By Blair Peppe ’17
Vice-presidential debates do not typically get as large an audience of viewers as presidential debates. However, the recent face-to-face between Virginia U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate) delivered the same heat.
As the two men squared off, I think the debate’s moderator, Elaine Quijano, that night had the hardest job in America. The only time Pence didn’t talk over Kaine or cut into his opponent’s time was when Trump’s insults against Miss Universe and other minorities in general were mentioned (specifically when Kaine said Trump called Miss Universe “a pig” and “disgusting”).
For most of the debate, Pence defended his running mate and Republican ideals, including the mystery of Trump’s tax returns. When asked about his running mate’s tax returns, Pence argued that Trump’s business had hit a rough patch and that he used the Tax Code to bounce back. That response prompted Kaine to point out it would be impossible to know what Pence suggested without physically seeing Trump’s tax returns.
Similarly, Kaine defended Clinton and Democratic ideals even when some of his party’s positions went against his personal beliefs. Kaine, a Catholic and personally pro-life, is politically pro-choice. However, Pence is pro-life personally and politically. Kaine defended his position by arguing that he “trusts women to make their own personal decisions.” Regardless of your political affiliation, Kaine’s ability to separate church and state is admirable.
As for the winner, there are mixed opinions. A group of people from Ohio who watched the debate say that Pence won, but all agreed they would still vote for Hillary regardless. This seems to be the reoccurring theme for this election: Clinton is the lesser of two evils.
photo courtesy of metro.us