Kaine vs. Pence: Vice-Presidential Debate

Kaine and Pence at the debate.
(Photo courtesy of Quartz.)

Thursday, October 13, 2016 (Issue #1)
by Brendan Dyer, Staff Writer

.   .   .

The first vice presidential debate sparked new life into the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. 

Democratic running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, and Republican running mate, Governor Mike Pence, held the energetic and politically charged debate at Longwood University and in the wake of the first presidential debate last Monday. 

Elaine Quijano, anchor at CBSN, moderated the debate with a strict grasp on the proceedings from one segment to the next. The debate opened with candidates being asked what makes them qualified to enter the role of president at a moment’s notice. 

Kaine had the floor first and opened with a thank you to Longwood University. Kaine pointed out that Clinton picked him because he has “been a missionary.”

A public servant his whole life, Kaine has seen all levels of government. He’s been on city council, a mayor, lieutenant governor, governor and now a U.S. senator. “That’s what I bring to the ticket,” said Kaine. “But my primary role is to be Hillary Clinton’s righthand

Pence, on how he would handle the moment he’d need to take the highest office of the country, if necessary, opened with, “Thank you, Elaine, and thank you to—thank you to Norwood University for their wonderful hospitality and the Commission of Presidential

Pence said he will bring a “a lifetime growing up in a small town, a lifetime where I’ve served in the Congress of the United States, where I’ve led a state that works in the great state of Indiana, I would hope and, frankly, I would pray to be able to meet that moment
with that lifetime of experience.”

Quijano mentioned to Kaine that 60 percent of voters see Clinton as untrustworthy, to which Sen. Kaine responded, “Hillary Clinton has passion,” speaking of her life in public service. “She has been focused on serving others with a special focus on empowering families and kids,” Kaine said. “It’s always been about putting others first.” 

Pence, when asked why 67 percent of voters think Trump is a risky choice, pointed towards Sen. Kaine and Sec. Clinton and said they “would know a lot about an insult-driven campaign.” Meaning that 67 percent of voters see Trump as risky because of the remarks made by Clinton and Sen. Kaine’s campaign. 

As Pence’s rhetoric unfolded to explain his issues with Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, he mentioned the Middle East “spinning out of control.” As Russia was brought up, Sen. Kaine and Pence argued amongst themselves, disregarding the question.

Quijano said, “Well, we’re going to get to Russia in just a moment. But I do want to get to the question at…” but was interrupted by both Vice Presidential candidates.


Pence commented on Trump being viewed by 67 percent of voters as risky by saying “The campaign of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine has been an avalanche of insults. Look, to get to your question about trustworthiness, Donald Trump has built a business through hard times and through good times.”

Kaine interjected, “And paid few taxes and lost a billion a year.”

With the national debt playing a key role in this election, it was likely a point of interest for both Pence and Kaine.

Pence, on the economy, said, “I think the fact that—under this past administration of which Hillary Clinton was a part, we’ve almost doubled the national debt.”

Pence went on to point out he comes from a state that works, claiming the state of Indiana has balanced budgets.

Kaine leapt at any chance to exploit the governor’s position on issues like Russia, where Pence called Vladimir Putin a “small and bullying leader.”

This is new from Pence, as his views of the Russian president seem to have changed since last month, when he said in an interview with Dana Bash of CNN, “I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been.”

With a Clinton-Trump spread, this campaign season has seen a break from the Democratic-Republican retorts we’ve seen in prior presidential battles. 

Kaine and Pence brought a spirited argument between two different parties to the national stage. Last night’s debate was a take on what this election season would look like had the character of those running for president not been the key issue at stake in voter’s minds.


Monday Fight Night: Trump vs. Clinton

HOFSTRA, Sept. 26 – The first presidential debate had a strong start with opening remarks from both candidates.

Thursday, October 13, 2016 (Issue #1)
by Brendan Dyer, Staff Writer

.   .   .

