Donald Trump doesn't represent American values and acts like a "clown," said Senator Tim Kaine in a bilingual interview with Univision's Jorge Ramos Friday for the El Punto program. The Democratic vice presidential nominee also defended Hillary Clinton against accusations of unethical dealings with the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state.
Kaine lashed out at the Republican nominee, who this week appears to have changed his tune about immigration policy. "I would say his actions are the actions of an idiot, especially his actions against the Latino community," Kaine said. "He's talking about building a huge wall, creating a deportation force … his actions on this issue are the actions of a clown."
Kaine is a fluent Spanish speaker who spent time volunteering with missionaries in Honduras. His bilingualism could help appeal to Hispanic voters in swing states, particularly Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Asked if Trump is pivoting his immigration policy in a last-ditch attempt to appeal to Hispanics, Kaine indicated he didn't think Trump is changing anything. "I think his words this week are empty words," he said. "His actions are very clear, and Trump's actions aren't changing." Kaine also warned about Trump's ties to white supremacists. "It's clear he's promoting hate groups and receiving support from hate groups," he said.
Ramos pressed Kaine about Clinton's promise not to deport children, particularly Central American refugees. "Our first priority is not to separate families," Kaine said. "We don't want to send children to other countries." He said a Clinton administration would assist children seeking asylum and also work on improving the situation in Central America. "I think the important thing is to help these children, help those who are coming here but also work together with the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador" to strengthen their economies and fight drug violence.
The senator also defended Clinton regarding criticism of her involvement with the Clinton Foundation and the use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state.
"There has not been any suggestion that Hillary Clinton as secretary of state or the Department under her leadership took any action that had benefit or that was connected in any way to activities of the foundation," he said.
"The one thing I'll say is that the donors to the foundation are public," he added. "There is a transparency here that we are still waiting to see as we sort of compare to Donald Trump who won't even show the American public his tax returns."
On the email issue, Kaine pointed out that Clinton has no problem making them public. "We all make mistakes and she’s acknowledged it, apologized for it, and says she’s learned something from it," he added.
Finally, Ramos asked Kaine why Clinton hasn't given a press conference so far this year. Kaine pointed out that both he and Clinton have been very open to the media. "The difference between talking to the press every day and holding a press conference isn't a big difference, in my opinion," the senator responded.
Jessica Weiss contributed to this report.