On Monday the bottom halves of the presidential tickets battled it out in Farmville, VA in the only Vice Presidential debate. Democrat Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia went up against Republican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana on the important issues of the election and their running mates’ qualifications for President. Mike Pence sought to turn attention away from Trump and toward policy stances on issues such as taxes, healthcare and foreign policy, while Tim Kaine tried to focus on Trump’s controversial remarks and actions.
The Vice Presidential debate was undoubtedly more subdued than the Presidential debate, with more discussion of foreign policy and taxes than the candidates’ wrongdoings, despite Kaine and the moderator’s efforts. In fact, Pence seemed to distance himself from Trump, making statements about foreign policy that directly contradicted Trump’s platforms and deflected Kaine and the moderator when they asked about them. Kaine highlighted the differences between the Trump and Clinton campaigns while referencing Clinton’s “You’re hired” and Trump’s “You’re fired” policies, and also said that Pence was Trump’s “apprentice.”
Throughout the debate Kaine interrupted Pence to refute his statements about Clinton’s policies and the Republican platform. However, Pence shrugged off much of his criticisms. One surprising part of Kaine’s performance was his failure to bring up Pence’s position on LGBT rights and the laws he has supported in Indiana pertaining to them. Despite their great differences, Pence and Kiane agreed with each other on some occasions and ultimately appeared much more amiable together than Clinton and Trump. Perhaps it was the lack of action which led to this debate having the lowest viewership of any Vice Presidential debate since 2000, at 37 million viewers. Regardless, both Kaine and Pence have now left an impression on the American electorate, although not as big a one as Clinton or Trump.