Democratic V-P nominee Tim Kaine calls Donald Trump ‘one-man wrecking crew’

Tim Kaine speaks during the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27.
Tim Kaine speaks during the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27. PHOTO: AFP

PHILADELPHIA (REUTERS) - Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine laid into Republican candidate Donald Trump in his acceptance speech, describing the billionaire as “a one-man wrecking crew” who cannot be trusted with America’s future.

“Our nation, it is just too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one-man wrecking crew,” Mr Kaine said at the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton chose Mr Kaine of Virginia as her running mate last week, opting for a partner at the Nov 8 election who has wide experience in public service to draw a contrast with Mr Trump who has never been elected to office.

Peppering his speech with phrases in Spanish, the bilingual Kaine said he and Mrs Clinton were “companeros de alma,” or soul mates, and led chants from the crowd of “Si, se puede.” (“Yes, we can.”) .

He said Mr Trump, a businessman and reality TV show host, was fundamentally untrustworthy. “He never tells you how he’s going to do any of the things he says he’s going to do. He just says, ‘believe me.’ So here’s the question. Do you really believe him? Donald Trump’s whole career says you better not,” he said.

Senior Democrats and former national security figures lined up in Philadelphia on Wednesday (July 28) to describe Mr Trump as unable to steer America through the dangerous waters of today’s world.

The Republican on Wednesday gave his critics fresh fodder for attack with remarks about Russia that the Clinton campaign said posed a possible national security threat.

Grabbing the spotlight at a news conference in Miami, Mr Trump urged Russia to find and release tens of thousands of e-mails that Mrs  Clinton did not hand over to US officials as part of a probe into her use of a private e-mail system while she was secretary of state. Mrs Clinton has said those e-mails were private.

In an earlier speech in Philadelphia, US Vice-President Joe Biden said Mr Trump was an opportunist who has no clue about how to make America great or help working families.

Drawing chants of “Not a clue” from the floor of the convention, Mr Biden took Mr Trump to task for his trademark reality TV slogan, “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!” Mr Biden shouted to cheers in the Wells Fargo Center.

Mr Trump has hammered Mrs Clinton as untrustworthy and cast America as a place where security threats abound and law and order are breaking down.

He has proposed deeply controversial measures such as temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country and building a wall on the border with Mexico to stop illegal immigrants.

Mr Trump got a boost in opinion polls from his nomination at the Republican convention last week. He had a two-point lead over Mrs Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, the first time he has been ahead since early May.