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Kaine in Lancaster: 'How stupid does Donald Trump think we are?'

David Weissman
505-5431/@DispatchDavid
  • Tim Kaine said American voters shouldn't let Trump get away with not releasing tax returns.
  • Local Clinton supporters believe she should hold press conferences and be more accessible.

LANCASTER — Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, speaking in Lancaster, chided Donald Trump for not being open with American voters, but local supporters expressed a desire for his running mate to be more accessible, as well.

Kaine, a U.S. senator from Virginia running on the Democratic ticket with presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, spoke to a crowd of a few hundred supporters at the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster on Tuesday night.

As he did during Clinton's rally in Harrisburg last month, Kaine touted the Democrats' economic plan, which a Republican economist predicted would create more than 10 million jobs during her first term.

That same economist, Mark Zandi, who previously served as an adviser to GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, predicted Trump's plan would cost America about 3.5 million jobs during his first term.

An unidentified woman holds up a sign during vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine's campaign stop at the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

Tax returns: Kaine then turned his attention to Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.

Clinton and Kaine have both released several years of their tax returns, as has been commonplace for major-party presidential candidates since Richard Nixon.

"Even Ronald Reagan released his tax returns," Kaine said to the audience.

Trump has cited the fact that he's under a regular audit by the Internal Revenue Service as a reason for not releasing the returns, though the IRS said he's free to make them public if he wants. He's also said his tax returns are none of the voters' business.

FILE - Gov. Tom Wolf makes an appearance at Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine's campaign stop in Lancaster Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

"How stupid does Donald Trump think we are?" Kaine asked the crowd. "If he gets away with (not releasing his tax returns), it will create a precedent for candidates to not disclose this information in the future."

More answers: While Kaine criticized Trump for avoiding questions from the American people, local Clinton supporters said they'd like to see their presidential candidate answer more questions from the media, as well.

Harrisburg resident John Enos, who brought his granddaughter Sophia Andia, of Wrightsville, to the rally, said Clinton needs to hold a few news conferences.

"She has the knowledge, she just needs to generally be more open," Enos said.

Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, makes a campaign stop at the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. Amanda J. Cain photo

Salome Johnson, of Hellam Township, was an alternate delegate for the Democratic National Convention who pledged to Clinton, but she also wants to see Clinton "clear the air" with a news conference.

"In general, she needs to make herself more accessible to the press," Johnson said. "They keep us informed."

Clinton's failure to hold news conferences won't push Johnson to vote Republican in November, though.

"I, as a woman of color, wouldn't feel safe with Trump as president," she said.

Gov. Tom Wolf  spoke at the rally, praising Clinton as the candidate who would promote fairness for all races, genders and classes.

Andia, a 14-year-old who also traveled to Harrisburg to see Bill Clinton earlier this year, said one of Hillary Clinton's biggest strengths in this election is refusing to give in to racial profiling.

"She's someone the U.S. needs," she said.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.