Kaine, Biden, Obama Gang up on Trump, Offer Republicans Moral Escape

And I thought Ted Cruz was good….

Senator Tim Kaine filled the attack-dog role we expect of Vice-Presidential nominees, crushingly and lengthily mocking the Republican nominee. To a degree greater than I expected, Vice-President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama followed Kaine down that path, pounding the Republican nominee by name.

Senator Kaine made great rhetorical hay of Trump’s frequent speech-making hiccup of punctuating remarks with “Believe me”:

You know who I don’t trust? Donald Trump. The guy promises a lot. But you might have noticed, he has a habit of saying the same two words right after he makes his biggest promises. You guys know the words I mean? “Believe me.”

It’s gonna be great – believe me! We’re gonna build a wall and make Mexico pay for it – believe me! We’re gonna destroy ISIS so fast – believe me! There’s nothing suspicious in my tax returns –believe me!

…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 [Senator Time Kaine, speech as prepared, Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, PA, 2016.07.27].

Vice-President Biden hit Trump personally even harder:

This is a complicated and uncertain world we live in. The threats are too great. The times are too uncertain, to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States, now let me finish. No major party, no major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less has been less prepared to deal with our national security.

We cannot elect a man who exploits are fears of ISIS and other terrorists. Who has no plan whatsoever to make us safer. A man who embraces the tactics of our enemies, torture, religious intolerance, you all know. All the Republicans know, that’s not who we are. It betrays our values. It alienates those who we need in the fight against ISIS. Donald Trump, with all his rhetoric, would literally make us less safe. We cannot elect a man, who belittles are closest allies, why embracing dictators like Vladimir Putin. No, I mean that. A man who seeks to sow division in America for his own gain, and disorder around the world. A man who confuses bluster with strength. We simply cannot let that happen as Americans, period [Vice-President Joe Biden, speech as delivered, Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, PA, 2016.07.27].

The three most important words of President Obama’s speech came immediately after the crowd booed his first mention of Donald Trump’s name:

Don’t boo—vote [President Barack Obama, speech as delivered, Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, PA, 2016.07.27].

And then the President of the United States started dropping bombs with a killer smile:

You know, the Donald is not really a plans guy. He’s not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.

Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice? [Obama, 2016.07.27]

The President knocked down pin after pin that Trump has tossed onto the field. To Trump’s claim that he alone can fix our problems, the President said, “America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump. In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person.” To Trump’s immigration plan, the President said with a knowing laugh, “[T]he American Dream is something no wall will ever contain.” To Trump’s exclusivism, fascism, and latent white supremacy, the President painted this brilliant picture of American values:

And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren’t limited to Kansas. They weren’t limited to small towns. These values could travel to Hawaii. They could travel even to the other side of the world, where my mother would end up working to help poor women get a better life; trying to apply those values. My grandparents knew these values weren’t reserved for one race. They could be passed down to a half-Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter. In fact, they were the same values Michelle’s parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids, living in a bungalow on the South Side of Chicago. They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke, a baseball cap or a hijab.

America has changed over the years. But these values that my grandparents taught me—they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever, still cherished by people of every party, every race, every faith.  They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots is what’s in here.  That’s what matters.

And that’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own.  That’s why we can attract strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe to build new factories and create new industries here.  That’s why our military can look the way it does—every shade of humanity, forged into common service. That’s why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end [Obama, 2016.07.27].

The President, the Vice-President, and our next Vice-President each attacked the Republican nominee personally, by name, but they each signaled that they were not attacking the Republican Party. They each signaled that Trump is a monster of his own that voters and patriots of all partisan stripes can and should in good conscience repudiate. Recall Vice-President Biden’s statement, “All the Republicans know, that’s not who we are.” Add Senator Kaine’s list of Republicans who recognize Trump isn’t one of them:

…Take it from former First Lady Barbara Bush. She said she didn’t know how any woman could vote for him after his offensive comments. Or John McCain’s former economic advisor – who estimates Trump’s promises would cost America 3.5 million jobs…. Or John Kasich, the Republican Governor who had the honor of hosting the Republican Convention in Cleveland but wouldn’t even attend it because he thinks Trump is such a moral disaster [Kaine, 2016.07.27].

President Obama said, “[W]hat we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican—and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world.” Then, to make sure Republicans got the message, he snapped the Reagan flag at them:

Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix [Obama, 2016.07.27].

