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US Vice Presidential debate Live: Kaine, Pence were in proxy match for their running mates

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US Vice Presidential debate Live: Kaine, Pence were in proxy match for their running mates
  • 08:37 (IST)

    Donald Trump's son thinks Pence was 'amazing'

    "I think Governor Pence was amazing. I think he represented family," Donald Trump's son Eric told CNN. "We've lost respect. And my father will restore respect. Governor Pence will restore respect," he further said.

  • 08:20 (IST)

    Kaine-Pence debate was proxy war for their running mates

    Vice presidential hopefuls Tim Kaine and Mike Pence launched into their only debate of the campaign, immediately clashing on the reputations and experiences of their bosses chasing the White House.

    Democrat Kaine and Republican Pence squared off to highlight their capabilities as the men who could be a heartbeat away from the presidency, but essentially they were on stage fighting a proxy war for their running mates five weeks before Election Day on 8 November. - AFP

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    "The potential is there to change the direction of this country but it will take great leadership to do it," Pence said. "When Donald Trump becomes President, they're going to see real change happen," Pence said.

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    'Culture of life'

    "We can come together as a nation and create a culture of life. There are so many families which can't have children," Pence said.

    "We can encourage life but why can't Donald Trump trust women to make this choice?" Kaine said.

    "A society can be judged by how it deals with the most vulnerable," Pence said in response.

  • 08:00 (IST)

    Donald Trump is not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton: Mike Pence

  • 08:00 (IST)

    Issue of abortion raised in debate

    "I had to grapple with the fact that my religious views were in conflict with the general views on death penalty," Kaine said, who has strongly opposed death penalty.

    "My Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am. I have a great deal of respect for Senator Kaine's faith," Pence said. "I attach great importance to the sanctity of life. But what I can't understand with Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine is their support to partial birth abortion."

    "We support the constitutional right of American women to make their own decision about pregnancy. And we don't think that women should be punished for their decision of abortion," Kaine said in response. "The very last thing the government should do is punish women who make reproductive choices."

    "Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that would punish women for making reproductive choices," Pence said.

  • 07:53 (IST)

    "The UN followed the same package as the sanctions package adopted by the US," said Kaine. "On the issue of North Korea, we need to co-operate."

    And that's pretty much all we heard about North Korea.

  • 07:51 (IST)

    On North Korea's nuclear threat

    "We need an effective diplomacy and foreign policy," Pence said. "We're going to go back to the days of peaceful strength....While she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton accepted tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments," he added.

    We really don't know what this has to do with North Korea though.

    "On the Foundation, the Clinton Foundation is one of the highest rated foundations in the world. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State took no action to benefit the foundation. And the foundation does good work. Let's compare this with the Trump organisation. The Trump organisation's conflict of interest can only be known if Trump pays taxes. The Trump Foundation was just fined," Kaine said in response.

    We again really want to stress on the fact that this has nothing to do with North Korea.

  • 07:44 (IST)

  • 07:42 (IST)

    Kaine, Pence argue over Trump's remarks on Putin, Russia

    "Donald Trump has business dealings with Russia that he is not willing to disclose. Hillary Clinton went toe-to-toe with Russia," said Kaine. "In Donald Trump, you have somebody who praises Vladimir Putin all the time....They should wonder that if Trump and Putin sit together, will it be America's bottomline or Trump's bottomline?"

    "Thanks for trying to keep up with the insult-driven campaign. I'm happy to defend him (Donald Trump). This is the alternative universe of Washington DC versus reality...The leading sponsor of terrorism in the world in Iran has support from Russia because of Hillary Clinton," Pence said in response.

  • 07:38 (IST)

    "What this so-called Iran deal did...they (Iran) have not renounced their nuclear ambitions," Pence said.

    "I have asked Governor Pence to defend his running mates six times and six times, he has refused to do so...and yet he is asking us to vote for him," said Kaine in response.

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  • 07:33 (IST)

    Issue of Syria raised in the debate

    "The US needs to begin to exercise strong leadership to protect the vulnerable citizen in Aleppo," Pence said, after which he criticised Hillary Clinton' policies when it came to Russia. "It begins by rebuilding our military. We have the smallest navy since 1916. Donald Trump will rebuild our military and project American strength on to the world," he added.

    "The provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength," he said.

    Tim Kaine responded and said, "Hillary and I also agree that Syria needs international human aid. Hillary also has the ability to stand up to Russia. Governor Pence made the odd claim that Vladimir Putin is a better leader than Barack Obama. If you don't know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, you need to go back to 5th standard civics."

