Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee Tim Kaine delivered an all-Spanish speech during a campaign stop in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday.
NBC News called it “the first speech completely in Spanish by a candidate at an organized campaign rally during a presidential election,” and came just a day after Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton visited the state.
As we noted yesterday, Clinton doesn’t need Arizona in order to win the Presidency, but the extra resources and time the Clinton campaign and Democrats are devoting to the state shows they know the importance of the Latino vote — and the importance of defeating Trumpism in the state and beyond.
Kaine’s speech focused on some of the most defining issues of this Presidential election, and one of the most stark contrasts between the two major party Presidential campaigns: Keeping immigrant families together.
We’re going to fight so hard for comprehensive immigration reform, and in the meantime, we’ll do everything we can to keep families together.
A few months ago, the Supreme Court put DAPA on hold. That was devastating for millions of families. But it’s important to note that the Court didn’t actually rule on the substance of the case. Hillary and I have always said that DAPA is squarely within the President’s authority, and we will keep fighting for it.
We also need to end family detention, close private detention facilities, and stop the raids and round-ups. They’re not right. They’re not necessary. And they’re not consistent with our values.
Kaine on the growing power of the American Latino electorate, which is estimated to be 27 million strong this year and is energized to vote this November following 16 months of insults from the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump:
[B]y 2050, communities of color will represent the majority of our population. So of course Latinos will help shape the future of America because you are the future of America.
Todos somos Americanos.
We need all Americans, from all backgrounds, to help write the next chapters in our nation’s story – just as you have always done. This community has been part of a long struggle that has shown your resilience and your power.
And, Kaine on some of Arizona’s most despised anti-immigrant leaders, including former Gov. Jan Brewer and beleaguered Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is facing the reelection of his lifetime:
In recent years, many of those battles have been waged right here in Arizona. In many ways, Phoenix was one of the birthplaces of the modern immigrant rights movement, when people from all over the country came to organize against SB1070 – a bill that went against so many of our shared values.
That battle isn’t over… Right now, in this election, you are all leading the way in the next phase of progress. But we’re up against some pretty tough opponents.
One of Trump’s biggest supporters, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who’s facing criminal charges for profiling Latinos and has persecuted undocumented immigrants. He says he thinks Trump will get “a lot of Hispanic votes.”
Do you think he’s right?
Just the other day, your former governor, Jan Brewer, who signed into law the discriminatory SB1070 that promoted racial profiling, said that she wasn’t worried about her candidate, Donald Trump, winning this state, because, as she said, Latinos “don’t get out and vote.”
Do you think she’s right?
I think Jan Brewer must not be paying very close attention. Because millions of Americans are coming together – Democrats and Republicans and Independents – to support Hillary Clinton and reject Donald Trump and everything he stands for.
Here in Arizona, our campaign is surging. More than a million people have already voted early, and the rate of Hispanic voters has nearly doubled compared to four years ago. We are also seeing the same energy from the Latino community in early vote in states like Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and other states.
So I hate to break it to the Trump campaign, but Latinos are going to have a really big voice in this election… And the choice is really clear.
A transcript of Sen. Kaine’s remarks (English and Spanish) is available here, and full video of the speech is below.