tv Tim Kaine Delivers Remarks on National Security CSPAN September 7, 2016 1:03am-1:44am EDT
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-- critical of donald trump. >> thank you so much. please have a seat. what a treat to be here in wilmington. , in a treat to be here building that has provided such great service to our men and women in uniform and to their family and friends. i want to thank the general for his kind introduction but more especially for his service and for the service of all in this room who are connected with our nation's military. the general and i were chatting backstage and indicated in the 36-year marine career he and his family, his wife and son moved 25 times. so forget about just the challenges out there when confronting an enemy. just being in the military and being a military family is about sacrifice and challenge and i on our that in him. and i.e. honor that in
lieutenant colonel roads who led us off with the pledge of allegiance. we heard from mayor pro tempore haynes and i met with the mayor of wilmington. state representative suzy hamilton and dan blue, candidate for state treasurer. amall of you for coming, i so glad we could be here today in wilmington, a city that means a lot to me. i am here to talk about national security, which is the most serious obligation of any president. this is a topic that i immersed myself in for many, many years. when hillary clinton asked if i would serve as her runningmate, she told me that a clinton-kaine administration would be measured by real differences we make in somebody's home or neighborhood or school or workplace. she told me that my governing experience as a city councilman and mayor, as a lieutenant governor and governor and as a senator would help make sure
that we measured our progress by tangible differences in people's lives. she also told me that my expertise in national security would help her make sure as the commander in chief that america continues to lead the world in this most challenging century. as a mayor and governor, i was responsible for the safety of my citizens. for respecting our service members and military families, for supporting our virginia guard, which was deployed in two wars during my time as governor, and for taking care of our troops when they came home. virginia's pretty similar to north carolina. one out of every 10 virginians is a veteran. not one out of every virginia adults. one out of every 10 virginians from birth to death is a veteran. in the senate i serve on both the armed services and foreign relations committees. i represent a state that has deep ties to our military,
diplomatic, humanitarian and intelligence efforts. i lived overseas in honduras at a pivotal time in my life and saw from abroad the role that american leadership can play and our obligation to get it right. and now my oldest son, a proud marine who's based nearby at camp lejeune, is deployed overseas for the second time. so when it comes to american national security, i take this personally. being president is the hardest job in the world. every president needs a solid partner because no challenge that makes its way to the oval office is easy to solve. harry truman, a proud veteran, said it best, "the buck stops here." every day a president deals with late-breaking challenges in a world of incomplete data and conflicting advice. we trust the president with the
command of our armed forces and even with the codes to our nuclear weapons. the president has to assemble the right team, ask the right questions, process enormous quantity its of information and then make quick and resolute decisions. that's why it takes a very special person to sit behind that desk. somebody with a steady demeanor, solid judgment, and it helps to have really thick skin. [laughter] senator kaine: now, let's be honest. this election has been pretty unusual. we're used to republicans and democrats arguing about policies and priorities. that's the way it ought to be. but within certain boundaries. i did not vote for john mccain but i admired and still admire his service, his sacrifice and his example. he's my committee chair on the armed services committee. i didn't vote for mitt romney, but i have deep respect for his seriousness, his entrepreneurial energy and his faith.
the choice we face this year, especially on national security, is very different. on the one hand, we have the clear and consistent vision of hillary clinton, a proven leader with an even temperament and the qualifications equal to any candidate in our nation's history who has not only served on the armed services committee but has been the nation's chief diplomat. over the course of this campaign, hillary clinton has laid out her core belief that the united states is an exemplary nation. she recognizes that we're not just a superpower because of our economic wealth or our military might. no, we're exemplary because of the example we set. for decades, america has championed values like liberty, decency and compassion. we're not perfect and we'll never be perfect, but there's a reason why people all over the world look to the united states, ask for our help in time of trouble and follow our lead.
on the other hand, we have divisive and dangerous rhetoric of an untested candidate, donald trump. now, i don't need to twist or spin donald trump's words at all. [laughter] senator kaine: because once americans hear those words just as he said them -- just as he said them, they'll reach the same conclusions that national security leaders, republicans, democrats and independents reached, donald trump is unqualified and temperamentally fit to serve as president of the united states and america's commander in chief. [applause] senator kaine: donald trump trash talk our heroes, those who
sacrificed for it including john mccain, an american hero and p.o.w. he picked a fight with a virginia gold star family whose son died saving his fellow soldiers. he has a bizarre fascination with strong men and authoritarian leaders in countries that are no allies of the united states. and with respect to our allies, he would toss alliances aside and says he wants to, quote, take everything back from the world that we've given to them. trump has offered empty promises and divisive rhetoric. under his leadership, we would be unrecognizable to the rest of the world and we would be far less safe. i want to compare hillary clinton's views to donald trump by looking at three areas of the world. let's start by looking at the middle east. hillary clinton understands that our security depends on finding ways to address a rising tide of extremism across this wide arc of instability. working with allies to defeat
isis, countering iran's continued aggression and defending the state of israel. in a region that's fraught with challenges, there's no substitute, no substitute for building strong relationships. that's why i've helped lead congressional delegations to turkey, kuwait, jordan, lebanon, egypt, iraq, the u.a.e., qatar, saudi arabia and israel. during three trips to turkey, i've met with government officials, u.s. troops, civil society and religious groups to talk about the threats posed by isis. we visited a city not far from the syrian border, isis controlled territory and met with syrian refugees and over the course of five trips to israel, i discussed everything from missile defense to human rights to economic cooperation.
now, meetings and experiences like these on the ground and in the room give you essential knowledge about the people and places that impact the safety of america. hillary has that. she's been sitting across those tables for years, and hillary's on a first-name basis with virtually every head of state in the region. that's one reason she was able to facilitate a cease-fire in gaza between israel and hamas and twist enough arms to put sanctions in place on iran leading then to a diplomatic breakthrough on iran's nuclear prompt -- program. and it's how she's put forward the serious plans to defeat isis, ensure that israel's future as a democratic and jewish state is secure. donald trump doesn't have credible plans for these challenges. apparently he doesn't have a lot of use for real world
experiences or he says, most of his knowledge comes from reality tv. he says he quotes gets his insight from, quote, the shows on cable news. he may claim to know it all but on middle east policy he's been all over the map. there's only one thing that's consistent, how dangerous his ideas and rhetoric really are. let's look at iraq. in trump's first campaign speech, he claimed he had the foresight to say, quote, don't hit iraq because you're going to completely destabilize the middle east. that's what he said, he said back in 2001, 2002. it's one of the main rationales for his candidacy and it's completely made up. donald trump was clearly in favor of the war in iraq. before the invasion he said, quote, if we decide against a strike against iraq is necessary, it's madness not to carry its mission to its conclusion. in 2002, trump told national security expert howard stern
that he was in -- [laughter] that he was still in favor of going into iraq. in 2003 he said the war looked like a, quote, tremendous success. and in 2004, given the information that president bush had, he might have made the same decision to invade. now, these days he rails against the decisions to pull troops out of iraq, a decision set in motion by the bush administration claiming that that decision led to the creation of isis. but, folks, here's the problem. in 2006, trump said we weren't pulling our troops out of iraq fast enough. he said we should, quote, get out of iraq as quickly as possible. there's no escaping these facts. donald trump has misled the american people over and over about his position on iraq. he was for invading iraq and
then he decided he wasn't. he was for leaving iraq, and then he decided he wasn't. he says whatever he feels like at any given time because you can do that when you're a tv star. but you can't do that when you're the president of the united states. [applause] senator kaine: he's doing -- he's doing the same thing with libya. nowadays trump says he was never in favor of taking action there. at a g.o.p. debate, he made the incredible claim he had never even discussed the subject in public. trump is misleading us here too. back in 2011 when the u.s. was weighing whether to intervene in libya, trump said because of its leader, muammar gaddafi, was killing millions of his own people, america had to act. he went on nbc and said if he were president, he would create a military no-fly zone. libyans.t innocent
now, if that's the policies that president obama and secretary clinton supported, it's because that's the policy that president obama and secretary clinton supported. except instead of playing on the today show, hillary was part of the g-8, with the arab league and with representatives of the libya transitional government to put that no-fly zone in place. efforts led to a u.n. resolution, a coalition air campaign that saw zero loss of american lives and that ended gaddafi's slaughter of innocent people. it sounds like trump should have been pretty pleased with that outcome, right? nope. donald trump now thinks that, "we would be so much better off," if gaddafi were still in charge of libya.
yet by trump's own admission, gaddafi was a man who "knocked a pan am airplane out of the sky. this is not a good man this is not a sane man," but gaddafi was a man who donald did business with. not to put too fine a point on this. two years before 2011, when muammar gaddafi was set to visit the united nations and no one would let him stay in new york, trump allowed gaddafi to set up an elaborate tent in his westchester estate. that's right. when gaddafi was looking for a place in america and because of his human rights track record and the pan am bombings, others were turning him away. he found one guy, one guy who was willing to host him. donald j. trump. you were saying something about judgment, donald? [laughter] senator kaine: let's look at iran. thanks in part to global sanctions, a global sanctions coalition that hillary clinton assembled, president obama ultimately achieved a historic agreement that put a lid on
iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot. i worked hard on this in congress. out of a belief we have to exhaust diplomacy. we have to before we contemplate other alternatives. i worked across the aisle with the republican chairman of the foreign relations committee, republican senator bob corker, to craft a bill that set up a constructive process for congressional review of an iran deal. that process ultimately improved the deal by strengthening our hands in negotiations instead of undercutting it through partisan politics. but we have no idea how donald trump would handle iran and frankly neither does he. to try to figure out what his plan would be about iran, conservative talk show hosts asked him how he would deal with the quds force, which is the aggressive iranian military units that actively undermine
our interests in iraq and syria. trump replied that the kurds have been horribly mistreated. he talked about the kurds because he had no idea what the quds force was and the kurds and the quds force could not be more different. in the same interview, trump couldn't tell the difference between hezbollah and hamas either but don't worry, he said, eventually, quote, i will know more about it than you do and believe me, it won't take long. [laughter] senator kaine: i wonder how much comfort our israeli ally would find in that promise or in other ideas he's had like donald's desire to be a, quote, neutral guy when it comes to the peace process. as if you could be neutral about the desire for peace. or to make israel pay for the defense aid we provided. israel is our strongest partner in the region facing renewed wave of terror attacks and in an
area where both isis and iran pose daily threats and trump's plan was to pat them on the back and tell them good luck. that's no way to treat an ally. that's no way to treat a friend. when it comes to isis, hillary and i have a smart and credible plan. we'll intensify our strikes on their strongholds in iraq and syria. that is already shrinking the real estate that isis controls in the region. and hillary and i both believe that congress should finally do its job and take a vote on whether the american military should be using force for now over two years against isis. we will keep pursuing diplomacy to end the conflicts that are fueling isis' expansion. we'll launch an intelligence surge and ensure that we're coordinating with our allies how to dismantle isis' global networks and we'll harden our defenses at home. trump doesn't think our military is up for the task or america is
up for the task of stopping isis. he has literally said, quote, we can't beat them. he has more than once called our armed forces, quote, a disaster. he says that the armed forces of the united states are, quote, in shambles, that they're quote, going to hell. i don't know how anybody who's met with our men and women in uniform could think that, much less say it. as a military father, donald trump's disrespect for our military absolutely infuriates me. and when i -- [applause] senator kaine: and when i hear him say, i'll be the, quote, the best with the vets, i have to wonder how a guy who stiffs
veterans charities and brags openly about avoiding paying taxes, i have to wonder how that guy will ever be somebody who will stand up for vets. he says he knows, quote, more than the generals do. knows more than the generals do. though, i bet most of the generals knew that isis is led baghdadi, in more than one interview, donald wasn't up to speed on that fact. groups like isis are kind of rooting for trump. a recent article in "foreign affairs" interviewed a number of jihadists and many of them are hoping for trump to succeed in the campaign. they've even put out recruitment videos featuring him. since donald trump's talk of this un-american banning of all muslims plays right into their hands for propaganda purposes. [applause] senator kaine: now, donald trump has famously said his plan to defeat isis is secret, but it's a secret he's glad to talk about frequently. he has said, for example, it's simple. just bomb the oil fields and
take the oil. bomb the oil fields and take the oil. well, let's play that out. if we bomb oil fields it will create massive fires. ok. so then we would have to do something to put out fires. that would involve sending in an awful lot of contractors and others to put out fires. and since there's a civil war going on, if we put in contractors and others to put out fires, we'd have to put in a lot of troops to protect them in putting out the fires. and that doesn't even take into account the pipelines and refineries that we'd have to either build or take over or the other problems concerning every aspect of his plan after the first day. that just doesn't interest him. now, other times trump talks about disengaging and letting syria become a, quote, free zone for isis, and sometimes he talks about dramatically increasing the use of america's ground troops in syria and iraq and sometimes he's even used nuclear
-- mused about using nuclear weapons against isis, which would cause massive civilian casualties. you know this. the power to authorize the use of nuclear weapons requires a profound understanding of our long-standing posture of deterrence. for decades, the nuclear triads of substance, icbm's has formed a three-part structure of our defense and our readiness. when trump was asked about the nuclear triad, it was clear he had never heard of it. but he made sure to say he loves nuclear weapons because, quote, the power, the devastation is very important to me. and for some reason, he thinks we should let more countries obtain nuclear weapons. when trump was asked about his loose talk about using nuclear weapons he asked, quote, then
why are we making them, close quote. if this were the only blunder he'd made in the campaign it would be disqualifying on its own. hillary clinton doesn't need a crash course in nukes 101. she not only understands nuclear weapons, she helped cement an agreement with russia that made the world safer from nuclear weapons. as president, she has a plan to protect us from nuclear terrorism, to further reduce the chance that these weapons will fall into wrong hands. second part of the world, let's talk about russia and europe. hillary oversaw hard-nosed negotiations with the russians for a new start treaty to greatly reduce our country's nuclear stockpiles. the treaty proved it was still possible for our nation -- the treaty proved it was still possible for our nations to have common ground on certain points. there have been others. the destruction of the syrian chemical weapons stockpile, for example. but that can't blind us to the fact that in so many areas russia continues to be a very challenging adversary. hillary has gone toe-to-toe with
putin. as secretary of state, she worked to strengthen our cooperation with nato and eastern europe. putin accused hillary clinton of helping democratic opposition movements within russia, and now hillary has a plan to support our allies, to weaken the kremlin and to advance america's long-standing commitment to a europe that is free, whole and at peace. because a strong european partner is always an american interest. we have hundreds of thousands of americans who live in europe. hundreds of thousands or millions who visit europe, and tens of thousands of american troops who are deployed to europe. a strong europe is in america's interest. that's not what donald trump wants. so maybe it's no surprise why russia seems to be backing trump in this election, but the better question is why trump seems to support russian interests at the expense of american ones.
here's what we know. just the evidence. one of donald trump's sons said, quote, russians make up a pretty disproportionate part of the trump organization's assets and, quote, we see a lot of money pouring in from russia, closed quote. recent investigations revealed that trump's been pursuing deals with russian officials, developers with deep ties to russia since the late 1980's. a putin associate paid him millions to bring the miss universe pageant to moscow. as long as donald trump keeps hiding his tax returns, we have no idea how he might to stand a profit from these interests or what they might be holding over him. but something strange is clearly going on. trump's longtime advisor and
campaign chairman, paul manafort, resigned recently. after allegations of corruption, illegal payments and financial ties to kremlin supported officials and organizations in both russia and the ukraine. his longtime advisor and campaign chairperson. his go-to defense advisor, general michael flynn, appears regularly on russia's government funded propaganda channel. donald trump has publicly encouraged russia to hack america and give him information that will help him win the election. no wonder the former acting c.i.a. director, michael morrell believes he's an unwitting agent, close quote, of the russian federation. now, this isn't a partisan issue. there's widespread alarm on both sides of the aisle, foreign policy experts, including many republicans, wrote an open letter denouncing trump's views on russia and nato and it's why more than 50 prominent republican foreign policy experts have said they cannot vote for donald trump under any circumstances. [applause]
senator kaine: these experts know that vladimir putin's long-standing goal is to break the post-war international order that's kept peace in europe. that has kept peace in europe for decades. so they don't understand why trump is calling nato obsolete and talking about abandoning our allies or why his campaign weakened the republican party platform to defending ukraine or why he claimed russia would never go into ukraine two years after putin had already invaded the country and then annexed the crimea peninsula or why he's celebrating the united kingdom's vote to leave the e.u. even though it embolden's russia and could lead to a more fractured europe or why he's openly encouraged russia to commit espionage against his own country. each one of these positions stands in stark opposition to
decades of american national security goals, but they match up perfectly with vladimir putin's wish list. it has to make you wonder. hillary clinton has proven she can work with putin if it's in america's interests, but she's ready to stand up to him too when he's taking steps that are against our interests. and she'll make sure our allies across europe and around the world never have to wonder about whether america will honor our long-standing commitments when she's president. we will have their backs because we'll need them to have ours. [applause] senator kaine: in the nato treaty, there's an obligation to do collective self-defense. if one nato ally is attacked, others comes to the defense and donald says that may be archaic and he wants to dispose of it.
the only time that's been triggered was after the united states was attacked on 9/11. and our european nato allies came to our aid. so what does it say to nato allies that a presidential candidate is saying, well, now it may be time for us to tear up that defense obligation? finally, let's take a look at a third part of the world, latin america. as hillary says, we look east and west but too often we forget to look south even though our hemisphere is so critical to our security and prosperity. a clinton-kaine administration a clinton-kaine administration would engage with flourishing communities in latin america. we have to work with our neighbors to address issues like drug trafficking, crime and poverty. we need strong principled american leadership, because if we don't step up, others will. and if we do step up, our partnerships in this hemisphere
can be a powerful advantage to us at home and in the world, not only in national security but economically as well. i have a special connection to latin america. i worked with jesuit missionaries in honduras 35 years ago. i learned spanish and then taught kids carpentry and welding. i didn't teach spanish. my spanish wasn't good enough but i taught car pen tree and welding and i got an upclose look at a dictatorship, a military dictatorship where few had the power and everybody else was left behind. that experience in honduras and the friendships i formed there inspired me to devote my life to expanding opportunity for everyone. last year i returned to the region. this time as u.s. senator. i worked with leaders and lawmakers to strengthen the economic and security ties between our nations. in colombia i met with president santos to discuss the colombia farc peace talks which recently resulted in a negotiation in the last month and met with president hernandez on how to
combat gang violence so young people don't need to flee their country to come to the united states just to be safe. now, these weren't quick drop-bys or photo ops. these were real, substantive working meetings with heads of state. when we had disagreements, we weren't afraid to air them. that is how you know whether a friendship is a friendship. no friendship or alliance is tested until you have a disagreement and you air the disagreement and you see what you can work out. compare that to trump's embarrassing stunt last week. the centerpiece of donald trump's campaign is building a wall and making mexico pay for it. that's the centerpiece of the campaign. it's even a chant at his rallies. yet, when donald trump decided to do his first visit with a foreign leader and he finally had a chance to look at the mexican president in the eye he said the subject never came up. in other words, on the central issue of his campaign, when he had the chance to bring it up,
he choked. turns out donald trump isn't such a great negotiator after all. and then he was too embarrassed to admit it. after the meeting donald trump said, well, they didn't discuss payment for the wall -- but the mexican president tweeted, the first thing i told trump was that mexico's not paying for any wall. [laughter] senator kaine: so -- so just hours after his first international foray into foreign relations, trump was on an online feed with the second largest trading partner. man, if you're going to get into a feud with an ally, how about dealing with an adversary? i guess we should be glad it was a twitter war because in a few months donald trump could have control of the armed forces. hillary's described donald is
somebody you can bait with a tweet. guess what, it was reported that trump saw what president pena nieto said and trump said, quote, i can't let that tweet go unanswered. and so he rewrote his immigration speech that he was giving later that night in phoenix to be even harder. baited with a tweet in that same evening donald trump detailed his plans to deport 16 million people, 11 million who are here without documents and five million people who are american citizens who he says he wants to strip their birth rights because they were born to those that were not citizens. every single one of them would be deported. in the opening paragraph of his speech, they'll all be gone.
they'll all be gone. and he repeated the same litany of offensive stereotypes about immigrants. stereotypes that were perpetrated about irish immigrants, italian immigrants, jewish immigrants from central and eastern europe. you could have taken that speech and plugged in different nationalities and run it pretty much anytime in our history and it would be sadly familiar. immigrants who he treats as a convenient scapegoat for problems he doesn't know how to solve. well, hillary and i have a plan for a comprehensive immigration reform, a reform that expects -- that respects our status as a nation of immigrants and a nation of law. it would include a challenging path to citizenship, helping employers figure out the bona fides of their employees, border security, protection for dreamers, a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that is supported by the american public and has already drawn bipartisan support for its major pillars in the senate. in our first 100 days in office, we're not going to be about becoming a deportation nation. we're going to be sending a proposal to congress that will
keep families together and that will let america be what it's always been, a place where people from all over the world can bring their talents, energy, ideas, skills, start new businesses, pursue their dreams and make our country stronger. [applause] senator kaine: so these are just a few of the differences in the middle east, russia and europe, latin america. differences between donald trump and hillary clinton. but we know issues can arise anywhere. some of the issues we're talking about today may turn out not to be the ones we'll be talking about a year from now. and so maybe the most important thing to know, the most important thing to understand about hillary clinton and donald trump is how they make decisions. hillary is a strategic thinker who pulls together a top-notch team, challenges them with tough questions and then makes a firm
decision. i know this because i've seen her do it. my colleagues on the senate armed services committee, even republicans, talk about what a great teammate hillary was as a member. what a great colleague doing the home work, mastering the details, getting into the weeds to get it right. working hard for military families to increase survivor benefits, to make sure that tricare was available. that's hillary clinton. and i think we can agree that on the toughest issues the quality of the team you put together is one of the most important guarantors of the decisions that you make. donald trump is different. he doesn't just think he knows more than the generals, he thinks he knows more than everyone. he's told the american public, quote, i alone can fix it.
to he's even had the hubris principle advisor is himself. so here's my conclusion. like every one of the families of the two million men and women who serve in our military, whether active duty, guard or reserve, i want a president and commander in chief who knows the world, knows its leaders, knows the strength of our military, knows how to conduct diplomacy and knows how to make a decision to keep america safe. [applause] senator kaine: i trust military -- i trust hillary clinton to make these decisions with full knowledge that the life of my son and his friends may be
riding on the outcome. [applause] senator kaine: and the prospect of the emotionally volatile, fact-challenged, self-obsessed and inexperience donald trump as commander-in-chief scares me to death. [applause] senator kaine: if you want to read more about our plans in this area, the important rule of national security, there's a new book that's out today. it's called "stronger together," which lays out the clinton-kaine vision for american foreign policy in significant detail. we are stronger together. we are stronger together. you know this in wilmington. the military knows it better than anybody. i've often said about my son that if you had told me he would
change as a result of his military service and ask me to predict what the change would be, i would have gotten it wrong. i would have gotten it wrong. i don't know what i would have said. but it turns out the change has been going from free agent to team player. that's what the military, that's what the marines has taught us. has taught him and it's prove of that proposition. we're stronger together. donald trump doesn't understand that. and at this point in his life, we'd be unrealistic to think he would. and that's why i'm proud to be on this ticket with hillary clinton. commander-in-chief with a cool head a steady hand, an open mind. i trust hillary to put together an a-plus team, to ask tough questions and make the right decisions under pressure. i trust hillary to lead with the consistent principles that have always been our nation's
trademark. i trust hillary with the lives of our men and women in uniform. with hillary clinton in the white house, the rest of the world will never forget why they've always looked up to the united states of america. thanks so much for coming together and thanks so much for all you do for north carolina and for this nation. appreciate it. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> for campaign 2016, c-span continues on the road to the stop >> i willl be a president for democrats, republicans, and independents. >> we are going to win with education, we're going to win with the second amendment, we're going to win. radioc-span, the c-span app,