1. US Vice Presidential debate: Contenders Tim Kaine and Mike Pence wrangle over Trump, Clinton

US Vice Presidential debate: Contenders Tim Kaine and Mike Pence wrangle over Trump, Clinton

The debate came at a crucial time for both campaigns. Clinton is seeking to take advantage of Trump's tax report last week to build on her lead in national opinion polls.

By: | Updated: October 5, 2016 8:35 AM
Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence debate during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, U.S., October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst Democratic U.S. vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine (L) and Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Governor Mike Pence debate during their vice presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, US. (Reuters)

Vice presidential nominees Tim Kaine and Mike Pence on Wednesday met for a face off at the Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Soon after entering in the debate, the two candidates launched attacks on presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

In the opening minutes of the 90-minute debate, Trump’s vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, defended Trump days after a New York Times report gave ammunition to the Democratic case against Trump by reporting he may not have paid federal taxes for 18 years. While, Kaine, the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, honed in on Trump’s refusal thus far to reveal his tax records, saying he had broken a promise to do so.

Kaine says, that the thought of Donald Trump as commander in chief “scares us to death.” But the Democratic vice presidential candidate says he trusts running mate Hillary Clinton with his son’s life. He also added that he’s proud to be running with a “history-making woman.” Clinton would be the fisrt woman elected president.

Kaine calls Trump an “insult-driven” and selfish campaign. He says Pence is “Donald Trump’s apprentice,” referencing the old reality TV show. And he accuses Pence and Trump of “loving” Russian President Vladimir Putin. In response to which, Republican Gov. Mike Pence opened a question about Donald Trump’s presidential worthiness by saying to his opponent, that he and running mate Hillary Clinton know a lot about “an insult-driven campaign.”

Pence citing his Indiana upbringing as a key asset in career in the government and says he can use it to help Donald Trump bring change to Washington. Also, Pence misidentified the host institution of Tuesday night’s debate. He said “thank you to Norwood University for their wonderful hospitality.”

Sparring over the issue of economic records, Pence slammed Kaine for proposing to increase taxes as governor of Virginia. He says Kaine is a “very fitting” running mate for Clinton because they both want more of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Kaine criticized Pence for opposing a minimum wage increase as Indiana governor. Kaine says Clinton would be a “you’re hired” president, while Trump is pushing a “you’re fired” plan.

On the issue of social security, Democrat Kaine pledges that Hillary Clinton’s administration would never privatize Social Security and attacks Pence for supporting such an idea as a congressman. The Virginia senator says Democrats want to shore up the popular program by raising the cap on income subject to payroll taxes. It’s currently $118,500.

Pence insists that he and Trump would cut taxes and still pay for Social Security and Medicare. Those two programs approach 40 per cent of all federal spending in some budget years.

Pence, who has a low-key style compared to Trump’s signature bombast, said Trump as a New York real estate developer had created thousands of jobs and had used U.S. tax laws as they were designed to be used.

“Why won’t he release his taxes?” Kaine shot back.

The two candidates talked over each other so much in a bid to score points that the debate moderator, CBS News’ Elaine Quijano, intervened.

“The people at home can’t understand either one of you when you speak over each other,” she said.

“Donald Trump always puts himself first,” Kaine, U.S. senator from Virginia, said, pointing out that when Trump began his presidential campaign last year he called “Mexicans rapists and criminals” and had also voiced the “outrageous lie” that Democratic President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Tim Kaine while praising the Clinton Foundation said that it has helped provide lifesaving medical treatment for millions of people across the world. Mike Pence says the Trump foundation is a private family foundation that does good as well.

According to Pence, the Clinton Foundation is a platform that lets the Clintons travel the world and hire people. The Republican notes that the foundation accepted millions of dollars from foreign leaders while she was the secretary of state. Kaine charges that the Trump Foundation is “an octopus-like organisation with tentacles all over the world.” He says it’s impossible to know about all the connections because Trump won’t release its tax returns.

The debate came at a crucial time for both campaigns. Clinton is seeking to take advantage of Trump’s tax report last week to build on her lead in national opinion polls. Trump needs to rebound from a rocky performance in his first debate with Clinton last week with their second encounter coming up on Sunday in St. Louis.

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