Tuesday 4 October 2016: lone US VICE-PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
at Longwood University- Farmville, Virginia
scheduled for 90 minutes starting 9 PM Eastern Time US [0100 GMT]
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
EDITOR's NOTE: All Tweets below have been redacted (where necessary) within their original sequence.
The scoring of each "round" of the debate is on the Ten Point-Must system.
Waiting for the VP debate to get underway
Moderator ELAINE QUIJANO of CBS now introduces the debate
Ms. Quijano invites the two candidates, Sen Kaine and Gov Pence, to the debate stage
First question: What qualities do each have to step into the Presidency should that become necessary?- Sen Kaine answers first
Kaine answers primarily by talking up his running mate, Mrs. Clinton, before discussing his own experience as a missionary and an officeholder
Kaine: "The thought of Donald Trump as Commander in Chief scares us to death"
Gov Pence, after mentioning his family, talks about being "a small town boy" from a place not unlike the town in which the debate is being held
Pence says he will bring "a lifetime of experience" to the Vice Presidency
Kaine is asked why so many people don't trust Hillary Clinton: Kaine [instead] cites her "passion" going back to a suburban Methodist youth group
Kaine next scores Trump's "selfish, me-first" attitude
Pence is asked why Donald Trump is considered "erratic": Pence instead scores Obama's "weak, feckless" Foreign Policy "believed in" by Mrs. Clinton
Kaine interrupts Pence by scoring Trump having called Vladimir Putin a "great leader"
Pence says that people don't trust Hillary Clinton "because they're paying attention"
Kaine points out that when Mrs. Clinton became Secretary of State "Osama bin Laden was alive"
Pence blames Mrs. Clinton for allowing ISIS to overrun Iraq; Kaine parries by saying GW Bush agreed to withdraw troops [from Iraq] by 2011
Kaine wins this "round" only because Pence didn't, at least at first, more directly answer the portion dealing with why people "don't trust" each man's running mate (Kaine, at least, made more of an effort to defend Mrs. Clinton at the start): Kaine 10, Pence 9.
Next question [segment, really] is on the economy: Gov Pence to answer first
Pence cites his own being a taxcutter as Gov of IN while saying Kaine, as Gov of VA, tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to raise taxes
Kaine: "Do you want a 'You're hired' President in Hillary Clinton or a 'You're fired' President in Donald Trump?"
Kaine points out that both he and Mrs. Clinton "grew up in Small Business families", scores Pence for wanting to gut the Federal Minimum Wage
Kaine scores Trump's economic plans as "a Trump First plan"
Pence: "[Kaine] can roll out the numbers on the sunny side... this economy is struggling!"
Pence: "Donald Trump is a businessman, not a career politician"
When Pence claims Trump "has built a business worth billions of dollars", Kaine asks "How do you know that?"
Moderator Quijano has to rein both men in when they "step on each other" in order to try and refute the other's claims and attacks
Kaine "[he and Mrs. Clinton] will never ever engage in a risky scheme to privatize Social Security"
Pence: "[he and Trump] will meet all of our obligations to our seniors"
Pence wins this "round" primarily because Kaine seemed more or less "hung up" on pushing the fact that Donald Trump has failed to release his tax returns (hence Kaine's "how do you know that?" retort) which only served to blur Kaine's own "sunny side" economic stats: Pence 10, Kaine 9
Next question [to Sen Kaine]: Do we ask too much of police officers [in relation to race relations and such]?
Kaine [as a mayor and a Governor] learned "the way you make police safer is through community policing"
Kaine cites both his support of the 2nd Amendment and the fact that he had to deal with the Virginia Tech shooting as Governor
Pence: "Police officers put their lives on the line every day" and actually agrees with Kaine on community policing
Pence: accusing police of "institutional bias" "has got to stop"
Kaine brings up the fact that the [otherwise innocent] victim of a police shooting in St. Paul, MN had been stopped "40 or 50 times" by police beforehand
Pence: "Let's not have the reflex of assuming the worst of Law Enforcement"
Kaine: "Criminal Justice is about respecting the Law and being respected by Law"
Kaine won this "round" if largely because he successfully scored Pence by noting that, in some cases, "institutional bias" is real (even Pence himself ended up referring to it as existing in the end): it also doesn't help matters if one (however reluctantly) agrees with one's opponent on all too many points re: an issue.: Kaine 10, Pence 9.
