Kaine: North Carolina is 'checkmate state' in presidential election

"I'm not anxious about, you know, getting my two cents in", he said.

As polling places across North Carolina opened for business Thursday, Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine rallied voters in a sweep across what he dubbed the "checkmate" state.

"It was shocking." Trump was asked at the debate by mode. "This is about running a country. This is about running a country", Mr. Kaine said at a campaign stop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kaine spoke a great deal about equality for women, minorities, people with disabilities and immigrants, while drawing sharp contrasts to how Trump's insults during the course of the campaign have seemingly alienated these groups of people.

Held at North Carolina Central University, the event marked the start of early voting in North Carolina, a state which has held a pivotal role in previous presidential elections and is expected to make its mark this year as well.

"When Trump talks about crime in African American communities and us not having jobs, he comes off as negative, period", said Jennette, 19. Kaine is scheduled to visit Charlotte and Durham then to push early voting.

"When Charlotte made a decision to step forward and protect people from discrimination, state government said we have to crack down (with House Bill 2)", Kaine said.

"I think this is about the fifth time I've been here since I was added to the ticket and I'll tell you this: you're going to be exhausted of me before November 8th", Kaine said. President Obama carried the state in 2008 but lost it in 2012.

He declared North Carolina "a checkmate state" - using a chess analogy to remind attendees of the state's vital role and encourage them to get out to vote.

He also advocated for tuition-free college for families that makes less than $125,000 a year, and helping former students get out from under student loans.

"As Tim Kaine talks to North Carolina voters, he should explain why corruption and conflicts of interest seem to follow the Clintons wherever they go", he said. He said that he's entered every political race with the same mentality: "I'm the underdog until they call me the victor". Kaine served as the mayor of Richmond and governor of Virginia before winning his Senate seat in 2012. "Too many people in the world live in systems where respecting elections and the peaceful transfer of power is not the norm", he said. You gotta do better than that!

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