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Tim Kaine rally draws several thousand to UM campus

Tracy Samilton
Tim Kaine speaking with customer at Espresso Royale in Ann Arbor

Some customers of Espresso Royale in Ann Arbor had to wait a little longer for their cappuccinos and lattes Tuesday afternoon, due to a stop there by Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.

Kaine,with a sizeable contingent of local and national press at his heels, shook hands and chatted with customers, before ordering a cup of coffee and heading to a rally on the University of Michigan diag.

About 1,250 Clinton-Kaine loyalists gathered inside the gated area, and another 5,000 or so lined up farther out, according to a U of M event coordinator.

Credit Tracy Samilton/Michigan Radio
Crowd awaits Tim Kaine at a campaign stop on the University of Michigan diag

Kaine told the crowed that July 22 was a proud day for him. That's the day Hillary Clinton called him to ask if he'd be her running mate.  Kaine says he's been in politics since 1994, with the support of many women, including his wife, his campaign staff, and famale voters.

"So I’ve been the one in the office, but it’s been built on the shoulders of an awful lot of strong women supporting me," Kaine said. "And so when she asked if I would be vice president and support making history with the first woman president of the United States, I’m like, I’m one strong man who’s thrilled to support a strong woman to make history and be our first woman president."

Kaine said he and Clinton want to help college students struggling with finding money to pay tuition.  Clinton has proposed a plan to provide most students with free, in-state tuition.

"If your family income is less than $125,000, you should be able to get free in-state tuition," said Kaine.  "And that would affect 90% -- 90% -- of Michigan families. This is something that we just need to make the commitment to as a nation. We spend money on other things that are of less importance than this, and we need to make a commitment to it as a nation. And that’s what Hillary and I will do."

Kaine also defended Clinton's recent remark calling many of Donald Trump's supporters "a basket of deplorables." 

"We don’t need to appease intolerable behavior. We don’t. We got to call it out when we see it, and that’s how we defeat it," Kaine said.

Kaine says he believes Clinton will win in Michigan, "but it will be close."  He urged students to make sure their friends are registered to vote.

In Michigan, the deadline to register to vote in the November election is October 11.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.