The Democrats’ vice presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, took on the role of campaign attack dog in Daytona Beach Tuesday labeling Donald Trump as the “You’re fired” president.

In a 31-minute speech at Daytona State College, Kaine accused Trump of caring only about himself and said his economic plans would lead to economic ruin, while citing an economic report estimating his running mate, Hillary Clinton, could create 10 million new jobs.

“America gets to choose between whether it wants a ‘You’re hired’ president or a ‘You’re fired’ president,” Kaine said, echoing Trump’s signature line from his old reality TV show, “The Apprentice.”

It was Kaine’s first trip to Florida since last week’s Democratic National Convention formally nominated him to run for vice president. He came to talk about the Clinton-Kaine 100-day economic plan, and he did. But much of his description of the plan, with its emphases on infrastructure investment, education, immigration reform and what the Democrats call “shared prosperity” was a repeat of what former Secretary of State Clinton has talked about since releasing her economic plan last fall.

Kaine covered the calls for investments in everything from airports to renewable energy, college support, technical training, apprenticeship programs, support for labor, increased minimum wage, pay equity, and tax increases for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans that Clinton proposed.

Specifically, Kaine cited a Moody’s Analytics report that estimated Clinton’s tax investment strategy would create 10 million new jobs while Trump’s plans, including protectionist measures, would eliminate 3.5 million jobs and start a new recession.

“I think we ought to run from the ‘You’re fired’ president as fast as we can,” he said.

He also pushed for federal funding to fight the spread and effects of the Zika virus, saying Trump is ignoring the problem, while Clinton is pushing for action. Also, while showing off his command of Spanish by occasionally mixing it into his speech, Kaine pushed for immigration reform, calling immigration support an idea pursued by fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson.

In a small venue packed with perhaps no more than 1,000 people, Kaine scored most of his points when criticizing Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.

He was not alone in doing so. Members of the crowd shouted back insults of Trump during those moments, calling him a thief, a robber baron and a fascist, among other things. If Kaine heard them, he didn’t acknowledge it.

If this is his role, he’s hardly the hard puncher of current Vice President Joe Biden or others in this year’s presidential contests, especially Clinton and Trump. While Kaine occasionally scowled and raised his voice, he projected more of a let’s-all-get-along persona.

The Clinton-Kaine campaign’s new theme of “Stronger Together” was picked up by all the warm-up speakers and Kaine himself, trying to paint Trump as the divider of America.

He also reflected on some of the harsher points in Trump’s business record, without explicitly citing the bankruptcies and workforce issues reported elsewhere.

“When Donald Trump says, ‘Hey, believe me!’ all you have to do is look at all the other people who believed him and got hurt,” Kaine said.

He said Trump’s only passion is himself, “which he has followed with rigid consistency through his entire life.” Kaine finished with, “We don’t need a ‘me first’ president.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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