(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine depicted Donald Trump Friday as a man peddling "prejudicial and bigoted" ideas but stopped short of calling him a racist.
Following an appearance at a voter registration drive at the historically black Florida A&M University, reporters asked Kaine if Trump is racist.
"I don’t know him but he says things that are clearly prejudicial and bigoted," Kaine said.
During his remarks to the mostly African-American student body, Kaine stressed the ideal of equality and framed it as an issue at stake this election.
Noting it was Women's Equality Day, Kaine contrasted the ideal with Trump's rhetoric. "Let’s just take equality. Let’s just take the principle that we stated in 1776 would be the North Star for our nation,” Kaine said. "That’s something to think about on Women’s Equality Day and that’s something to think about as we approach this election.”
Kaine echoed much of Hillary Clinton's speech in Reno, Nevada, yesterday where she described Trump running a campaign based on “prejudice and paranoia" and accused Trump of "taking hate groups mainstream."
Kaine brought up Trump's support among white supremacists, saying that Clinton's speech called Trump "out on the fact that he has supporters like David Duke connected with the Ku Klux Klan who are going around and saying Donald Trump is their candidate because Donald Trump is pushing their values.
"Ku Klux Klan values, David Duke values, Donald Trump values are not American values, they’re not our values and we’ve got to do all we can to fight to push back and win to say that we’re still about heading toward that North Star that we set out so long ago,” Kaine added.
When asked earlier this year about what he thought about white supremacists, Trump told CBS News, "I don't like any group of hate. Hate groups are not for me.”
Kaine went on to describe Trump as a man engaged in irresponsible rhetoric during this election cycle.
"You’ve heard during the campaign he’s ridiculed people with disabilities, he’s ridiculed people if they were [of] Mexican-American origin. He has said that anybody who’s Muslim should be treated as second class religiously," he said.
"That’s not the way we do things in this country. It’s not the way we do things. Donald Trump was a main guy behind the scurrilous and I would say bigoted notion that President Obama wasn’t even born in this country and Donald Trump has continued to push that irresponsible falsehood from all the way up to now. And that’s the difference in this election and that’s the stakes."
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