If you missed Tuesday nights’ vice presidential debate between Sen. Tim Kaine and Gov. Mike Pence, here are some highlights:
On the economy
Pence: “Under this past administration … We’ve almost doubled the national debt. I’m very proud … I come from a state that works.”
Kaine: “Do you want a ‘you’re hired’ president in Hillary Clinton or do you want a ‘you’re fired’ president in Donald Trump?”
On Trump’s taxes
Pence: “His tax returns showed he went through a very difficult time, but he used the tax code just the way it’s supposed to be used. And he did it brilliantly.”
Kaine: “He stood on the stage last week and when Hillary said, you haven’t been paying taxes, he said, “That makes me smart.” So it’s smart not to pay for our military? It’s smart not to pay for veterans? It’s smart not to pay for teachers? And I guess all of us who do pay for those things, I guess we’re stupid. And the last thing I’ll say is this … Governor Pence had to give Donald Trump his tax returns to show he was qualified to be vice president. Donald Trump must give the American public his tax returns to show that he’s qualified to be president. And he’s breaking his promise.
Donald Trump must give the American public his tax returns to show that he’s qualified to be president.”
On the tone of the campaign
Pence: “I mean, to be honest with you, if Donald Trump had said all of the things that you’ve 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.”
Kaine: “I just want to talk about the tone that’s set from the top. Donald Trump during his campaign has called Mexicans rapists and criminals. He’s called women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. I don’t like saying that in front of my wife and my 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 hero because he’d been 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.
On the opposing presidential nominees
Pence; “Well, let me — let me say first and foremost that, Senator, you and Hillary Clinton would know a lot about an insult-driven campaign. It really is remarkable. At a time when literally, in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, where she was the architect of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, we see entire portions of the world, particularly the wider Middle East, literally spinning out of control. I mean, the situation we’re watching hour by hour in Syria today is the result of the failed foreign policy and the weak foreign policy that Hillary Clinton helped lead in this administration and create.”
Kaine: “Donald Trump always puts himself first. He built a business career, in the words of one of his own campaign staffers, “off the backs of the little guy.” And as a candidate, he started his campaign with a speech where he called Mexicans rapists and criminals, and he has pursued the discredited and really outrageous lie that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States. It is so painful to suggest that we go back to think about these days where an African-American could not be a citizen of the United States. And I can’t imagine how Governor Pence can defend the insult-driven selfish “me first” style of Donald Trump.”
On law enforcement
Pence: “I just think what we ought to do is we ought to stop seizing on these moments of tragedy. … We have got to do a better job recognizing and correcting the errors in the system that do reflect on institutional bias. But what — what — what Donald Trump and I are saying is let’s not have the reflex of assuming the worst of men and women in law enforcement. We truly do believe that law enforcement is not a force for racism or division in our country. … ”
Kaine: “If you want to have a society where people are respected and respect laws, you can’t have somebody at the top who demeans every group that he talks about. … Elaine, people shouldn’t be afraid to bring up issues of bias in law enforcement. And if you’re afraid to have … And if — if you’re afraid to have the discussion, you’ll never solve it. And so here’s — here’s an example, heartbreaking. We would agree this was a heartbreaking example.
The guy, Philando Castile, who was killed in St. Paul, he was a worker, a valued worker in a local school. And he was killed for no apparent reason in an incident that will be discussed and will be investigated.
But when folks went and explored this situation, what they found is that Philando Castile, who was a — they called him Mr. Rogers with Dreadlocks in the school that he worked. The kids loved him. But he had been stopped by police 40 or 50 times before that fatal incident. And if you look at sentencing in this country, African-Americans and Latinos get sentenced for the same crimes at very different rates.”
Pence: “Donald Trump’s laid out a plan to end illegal immigration once and for all in this country. We’ve been talking it to death for 20 years. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want to continue the policies of open borders, amnesty, catch and release, sanctuary cities, all the things that are driving — that are driving wages down in this country, Senator, and also too often with criminal aliens in the country, it’s bringing heartbreak.”
Kaine: “But I just want to make it very, very clear that he’s trying to fuzz up what Donald Trump has said. When Donald Trump spoke in Phoenix, he looked the audience in the eye and he said, no, we’re building a wall, and we’re deporting everybody. He said, quote, “They will all be gone.” “They will all be gone.” And this is one of these ones where you can just go to the tape on it and see what Donald Trump has said. … We are a nation of immigrants. Mike Pence and I both are descended from immigrant families. Some things, you know, maybe weren’t said so great about the Irish when they came, but we’ve done well by absorbing immigrants, and it’s made our nation stronger. When Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists and criminals, Mexican immigrants, when Donald Trump says about your judge, a Hoosier judge, he said that Judge Curiel was unqualified to hear a case because his parents were Mexican, I can’t imagine how you could defend that.”
Pence: “America is less safe today than it was the day that Barack Obama became president. It’s absolutely inarguable.”
Kaine: “Donald Trump doesn’t have a plan. … Donald Trump believes that the world will be safer if more nations have nuclear weapons.”
On presidential leadership
Pence: “I would hope and, frankly I would pray to be able to meet that moment with that — a lifetime of experience.”
Kaine: Hillary Clinton told him, “I think you will help me figure out how to govern this nation … the success of the administration is the difference we make in people’s lives.”
On personal faith
Pence: “My Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am. … I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life.”
Kaine: “I don’t believe in this nation, a first amendment nation … that the doctrines of any one religion should be mandated for everyone.”
On unity of nation
Pence: “The best way that we can bring people together is through change in Washington, D.C. … it’s going to take leadership to do it.”
Kaine: “[Hillary Clinton] has a track record of working across the aisle to make things happen. … I have the same track record.”
Staff and wire reports