Obama, Biden, and Kaine were remarkably rough on the Republican nominee, but they went easy on Republicans. Unlike the Republican National Convention, they did not amen calls to demonize the entire opposing party (“Democracy doesn’t work if we constantly demonize each other,” said the President). They made a case against Donald Trump personally, a case against “show-offs… braggarts… bullies” who don’t share America’s common values, a case that Lincoln/Eisenhower/Reagan Republicans can with total philosophical consistency accept as reason not to vote for the charlatan who has hijacked their party’s Presidential nomination.

Indy p.s.: Businessman and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg offered a much simpler skewering of Trump. As Independent Bloomberg concluded his DNC speech in favor of Hillary Clinton, he ad-libbed, “Let’s elect a sane, competent person.”

25 Responses to Kaine, Biden, Obama Gang up on Trump, Offer Republicans Moral Escape

  1. Daniel Buresh

    DNC to voters: “Don’t support such a horrible Republican candidate, instead, support our pathological lying, corrupt, self-serving candidate.”

  2. President Obama was AMAZING!!!

  3. mike from iowa

    DB-you just described Drumpf to a D.

    pathological lying, corrupt, self-serving candidate.”

  4. Roger Cornelius

    Daniel will have that same shallow bark from now until election day while ignoring what is truly at stake for this country and this election.
    I was glad to see that Cory added the Bloomberg p.s., his comments were intriguing because they came from an Independent and not a republican or Democrat.
    The essence of Bloomberg comments was that Trump is a selfish dangerous man that Bloomberg knows all to well.
    As the campaign continues, we are witnesses to the insanity of Trump, with each press conference he seems on the verge of mental collapse with one reckless and irresponsible comment after another.
    Bloomberg made it clear that this election should not be about Democrats, republicans, or Independents, it should be about the person that is best qualified, and there is only one person that fits that category.

  5. Jeez Daniel. Many conservatives are even praising Obama’s speech.


  6. Darin Larson

    As Elizabeth Warren stated, when confronted by a bully you have to go after the bully and stand toe to toe with them. Trump is a bully and a low life narcissist. He needs to be called out at every opportunity.

    Look at how Trump has run his businesses as Bloomberg and other have noted. All you see is a trail of bankruptcies, unkept promises, lawsuits and bullying tactics to get out of paying what he owes. His refusal to disclose his tax returns as Mitt Romney said is because there are bombshells in there.

    The man is a menace and it is not a compliment to the US that he has risen to the top of the Republican field. The man is toxic as the absence of most decent Republicans from the convention showed.

  7. Daniel Buresh

    “trail of bankruptcies”

    4 bankruptcy’s out of how many hundred businesses? Do you know what the average rate of failure is for entrepreneurs?

    “unkept promises”

    pretty vague.


    find me someone worth similar amounts and similar success who doesn’t.

    “bullying tactics to get out of paying what he owes”

    completely subjective.

  8. Amen Darin! Much of what Trump says and does is in the spirit of mischief or malice. He panders to the hatemongers of every stripe. He riles them up. He stokes the flames of division and hate – of minorities, of women, of muslims.

    Trump cheats the people stupid enough to do business with him. He cheats on his multiple wives. He praises the tactics of dictators and killers. He shows disdain for American values and the constitution by encouraging torture by Americans and espionage against Americans.

    The US simply can’t afford a Trump presidency. Nobody can say what his position on any issue would be as President because he changes his positions all the time. He’s a reckless person with no moral compass, and that ought to scare Republicans as much as it scares Democrats and our allies all over the world.

  9. There is just one thing I adamantly disagree with. There is no moral escape from what the New Trump Party has done. They have forfeited all their credibility for the foreseeable future.

  10. Darin Larson

    Seriously, how would you like to be a mainstream Republican right now faced with the prospect of a Trump presidency?

    If you are a business man, Trump has threatened to start trade wars that could result in a global protectionist movement and thereby throw the whole world into recession or a depression. Trump has talked loosely about US debt obligations as if they are subject to renegotiation. It is one thing to use bankruptcy as a business negotiating tool which Trump has done, it is another to threaten the reliability and stability of the full faith and credit of the US. That is not good for business. Interest rates may rise to take into account the increased risk. Who wants to own US bonds with Trump at the helm? Business and markets like stability. Trump is anything but stable.

