Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate (left), opened hostilities against Mike Pence (right) in his opening statement, and signalled that he would make the attack on Trump the theme of the night
- Tim Kaine and Mike Pence clashed at Longwood University, Farmville, VA, for only Vice Presidential debate
- Kaine, a Virginia senator, opened up his hostilities in his opening statement – signalling Trump would be the key theme, then drove it home with insult after insult in up to SEVENTY interruptions
- Indiana governor Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, said the American voters ‘know we need to make a change’
- Kaine was hit by accusations of sexism from the Trump camp for speaking over the female moderator, CBS’s Elaine Quijano
- Pence drew blood in blaming Clinton’s State Department for the vacuum in the Middle East that ISIS filled
- Both men were asked about their faith and Pence used it to question Catholic Kaine on how he can be with Clinton, who backs partial-birth abortion
- Afterward, Donald Trump’s son Eric praised Pence’s performance while calling Kaine’s many interruptions ‘annoying,’ as Clinton surrogates pushed back suggesting that assessment wouldn’t stick
- See more U.S. election news as the Vice Presidential debate sees Tim Kaine go all out attack on Trump
The vice-presidential debate took just minutes to turn into a debate on one man – Donald Trump.
Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, started the hostilities in his opening statement, and signaled that he would make attack Trump the theme of the night – then drove home insult after insult by interrupting Mike Pence, his rival, and the moderator, Elaine Quijano.
In no time he was ticking off a list of rhetorical body-slams Trump has used in the 16 months of his presidential campaign.
And across the 90 minutes, he was estimated to have interrupted up to 70 times, a figure come up with by the Republican National Committee. Other estimates were lower – but the trend was clear.
At one point he labeled Trump a ‘fool or a maniac’, generating a rebuke from Pence: ‘That’s pretty low, even for you.’
The first snap poll – for CNN – suggested that Trump had benefited more from the debate than Clinton.
A focus group of Ohio voters for CBS News was more damning of Kaine with one man calling him ‘a jerk’.
Donald Trump’s son Eric classified Kaine’s performance as ‘annoying,’ while Clinton’s team of surrogates were deployed to the spin room to push any style criticism back.
Kaine opened up tonight’s presidential debate by talking about how much he trusted his running mate, Hillary Clinton, telling voters that he trusted the former secretary of state with the life of his deployed Marine son
Kaine at one point inferred that Trump was a ‘fool’ and a ‘maniac’ who could ‘trigger some catastrophic event’
Pence accused Kaine of delivering an ‘avalanche of insults’ during the exchange and at one point said: ‘Did you all just hear that? Ours is an insult-driven campaign?’
His opening statement set the tone on Trump. ‘He’s called Mexicans “rapists and criminals”,’ Kaine said. ‘He has called women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. I don’t like saying that in front of my wife and mother.’
‘He attacked an Indiana-born federal judge and said he was unqualified to hear a federal lawsuit because his parents were Mexican. He went after John McCain, a POW, and said he wasn’t a hero because he was captured. He said African-Americans are living in hell. And he perpetrated this outrageous and bigoted lie that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen.’
‘If you want to have a society where people are respected and respect laws,’ Kaine complained, ‘you can’t have somebody at the top who demeans every group that he talks about. And I cannot believe that Gov. Pence will defend the insult-driven campaign that Donald Trump has run.’
CBS correspondent Quijano didn’t give Pence an opportunity to respond, but the Republican vice presidential nominee created his own opening while discussing illegal immigration.
‘I was listening to the avalanche of insults coming out of Senator Kaine a minute ago,’ he said. ‘He says ours is an insult-driven campaign? Did you all just hear that? Ours is an insult-driven campaign?’
‘To be honest with you,’ Pence said, turning to Kaine, ‘if Donald Trump had said all the things that you said he said – in the way you said he said them – he still wouldn’t have a fraction of the insults that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were a “basket of deplorables”.’
‘She said they were irredeemable, they were not American. It’s extraordinary,’ he said.
Kaine listed his litany a second time, saying Clinton had apologized and demanding to know if Trump had done the same.
Pence sniffed that Clinton had only said she was sorry for saying ‘half’ of Republicans were deplorable.
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