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Tim Kaine: 'Spanish Was the Language of Our Country Before English'

In an interview on the Spanish-language show "Noticias Telemundo," Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the Democrat nominee for vice president, said that Spanish was the language of America before English. Kaine has often given speeches in Spanish, and on Sunday he gave a sermon entirely in Spanish at Pneuma Church in Miami, Fla.

"Latino culture is one of the most important things in our country right now because we have had Hispanic roots since the beginning. ... Spanish was the language of our country before English," Kaine told Telemundo host José Díaz-Balart on Monday, according to a translated transcript.

"It's important to remember that, and celebrate it," Kaine argued. "And also, the issues important to Latinos are the same: education, economic development and, especially, respect. In this campaign the question of respect is very important, because the two sides of the campaign have very different opinions about the Latino community."

Kaine was hinting at Donald Trump's many disparaging comments about immigrants from Mexico, which have been attacked as racist. Trump's complaints mostly focus on illegal immigrants, as opposed to people of a particular race. The Republican nominee has not specifically disparaged Latinos, but many feel insulted and attacked by his comments, especially as many media outlets have reported them as racist.

Clinton has gone overboard in her attempts to appeal to Latinos, and even the Huffington Post has acknowledged her efforts veer into "Hispandering." She has launched Spanish-language ads specifically targeting Latinos, especially in Florida. Nevertheless, some Puerto Ricans in that state are still on the fence about her. Nevertheless, the outreach seems to be working.