Vice presidential debate rundown

Tim Kaine and Mike Pence face off in their only debate of the election season


Vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence went toe-to-toe on Tuesday night in their only debate of the election season.

Elaine Quijano, CBS News anchor moderated the debate, which took place at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Kaine, VP candidate for the Democratic Party, and Pence, VP candidate for the Republican Party, frequently interrupted and spoke over one another. Quijano was effective at redirecting the candidates back to the issues, which included presidential leadership, trustworthiness, the economy, law enforcement, race relations and foreign policy.

Presidential leadership

Kaine said he is a strong addition to the ticket because he has worked at all levels of government, including city councilman, mayor, governor and the current Senator of Virginia.

Pence said he has seen America weaken under President Barack Obama’s administration. The economy is stifled and there is a war on coal and failing healthcare reform, according to Pence. He said in the event he had to step into the presidential role he would bring a “lifetime of experiences” with him. Pence served as U.S. Governor of Indiana.


Pence said the Obama administration almost doubled national debt, which he described as “atrocious.”

Pence said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will lower taxes across the board for working families, small businesses and family farms.

Kaine described Trump as the “you’re fired” president and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as the “you’re hired” president. He said Clinton will invest in infrastructure, clean energy jobs, education, debt free college, raise the minimum wage, support equal pay for women, promote small businesses and formulate tax plans that target tax relief for the middle class and small businesses.

Law enforcement/race relations

Kaine said as Senator of Virginia, his police department cut homicide rates nearly in half. He also said Virginia was ranked among the top 10 safest states in America. He emphasized that the key to making communities safe is through community policing, which Kaine described as “building bonds of understanding between the community and the police.”

When that gap narrows, he explained, it’s safer for both citizens and the police. He said the militarized model of policing does not work. Kaine went on to say that Trump wants to increase stop and frisk, which he said polarizes the community/police relationship.

Pence emphasized that police officers put their lives on the line every day. He said he fully supports community policing, but commends Trump’s commitment to law and order. He said that people need to “stop seizing on moments on tragedy.”

“If you’re afraid to have the conversation about bias, you’ll never solve it,” Kaine said.

Kaine went on to say that African Americans and Latinos get sentenced for the same crimes at different rates.


Kaine said the terrorist threat has decreased in some ways because Osama Bin Laden has been killed, the Iraqi nuclear weapon program has been stopped and there are fewer U.S. troops in dangerous parts of the world.

Kaine said Clinton also plans to dramatically expand intelligence professionals, garner more cyber intelligence and strengthen alliances.

Pence said Trump would suspend the Syrian refugee program, to which Kaine responded that blocking people based on national origin violates the Constitution. Kaine said the focus should be on danger, not discrimination.

National security and international affairs

Pence said that America needs to demonstrate strong leadership. He said Trump will focus on rebuilding the military and having “American strength” on the world stage.

Kaine said Clinton has the ability to stand up to Russia, whereas Trump has praised Vladimir Putin and has clear business dealings with Russia.

Trump called Putin a stronger leader than Obama, according to Kaine.

“If you don’t know the differences between a strong leader and a dictatorship…you need to go back to fifth grade,” Kaine said.

Pence then brought up the Clinton Foundation, which he criticized for accepting money from foreign governments.

Kaine responded saying the Clinton Foundation is one of the highest rated charities in the world.

Maddy Fowler is a staff writer and can be reached at