US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Saturday introduced her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, as a "progressive who likes to get things done."

Clinton, who is expected to be named the Democratic nominee next week at the party's convention in Philadelphia, said she chose Kaine because of his life-long commitment to social justice and because he "cares more about making a difference than making headlines."

Kaine is stepping on the national political stage for the first time with little name recognition. He was elected to the US Senate in 2012 after serving as governor of Virginia, a large state that Democrats have won in the last two presidential elections and one they can't afford to lose this year.

At a rally in Miami, where Kaine spoke frequently in Spanish, the senator wasted no time in attacking Clinton's opponent, Republican Donald Trump, saying he would be a "trash-talking," "me-first" president.

"From Altantic City to his so-called university, Trump leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes," Kaine said. "We can't afford to let him do the same thing to our country."

Trump responded on Twitter by saying: "Just saw Crooked Hillary and Tim Kaine together. ISIS and our other enemies are drooling. They don't look presidential to me!"

Kaine, 58, grew up in the Midwest, in Kansas City, graduated from Harvard Law School and moved to Richmond, capital of Virginia, ultimately serving as mayor of the city.

Prior to entering politics, he worked for 17 years as a civil rights lawyer representing blacks and other minorities turned away from housing. He challenged banks, landlords and insurance companies for discrimination, winning high-profile cases against them.

A Catholic who learned Spanish while working with a Jesuit missionary group in Honduras, Kaine said his guiding principles are "faith, family and work," words he repeated in Spanish in a sign of the importance of the Hispanic vote and the subject of immigration.

Kaine told the crowd he and Clinton would mount a "strong progressive agenda" that would make the economy work for every American "not just those at the top."

Their agenda also will include making college debt free - an idea espoused by Senator Bernie Sanders, who battled against Clinton in the primaries - and standing up to the gun lobby, which is blamed for blocking gun-control legislation in the US Congress.

Clinton, 68, called Kaine "just my kind of guy," pointing out that they were both raised in the Midwest by fathers who ran small businesses. She said in both their families faith wasn't something talked about only on Sundays. It was a "call to serve others in every way that we can."

Clinton said the November presidential election would be "one of the most consequential in our lifetime." Trump's claim that he alone can fix the country's problems should set off alarm bells across the political spectrum, she added.

She also promised that at the Democratic National Convention "you are going to see a very different kind of vision" than the negative portrayal of the United States laid out during the Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland, Ohio.

Trump, who accepted his party's nominiation at that convention on Thursday, criticized Kaine on Twitter posts for praising the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal and said Kaine "is, and always has been, owned by the banks."

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