Hillary Clinton’s economic plan, Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and the need for more women in federal office were among the topics Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine mentioned at a rally in Sanford on Monday.
One issue he notably left out, even when an audience member began yelling at him about it: the investigation the FBI announced Friday into newly discovered emails that may be connected to Democratic presidential nominee Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
FBI Director James Comey’s letter announcing the investigation was “so inappropriate,” said Maxine Mortensen, a rally attendee.
“I think he (Kaine) should’ve addressed it today, and I think she (Clinton) should have addressed it from day one,” said Mortensen, 73, of Sanford. “That might have helped.”
Kaine said the economy under a Clinton administration would include the creation of new jobs, helping small businesses and investing in education and infrastructure.
“We’ve got to have prosperity, but it’s got to be shared,” Kaine said at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center in Sanford. His schedule Monday also included a stop in Jacksonville.
More than 18 percent of residents in Lee County live in poverty, according to U.S. Census data.
After telling the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan, in which several people pass by an injured man, Kaine compared Clinton to the one person who stopped to help.
“Hillary Clinton is not the kind of person who’s just going to walk on by,” Kaine said.
Saying Clinton has faced and overcome odds on her path to the White House, Kaine asked voters to remember one phrase leading up to Nov. 8: “I’m the underdog until they call me the winner.”
“It’s not just about campaigns,” Kaine said of the phrase. “It’s … a lot about life.”
During the rally, Kaine pointed to allegations of Republican nominee Trump’s ties to Russia, calling Trump “Vladimir Putin’s defense lawyer” and telling audience members to “send a message to Russia” by voting.
In a statement, the Republican National Committee called Kaine’s visit to North Carolina “an attempt to manufacture enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton’s scandal plagued candidacy.”
“There’s nothing Tim Kaine can say to trick North Carolina voters into believing Hillary Clinton can be trusted with the White House,” Kara Carter, the RNC’s North Carolina communications director, wrote in the statement.
Less than two weeks before Election Day, the Clinton campaign was hit with the news that the FBI had resumed its interest in Clinton’s emails, months after she was cleared.
The new emails were discovered as part of an investigation into former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner and his communications with a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, the New York Times and other news outlets reported. Weiner is the estranged husband of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The emails were found on a computer that both Weiner and Abedin had access to.
The announcement has left Clinton and other Democrats scrambling to do damage control, calling on Comey and the FBI to release more details about the newly discovered emails, while exhilarated Republicans have seized the opportunity to reignite sentiments refuting Clinton’s credibility.
In the days before the election, Clinton and Trump are leading an all-out blitz of swing-state North Carolina.
Vice President Joe Biden will hold a rally in Charlotte on Tuesday. President Barack Obama will stop at UNC-Chapel Hill on Wednesday afternoon. Both presidential candidates will be in North Carolina on Thursday; the location of Clinton’s event has not been announced, but Trump plans rallies in Concord and Selma. Obama is back in the state on Friday with visits to Charlotte and Fayetteville.
“If Hillary Clinton wins here,” Kaine said of North Carolina, “she will win, period.”
Madison Iszler: 919-836-4952; @madisoniszler