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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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The Vice Presidential Debate in Review

The Vice Presidential Debate in Review
T.J. Thompson
Contributing Writer

Oct. 4 saw the debate between candidates for vice president of the U.S. at Longwood University in Farmville, moderated by CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Indiana Governor Mike Pence squared off in a heated battle lasting 90 minutes. The stage was set for voters to have their only glimpse of these candidates’ debate skills.

Quijano’s initial question regarded their temperaments, qualities and skills making them good presidential leaders. Sen. Kaine listed his resume as a missionary, civil rights lawyer, city council member, mayor of Richmond, lieutenant governor, governor of VA and currently a U.S. Senator.

As the questions continued, Quijano focused on Clinton’s trustworthiness. She referenced private email servers and the Clinton Foundation as possible fallacies. Kaine responded by addressing Clinton’s passion for serving the public and took this opportunity to point out Donald Trump puts himself first, many times “off the backs of the little guy.”

The next round, addressed to Pence, asked why Trump is considered so erratic. The governor’s answer began as a stab at the Clinton/Kaine campaign as being insult-driven. He also attacked Clinton’s foreign policy when she served in the Obama Administration. The two candidates shared their first back-and-forth argument regarding Russia. Pence never addressed the question, opting to go after opponents and discuss Trump as being an extraordinary businessman.

Following a session of cross-talk between the candidates, the moderator decided it was time to move to the economy. Pence stated Indiana has a surplus of two million dollars and he lowered taxes, whereas Kaine left Virginia with a deficit after his term as governor. Pence then focused his attention on the fact that the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, has stifled the middle class. He stated Trump will fight to repeal Obamacare, while Clinton wishes to expand upon it.

Kaine asked if Americans desired a “you’re hired” president such as Hillary Clinton or a “you’re fired” president in Trump, referring to the idea that a Trump administration would lose jobs while a Clinton presidency would create them. Kaine laid out a five-point plan to promote the economy which includes investing in industry and in the workforce, wage hikes, small business growth and tax relief to the middle class and small businesses. The conversation transitioned to Trump’s recently leaked tax returns from 1995, stating he had almost one billion dollars in losses where Trump stated he was smart for taking advantage of the tax system.

Pence retorted that Trump’s tax returns show he faced tough times and utilized the tax code to help him overcome those times. Kaine then stated the tax returns were leaked, and Trump has refused to share his tax returns as most presidential candidates do. Pence cited the financial disclosures and Trump’s IRS audit as reasons for not disclosing tax information, although Kaine pointed out Richard Nixon shared his tax returns under audit.

The next round discussed law enforcement and race relations. Kaine stated his running mate will tackle this issue by focusing on community policing, improving mental health treatment and reducing gun violence. Pence also stated their White House would “restore law and order.” Next came immigration, where Kaine stated he believes in comprehensive reform. Gov. Pence referenced that Trump laid out his immigration reform policy,  beginning with more policing at the borders.

Foreign affairs came next. Pence’s response included a desire to increase the military presence overseas as well as creating a larger nuclear armament for the US. Kaine cited Clinton’s record as Secretary of State where she was able to negotiate an Iranian nuclear deal, signed without a war. Kaine also focused on the relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The evening finished with a topic where both candidates have common ground – their faith and it effect upon policy. Pence is known for describing himself as a “Christian, Conservative, and Republican,” in that order. Sen. Kaine stated it is not the role of public servants to mandate personal views on the public.

Feature image by true viral news.