Tim Kaine explains how Richmond politics prepared him for national stage

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 21:52:35-04

PHILADELPHIA -- The Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine has made his debut on the national stage and is getting prepared for the campaign trail.

He sat down with CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns on Thursday to answer several questions, ahead of Hillary Clinton's national address from the DNC.

Not just speaking Spanish, but listening in Spanish

Kaine emphasized the importance not just of speaking Spanish, but being able to listen to the Latino community.

"It's not just speaking Spanish, I tell people my Spanish isn't perfect, but I know how to listen in two languages," Kaine said. "The Latino community is growing and powerful and they want to be listened to."

"Hillary Clinton has been a longtime supporter of comprehensive immigration reform and Donald Trump is not only an opponent, but he uses the most demeaning language to talk about Latinos," he added.

"We're going to make sure that they understand the differences between the candidates and their power to affect the outcome of the race," Kaine said.

Reaching out to the Latino community is not the only bridge Kaine will need to build.

He will be reaching out to Bernie Sanders supporters to win votes and promote party unity.

Winning Sanders fans

"Hillary Clinton has vast experience in governing, and trying to make sure the government solves problems and does the right things for people," he said.

"Some of it is about getting to know one another," he said. "My track record has been very heavily in Virginia, so a lot of people don't know me."

"Even this week started with a lot of turmoil and chaos, and every day it has gotten better, and the unification is more obvious," Kaine said.

Kaine also set the record straight on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which his seeming support of has garnered criticism from Sanders' supporters -- who could be seen holding up NO TPP signs at the DNC during Kaine's national address.

Kaine emphasized that he does not support the TPP in its current form, and is opposed to parts of it -- namely parts dealing with wages and national security.

Kaine says Richmond experience was educational

Kaine, who served in Virginia as a councilman, mayor, governor and senator,  talked about how the lessons he learned in Richmond have prepared him for politics at the national level.

He said the discipline he learned locally, as well as working with others to gain consensus, will help in the race for president.

"You had to be accessible and the results you put together had to be tangible," Kaine said. "That gave me a discipline that I think will help us win this race."

He also said that the most emotional moment so far in the campaign, since Clinton announced him just a week ago as her VP choice, was when he returned to Richmond at 10 p.m. to find a crowd waiting out front the home in which his family has lived over 30 years.

"I love Richmond," Kaine said.

Click on the video for the full interview.