    Republicans who don’t want us to go start another war are nervous because Trump is mercurial and tends to go off half-cocked. He also tends to go with his gut rather than the informed counsel of experts. He also has made disparaging remarks about our military and its commanders and trivialized their training and readiness. Would Trump listen to the generals recommending against a US ground war in Syria? Would Trump try to distract the country from his disastrous domestic policies and incompetence with a rally around the flag shooting war? Wars are not normally good for business, unless you are part of the military-industrial complex.

    For South Dakota, the ag sector is still the largest sector of our economy and exports play a huge role in ag prices. If Trump starts a trade war with China, we could see an agricultural depression which will hit SD especially hard.

    If you can’t appeal to the heart of a Republican to vote against Trump, I think you can appeal to their pocketbook.

  11. Darin Larson

    I don’t know if this is the beginning of the end for Trump and his constant lies, but I just saw a story on Fox with videotape of Trump totally contradicting himself in about 6 different video clips. First, yesterday saying he didn’t know Putin or anything about him followed by earlier videotape of Trump bragging about his relationship with Putin. And they played one contradictory statement after another on the subject of Trump’s relationship with Putin and Russia. If Fox is allowing this on the air, you have to wonder where this thing is headed.

  12. Richard Schriever

    Darin – the problem with trying to appeal to “conservative” voters’ pocketbook sensibilities – too many of them don’t have an “sensible” pocketbook policies. Trickle-down’s successes anyone?

  13. Richard Schriever

    You mean – Ailes’ leaving has changed FOX?

  14. Daniel, Trump’s unfitness for office in experience, character, and temperament is far more objectively apparent than the debatable indictments of Clinton’s fitness for office.

  15. Roger Cornelius

    Bear made a similar inriguing comparison on the Thune post that there is actually very little evidence of Hillary’s untrustworthiness.
    So much seems to have been manufactured and repeated enough times it has become gospel.

  16. mike from iowa

    Because wingnuts have nothing to offer except doom and gloom. Listen to the way they trash America and everything Obama has accomplished-without actually citing any facts to back themselves up. They have to lie about HRC to make Drumpf palatable.

  17. mike from iowa

    it is another to threaten the reliability and stability of the full faith and credit of the US. That is not good for business.

    It is also unconstitutional.

  18. bearcreekbat

    Roger, out of curiosity I have spent more time than a rational person would have invested in trying to substantiate the claims of Hillary’s dishonesty in her statements or conduct. I came up blank. I found nothing in her pubic statements or behavior to justify such criticism. If there is anything there I would encourage our conservative commentators to identify any facts that support the idea that Hillary is untrustworthy.

  19. Roger Cornelius

    Unfortunately our conservative commenters may have a difficult time in finding legitimate sources with evidence about Hillary’s untrustworthiness.
    I’ve been listening to the DNC convention the past couple of days and have heard it repeated over and over about Hillary’s untrustworthiness, but not one instance of just how she earned that label
    Republicans say she lied to the FBI, but in fact they don’t know that for certain, it is pure speculation.
    As Cory has said, we have the empirical evidence that Trump is a dishonest business man, we don’t have that empirical evidence about Hillary’s dishonesty.

  20. Darin Larson

    The Republican moral escape hatch is on full display tonight at the DNC. There was a Republican speech writer and a US Chamber of commerce official to name a few. The phrase “country over party” was used.

    I don’t recall a single Democrat that spoke for Trump at the RNC. Not to mention the fact that many Republicans stayed away from the RNC like it was ground zero for the Ebola virus.

  21. And you never have to worry about rock bands getting pissed off if Dems play their music! :).
    It’s always amusing when bands are vocal about not wanting their music played at the RNC.

  22. And Daniel, Trump’s “bullying tactics” are not subjective. They’re pretty obvious.

    I think there are plenty of businesspeople who lawsuit/wealth ratio is far lower than Trump’s.

  23. (Jenny, I’d like more rock bands at DNC and less Katy Perry. ;-) )

  24. Katy Perry music was played to appeal to the millenials and having a female singer was to promote the first woman being nominated for President. It worked in that aspect.

  25. mike from iowa

    Darin-correction. Sherriff Clarke of Milwaukee County,Wisconsin is a Democrat and spoke at the RNC.

    He also detests BLM and he is himself a black man.