    "After 9/11, Donald Trump was fighting against paying taxes so that he would not support the troops, teachers," he added.

  • 07:27 (IST)

    "Hillary Clinton is a Secretary of State who knows how to build alliances," Kaine said.

    "We have to bring together the resources required to counter cyber warfare," said Pence. "Hillary Clinton had a private server in her home that has classified information."

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    We will not discriminate on the basis of religion, nationality: Kaine

    "Hillary and I want to engage in security on whether people are dangerous," Kaine said. "Hillary and I will do immigration enforcement...but we will not discriminate against people on the basis of their religion or nationality," he added.

  • 07:23 (IST)

    Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama made us go back to war in Iraq, Afghanistan: Pence

    "We are back at war in Iraq and Afghanistan because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama failed to negotiate a deal...You essentially guaranteed that Iran will some day become a nuclear power," Pence said on the issue of terrorism.

    "Donald Trump and I are committed to suspending the Syrian refugee programme...Let's make sure we're putting the safety and security of the American people first," he further said.

  • 07:20 (IST)

    Issue of terrorism

    "The terror threat has decreased today...but there are parts of the world which are challenging. She (Hillary) was part of the national security team that wiped out Osama bin Laden...We also have to work with allies to share information.

    "Donald Trump cannot start a Twitter war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot...he doesn't have a plan. He trash-talks the military, he wants to tear up the alliances. Donald Trump believes that the world will be safer if more countries have nuclear weapons," Kaine said.

    "Did you work on that for a long time?" said Pence in response. "I want to give this President for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. But Hillary Clinton failed to negotiate and allow some American troops to remain in Iraq.

  • 07:16 (IST)

    Kaine attacks Trump on immigration issue

    "Donald Trump said, 'They will all be gone.' We're a nation of immigrants. We've done well by absorbing immigrants. But Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists and criminals. I cannot imagine how you would defend that," Kaine said.

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    Debate over immigration issue changes into mud-slinging match

    "Did you all just hear that? He says ours is an insult-ridden campaign? This insult-driven campaign is actually run by Hillary Clinton when she insults Donald Trump's supporters," Pence said.

    "Did Donald Trump apologise for insulting women? Did he apologise for saying that President Obama was not even a US citizen? Donald Trump proposes to deport 16 million people," Tim Kaine said in response.

  • 07:09 (IST)

    Kaine, Pence spar over law and order issues

    "Enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement authorities," said Mike Pence, as he ended his speech with an attack on Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

    "We need to adopt criminal justice reform," Pence further said. "We have got to do a better job in correcting the errors in our system when it comes to bias. Let's not have the worst assumption about people in law enforcement," he said.

    "Criminal justice is about respecting the law and getting respected by the law. Donald Trump has called women pigs and slobs. He went after John McCaine and said he was not a war hero. I cannot believe that Governor Pence would support Donald Trump's insult-ridden campaign," Tim Kaine said.

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    Debate now shifts to issue of law enforcement

    "We've fought very very hard in the police department in Virginia. We reduced the homicide rate...the way you make policing safer is through community policing," said Tim Kaine. "Donald Trump said we'll need to do more 'stop and frisk' in this country," he said, adding that it will not work. "I'm a strong Second Amendment supporter but close background record checks could've prevented a lot of crimes."

    "My uncle was a cop in Chicago. He was my hero when I was growing. My brothers and I would marvel. Police officers are the best of us," said Mike Pence, as he started on an emotional note. "Donald Trump and I are going to make sure that police forces have the resources....Police forces also see the badmouthing in the wake of police action shootings."

  • 06:55 (IST)

    Pence on Trump not paying taxes

    "What you all just heard is more taxes, more spending. The truth is that the policies of this administration has led to millions more people living in poverty today," said Pence.

    "Donald Trump is a businessman. He built a business. He went through a tough time but he created a strong business. Donald Trump has created tens of thousands of jobs," he said, when he was asked about the issue of Donald Trump not paying taxes.

  • 06:51 (IST)

    Issue of American economy

    Mike Pence argued that Hillary Clinton had ruined the economy.

    "We invest in manufacturing, infrastructure and clean jobs," said Tim Kaine and also talked about providing employment and tax plans and focused on specific plans before going back to attacking Donald Trump again. "Clinton plan would grow the economy by 10 and a hal million jobs."

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    Pence, Kaine debate over Islamic State in Iraq

    "Iraq has been over-run by ISIS. Hillary Clinton failed to re-negotiate. We removed all our troops from Iraq and ISIS took over," Pence said, attacking Hillary Clinton's policies. Kaine responded by saying that the Iraqi government could not guarantee the safety of the US troops.