On Illegal Immigration: Pence scores Mrs. Clinton for supporting "amnesty... sanctuary cities... catch and release"
Pence: "If Donald Trump had said all the way you say he said it" it "would still not be anywhere near" the insults Hillary Clinton had hurled
Kaine notes that Mrs. Clinton apologized for her "deplorables" comment within a day, then cites all that Trump has *not* apologized for
Kaine: [Trump and Pence] "will go house to house, school to school, business to business and deport 16 million people"
Pence: [Clinton and Kaine] "have a plan for open borders... a nation without borders is not a nation"
Kaine: [Pence] "is trying to fuzz up what Donald Trump has said" [in the course of Pence defending Trump]
Kaine won this "round" through his well parrying Pence by noting Mrs. Clinton apologized for her 'worst moment' while Trump has yet to apologize for his: other than this, which presidential candidate has more insulted whom simply devolves into "tit for tat" (as did dueling economic statistics earlier). As with much of this (and, for that matter, the earlier first Presidential) debate, much else has to do with one's own perception (candidate A: "The glass is half full"; candidate B: "No, it's half empty"; me thinking: 'Well, there's still but half a glass of water sitting between you two!'): Kaine 10, Pence 9.
Next question: Has the terrorist threat been increased or decreased in the past 8 years?
Kaine, predictably, says the terrorist threat has decreased in most ways (although he acknowledges it has also increased in others)
Kaine: "[Hillary Clinton] was part of the National Security team that wiped out bin Laden"
Pence, just as predictably, says "America is less safe today than it was when Barack Obama became President"
Pence does give President Obama credit for taking out Osama bin Laden... but, Pence adds, "bin Laden was with al-Qaeda" while our principal threat "is now ISIS"
Kaine: "We want to keep people out if they're dangerous; Trump wants to keep them out if they're Muslim"
Pence: "You've got to err on the side of the safety and security of the American people"
Kaine: would strengthen Intelligence on potential terrorist threats "by strengthening alliances"
Pence: "Hillary Clinton [as Secretary of State] had e-mails on a private server" that contained classified information
This "round" goes to Pence for pointedly pointing out that the threat from al-Qaeda has waned while that from ISIS (albeit an al-Qaeda offshoot) has waxed. Kaine held his own through scoring Trump's having devalued alliances such as NATO (needed to effectively fight terrorism abroad) but it was not enough.: Pence 10, Kaine 9.
Pence: "Hillary Clinton's priority as Secretary of State was 'the Russian reset'"-- he repeats 'Russian reset' for emphasis...
but then Pence says this immediately resulted in the Russian takeover of Crimea-- in fact, these events were 5 years apart
At this point, with but a half hour left in the debate, CNN International tweeted 'Anything can happen in the last 30 minutes', to which I could not help but retweet with: A tweet by a fan of Gerry Anderson's 'Stingray'? LOL
Kaine scores Donald Trump for his praise of Vladimir Putin after Pence had scored Mrs. Clinton's 'Russian reset': tit for tat
Pence: "The Russian bear does not die, it only hibernates", scores Obama/Clinton "feckless" Foreign Policy as "awakening... the bear"
Pence scores Kaine for saying [and incessantly] that Hillary Clinton (re: the Iran deal) "stopped" Iran from getting nuclear weapons
Kaine: "You've got to be tough with Russia and it starts with not saying Vladimir Putin is a great leader"
Kaine once again comes around to talking about Trump not releasing his tax returns; Paine: "What does that have to do with Russia?"
Pence scores the notion that "the Foreign Policy of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama somehow made [us] more secure"
Mike Pence's best moments (and Tim Kaine's worst) in this debate: Kaine was well parrying Pence's attacks on 'Russian reset' with reminders of Trump hailing Putin as "a strong leader" but then got well off message (hence Pence's "What has that got to do with Russia?"): Kaine might've pulled this one out by, say, effectively tying Trump's unreleased tax returns to his business dealings with Russia but didn't. Meanwhile, Pence finally (after not taking better shots at this earlier in the debate) well scored Clinton's position on the Iran deal.: Pence 10, Kaine 8 NOTE: the first 10-8 "round" in the two 2016 debates so far
Pence cites "Strength" as the essence of the Trump/Pence ticket... [but then] Pence notes that America's economy is "sixteen times stronger than Russia's" after having earlier [in the debate] scored America's "struggling" economy
Kaine says Mrs. Clinton "knows how to sit at the table and negotiate tough deals"
Pence says a key Foreign Policy goal is "the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula"
Pence scores the Clinton Foundation as an entity to which foreign governments can donate
Kaine defends the Clinton Foundation's "good work" and then scores the Trump Organization "whose Conflicts of Interest" can't be known
Kaine scores the Trump Foundation for "illegally" donating to the FL AG who is charged with investigating Trump University
Kaine: "A President should [always] take action to defend the United States"
Kaine scores Trump for owing $650 million dollars to banks "including the Bank of China" (thereby doubting Trump's ability to take on China)
Kaine won this "round" primarily by doing that which he had failed to do in the previous one (scoring Trump's potential, yet largely still unknown, "Conflicts of Interest"): Pence, on the other hand, lost it by telling everybody how strong America's economy is- an economy that, according to Pence earlier in the debate, is "struggling" (you can't have it both ways!). Other than that, this one was also a matter of perception (if one thinks Mrs. Clinton is 'Crooked Hillary', then Pence wins; if one thinks Mr. Trump is much of the 'scammer', then Kaine wins). Fact is: neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are all that unmoored from the intertwining of public interest and private financial machination (whether the latter be for good or for ill [or, for that matter, personal gain])-- pick yer poison!: Kaine 10, Pence 9.
Kaine says that, while a devout Catholic, he does not believe "in this First Amendment nation" in forcing public policy to conform
Kaine notes that the Roman Catholic Church opposes the Death Penalty but that he had to enforce it as Virginia's Governor
Pence cites his own Christian faith and his support for "the Sanctity of Life": claims Indiana is the most "pro-adoption State"
Pence scores Hillary Clinton as supporting so-called 'Partial Birth Abortion' and wanting to repeal prohibition of taxpayer-funded abortions
Kaine asserts Clinton/Kaine's support of Roe v. Wade: scores Trump saying women should be punished for terminating a pregnancy
Pence to Kaine (defending Trump's statements [in this regard]): "[Trump] is not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton"
Kaine: "Why doesn't Donald Trump support women making this choice for themselves?"
Pence: "Because a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable"
Kaine cites Hillary Clinton's working across the aisle during her career as a "track record" for unifying the country
Pence: "The best way to bring people together is through change in Washington DC"
Scoring a "round" in which the religious faith of each candidate is the focus is almost always rather difficult: in this case, it was made more so because it (as is more usually the case) so easily devolved into Pro-Choice vs. Pro-Life (are you Pro-Choice? Then Kaine wins. Instead, Pro-Life? Mike Pence wins). Kaine, however, did bring up an issue in which his religious faith conflicted with his obligations as one-time Governor of his State; Pence, on the other hand, has a reputation (whether deserved or not) for not doing much, if anything, in the public sphere as Governor (or, for that matter, as a Congressman before this) that would all that much conflict with his own private religious beliefs: this is, indeed, part and parcel of his own political persona as well as a principal source of his own political support back home-- thus, Pence said nothing to at all alter this perception: Kaine 10, Pence 9.
And, with that, the VP debate concludes.
FINAL SCORE: Kaine 76, Pence 75