Virginia–Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and his Republican rival Indiana Governor Mike Pence faced off here in the 90 minutes long vice presidential debate for the campaign.
According to BBC, Kaine on Tuesday night sought to maintain his ticket’s momentum as Pence aimed to stabilise Trump’s bid after a turbulent week in which the billionaire admitted that he greatly benefited from “unfair” US taxes laws.
Trump himself said in a tweet that he will live tweet the debate. “I will be live-tweeting the VP Debate. Very exciting! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
He also tweeted that Pence was “doing a great job — so far, no contest!”
While his Democrat rival Clinton said: “Kaine just reminded Pence of the bigoted things Trump has said about millions of Americans — and Pence couldn’t defend it. #VPDebate”
On taxes and Trump, Pence declared that “he used the tax code just the way it’s supposed to be used, and he did it brilliantly”, while Kaine challenged his rival repeatedly to defend statements or proposals made by the New York billionaire during his presidential campaign.
Pence’s tone and his calm delivery never wavered, and he continued to deflect and deny questions about Trump’s ideas while turning back to the Obama administration’s foreign policy record, The New York Times reported.
Kaine often interrupted Pence to hammer away at Trump’s business ties to Russian banks, his campaign team’s lobbying work for a Ukrainian strongman and the billionaire’s eyebrow-raising praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
When Pence broached the idea that the Obama administration had let Russia dominate the response to Syrian policy, Kaine wore an expression that looked vaguely sad, as though he could not believe Pence had gone there.
On the abortion policy, Pence said it was a crucial issue to him and he could never support a party that would support the legalisation of later-term abortions, while Kaine was personally opposed to abortion, but said it was not his right to impose that view on the public.
The Democrat paraphrased former US President Ronald Reagan with regard to nuclear weapons, saying Trump was the “fool” or “maniac”, who could start a nuclear war.
“Senator that was even beneath you and Clinton and that’s pretty low,” Pence responded.
The debate ended after Pence and Kaine went head-to-head on US policies, war in Syria and “safe zones” for refugees.
According to the BBC, Pence’s goal was to reassure Republicans panicked by Trump’s debate performance last week and his bungling in the days that followed that cooler heads will prevail. He did that.
His calm, steady stood in marked contrast to Kaine’s over-caffeinated demeanour and rapid-fire attacks.
Trump in his latest tweet declared Pence as the winner of the debate. “Mike Pence won big. We should all be proud of Mike!” he said.
While Clinton thanked Kaine for supporting the American women and said that she and her running mate “trust American women”.
“We support Roe v. Wade. We support the constitutional right of American women to… make their own decision about pregnancy,” she said. (IANS)