and make it possible to graduate from college debt-free.

"Hillary has a passion for kids and families. Donald Trump has a passion too, it's himself," he said.

RECORD OF BANKRUPTCIES

Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's running his business? God help us. I'm a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.

FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

Earlier in the night, Mr Biden reached out to the American middle class and questioned how a man who claims to care about them could derive pleasure from saying the words "you're fired".

"He's trying to tell us he cares about the middle class. Give me a break, that's a bunch of malarkey," said Mr Biden as the crowd cheered in agreement.

Hushing the crowd to make a point on national security, Mr Biden said: "No major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or has been less prepared to deal with our national security."

Calling Mr Trump a man who "confuses bluster with strength", Mr Biden said that Mr Trump "with all his rhetoric, would literally make us less safe".

Perhaps the most effective attack of the night, however, came from a man from Mr Trump's world of business - former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Through his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, and thousands of lawsuits, and angry stock holders and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel they've been ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business? God help us," he said.

"I'm a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one!" he added.

As someone who had been a Democrat and a Republican before becoming an independent, Mr Bloomberg also made a convincing plea to fellow independents, telling them to choose the next president not out of party loyalty but out of "love of country".

"This election is not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It's a choice about who is better to lead our country right now," said Mr Bloomberg.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2016, with the headline 'Democrats sharpen their claws against Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe