“I’ve been tough on Donald Trump, as tough as anyone,” said Biden, who just two weeks ago mused about taking the GOP contender “behind the gym” if he was in high school again. “But when this election is over, we have got to let it go.”
“God willing, we are going to win this, but there are a lot of people who are going to vote for Donald Trump,” Biden said. “We have to figure out why, what’s eating at them. Some of it will be unacceptable, but some of it will be about hard truths about our country and about our economy.”
“We have got to stop being blinded by anger. We have to start seeing each other again.”
Someone in the crowd of more than 2,000 shouted, “When they go low, we go high,” invoking first lady Michelle Obama’s popular line at the Democratic National Convention.
In one of his final pitches to a home-state audience, Kaine urged Virginians to be on the right side of history by helping to elect the first female president. He noted Virginia was one of a few states that did not ratify the 19th Amendment to grant women the right to vote, and that suffragists were once imprisoned miles away from the rally site.
Presidential polls in Virginia have grown tighter in recent weeks, with the most recent poll showing Clinton with a six-point lead.
He drew parallels to 2008, when the former Confederate stronghold helped elect the nation’s first black president.
“That was history that you made in Virginia. Not history in spite of Virginia, history because of Virginia,” said Kaine to loud applause. “We have a chance to do that again in a powerful way.”
Earlier in the day, Kaine appeared at get-out-the-vote rallies at Charlotte and Wilmington, N.C. Biden appeared with singer Jimmy Buffett at a St. Petersburg, Fla., concert for Hillary Clinton. Kaine was scheduled to finish a long day of campaigning with a rally in his home town of Richmond.
Before the vice president and his aspiring successor took the stage, Virginia Democratic Reps. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Don Beyer and Gerald E. Connolly — all possible appointees to Kaine’s Senate seat should he win — ripped into Trump.
And LuAnn Bennett, the Democrat challenging Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) in what has become one of the nation’s hardest fought congressional races, sought to again link her opponent to Trump.
“In this election, the choice is clear, and in my race for Congress we face the same stark choice. My opponent, Barbara Comstock, shares the same views as Donald Trump on so many issues,” said Bennett, momentarily drowned out by boos. “Barbara Comstock stands with Donald Trump, and not with us here in northern Virginia.”