Lester Holt, NBC nightly news anchor, moderated the debate and it lasted 95 minutes. Both candidates were to answer questions and hold discussions on the content of their answers between six segments of 15 minutes.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, started off by introducing her key interests in clean renewable energy, the creation of new jobs, and equal pay for women. Clinton remained poignant and political towards her opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Trump, with a strong start, highlighted most of his points regarding jobs around keeping companies from leaving the country. He said many times throughout the night, “we have to keep jobs from leaving.” He noted Ford Motors is leaving the United States to manufacture “small-car” motors in Mexico; a move that Trump believes is detrimental to the American financial infrastructure. When the debate moved on towards taxes, Trump said, “I will lower taxes from 35% to 15%.” His plan points out that tax breaks are meant for businesses.

A move that Clinton calls “Trumped up, trickle down,” referencing the trickle down policy in place in 2008 which, according to Clinton, was largely responsible for the financial crisis of that same year. When asked to defend that plan, Trump went on to say that by cutting taxes for businesses, like Ford, the manufacturers would be more inclined to keep their business in the United States.

Clinton, on the other hand, plans to raise taxes for the wealthy and major businesses and in turn build up the middle class. “We must build an economy that works for the middle class,” said Clinton. When asked to defend her plan she highlighted plans to make college debt free and to help the middle class with “broad based, inclusive growth.”

When the issue of how to handle the recent rioting and shootings of cops along with the shootings by cops was brought up, both candidates exercised control in their ideas. Clinton said, “Everyone should be respected by the law, and everyone should respect the law,” focusing on mutual respect between the community and the police. Trump’s answer, “we need law and order. If we don’t have it, we’re not going to have a country,” noting that “law and order” is what Clinton did not want to say.

As the debate moved forward, through the efforts of Holt to silence both candidates at times where they would extend on their points beyond the allotted time, discussions brought up Trump’s tax returns and Hillary’s deleted emails. Trump said, “When the audit is through, I’ll release them,” meaning his tax returns. A point that Hillary quickly shut down when she said, “We all know the IRS has no prohibition around releasing tax returns during an audit.”

“Everyone should be respected by the law, and everyone should respect the law.”
— Hillary Clinton

Trump, on his feet, said to Clinton, “When you release your emails, I’ll release my tax returns” This gave Clinton the floor to publicly apologize for her neglect in using her email server to share confidential information. The debate began to heat up around this time. Russia, a large force in the cyber attack network, was discussed briefly by Clinton who said, “There’s no doubt now that Russia has used cyber attacks against all kinds of organizations in our country, and I am deeply concerned about this,” she noted chiefly that Russia allegedly hacked in to the Democratic National Committee. A notion that Trump quickly denied in his response by saying, “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC.” Trump vehemently denied his support of the war in Iraq as that issue was brought up.

Holt asked, “You supported the war in Iraq before the invasion. What makes your…” but was interrupted by Trump who said, “I did not support the War in Iraq.” According to the fact checkers at CNN Trump’s claim was found to be false, citing an interview with Howard Stern where when asked if he supports the war in Iraq Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so.” On the issue of nuclear power, both candidates agreed it’s the single greatest threat our country faces. Clinton noted of Trump’s “cavalier” regarding nuclear power, referring to his nonchalant outlook on countries like Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia having nuclear weapons, that it’s been policy in America to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Trump denies any claim that he lacks proper concern regarding the issue.

The debate extended minutes beyond its original 90-minute allotment with mild uproar from the audience at times and continuous interruption from both candidates. Major media sources, CNN and the New York Times claim in their coverage that Clinton won the debate. Fox News cites online surveys, The Drudge Report and a survey on Time.com, naming Trump the “yuge winner.”

Looking towards the next debate, Trump plans to adjust his plan of attack. In the wake of criticism from major media and consumers, the businessman sees his unpreparedness was pallid compared to his politically charged opponent. Trump’s campaign advisors plan to drill him with facts and crucial answers, according to The New York Times. It will be interesting to see how Clinton, who prepared for weeks preempting the first debate, will compose herself in the next debate.