The vice presidential nominees of both major political parties campaigned in Iowa today.
“This race is deadly, deadly serious,” Democrat Tim Kaine said.
Kaine spoke to about 300 people in Ames in the middle of the afternoon. Mike Pence, the GOP vice presidential nominee, addressed about 300 people in Mason City at nearly the same time.
“Let’s go get it done,” Pence said to close his remarks. “Let’s go make it happen, Iowa.”
Kaine, the Democrat, appealed to “millennial” voters during his speech in Ames, arguing Clinton is more in tune with their social views and embrace of diversity.
“We know we’re stronger together if we treat each other with respect,” Kaine said, “but if we divide against one another, dissing somebody who’s disabled, saying the military’s a disaster, going after people if they’re of Mexican American heritage or the wrong religion, we’re going to be weaker.”
Pence, the Republican, focused on the series of suspected terrorist attacks in New York and New Jersey this past weekend.
“Seven and a half years of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s leadership on the world stage has weakened America’s place in the world,” Pence said, “…terrorist attacks here at home and abroad — grim and heartbreaking scenes.”
Pence questioned whether Obama and Clinton know “we are at war” with “radical Islamic terrorists.”
“The weak and feckless foreign policy of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has emboldened our enemies and compromised the safety of the American people,” Pence said.
AUDIO of Pence’s appearance in Mason City
In Ames, Kaine asked the crowd to hold Trump accountable for “challenging” President Obama’s American citizenship for five years — until last Friday when Trump said Obama was born in the U.S. “period.”
“I want to tell you why we can’t let him move on to the next issue,” Kaine said. “This is not just a wacky guy saying wacky stuff. This is incredibly painful to millions of people.”
Kaine cited the infamous Dred Scott case in which the court ruled all people of African ancestry could never become U.S. citizens.
AUDIO of Kaine’s appearance in Ames
Kaine also made a mid-day stop at a coffee shop near Drake University in Des Moines.
Pence spoke at Music Man Square in Mason City for nearly 25 minutes, then took half a dozen questions from the crowd. A boy from Omaha, Nebraska, asked Pence: “How big is that wall?”
Pence and the crowd laughed. “Thanks, buddy. As big as it needs to be,” Pence replied. “…And Mexico’s going to pay for it, just trust me.”
At this hour, Pence is making an evening appearance in Dubuque at a manufacturing plant where Mitt Romney held a campaign rally in 2011.
(Reporting in Mason City by KRIB’s Bob Fisher; reporting in Ames by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)