  • 06:45 (IST)

    Q: Why do so many Americans feel Trump is so erratic?

    Mike Pence: The situation in Syria today is because of Hillary Clinton. We've weakened America's place in the world, stifled America's economy. Donald Trump has built a business through hard times, has employed thousands of people in the country. (At this point, Kaine interrupted and said, "..and has not paid taxes.") Clinton Foundation accepted foreign contribution from foreign government.

    Kaine: When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, did you know Osama bin Laden was alive? She was part of the team which wiped Bin Laden from the face of the earth.

  • 06:42 (IST)

    Q: Why do so many people distrust Hillary Clinton?

    Tim Kaine: Hillary Clinton has passion. She has been focused on serving others. It's always been about putting others first, and that is a sharp contrast with Donald Trump, who always puts himself first. He has pursued the outrageous lie that President Obama is not an American.

  • 06:40 (IST)

    I have lifetime of experience: Mike Pence

    "We've seen America's place in the world weaken," said Mike Pence.

    "I'm a small-town boy. My grandfather immigrated to this country," he added, saying that he had a lifetime experience after living in a small town.

  • 06:38 (IST)

    My primary role is to be Hillary's right hand man: Kaine

    "I am so proud to be running (in the elections) with another strong woman," said Tim Kaine. "We have to keep in mind that the success of administration makes a difference...My primary role is to be Hillary Clinton's right hand man."

    "The thought of Donald Trump as Commander in Chief scares us to death," he added.

  • 06:35 (IST)

    And it begins

    Elaine Quijano, moderator of the VP debate and an anchor from CBSN, is the first Asian-American journalist to moderate a national debate.

  • 06:33 (IST)

    Tim Kaine is "ready"

  • 06:31 (IST)

    Hillary's jibe at Pence

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's running mates snatched the spotlight for the White House race on Wednesday, preparing to face off in their only debate of the campaign with the US elections just five weeks away.

Polls show Democrat Clinton gaining in the wake of a punishing week for her Republican rival Trump, who was hammered by controversies over his taxes, his charitable foundation and treatment of women.



The candidates' understudies — Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence — will take centre stage on Wednesday when they do battle before a national television audience that likely will be the largest to date in their careers.

For many Americans, it will be their first prolonged exposure to the men who would be next in line for the presidency if their side wins on 8 November.

Kaine, 58, is an affable senator from Virginia whose liberalism stems in part from his Catholic faith and experiences as a volunteer working in poor communities in Central America.

Pence, 57, is the Christian conservative governor of Indiana, as modest and polite in style as Trump is brash and insulting.

Both will want to convince undecided voters that their bosses are worthy of the Oval Office.

Pence's job will be to reassure Republicans at a time when Trump is mired in difficulties, many of his own making.

Pence will aim to be a "calming influence" on conservatives nervous about Trump, according to Joel Goldstein of Saint Louis University School of Law, a leading authority on the vice presidency.

"His challenge is to steady the ship, convince the American people that there is some adult supervision, some adult presence there, and to appeal to conventional Republicans," Goldstein told AFP.

Weighing heavily against the New York billionaire are a mediocre performance in his first debate with Clinton, followed by revelations of a $916 million loss in 1995 that may have meant he paid no taxes for several years, and criticism of his demeaning treatment of a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado.

His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway promised a "fiery" Kaine-Pence debate.

"I think you'll see in Mike Pence somebody who is able to defend Donald Trump the running mate, but at the same time take the case right to Hillary Clinton," she said on CBS.

Pence, who spent a dozen years in Congress, is known for his discipline. He has prepared intensively for the debate, unlike Trump, who did little to practice for his 26 September encounter with Clinton.

"We expect them to throw a lot of mud," said Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook, ahead of the debate in Farmville, Virginia.

"It's going to be very interesting to see how Mike Pence responds to questions about Trump's behaviour in the last week," he added, also speaking on "CBS This Morning."

Defending Trump has become second nature for Pence: he's had to put out fires on multiple occasions over the past months.

When Trump became embroiled in a bitter feud with the family of a Muslim-American army captain killed in Iraq, it was Pence who put out a statement hailing Humayun Khan as an "American hero."


Besides reassuring voters turned off by Trump's volcanic temper, Pence must attack Clinton while pushing a larger theme of change — something many Americans say they want — and laying out the Republican agenda.

Trump himself framed the showdown in similar terms at a rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona hours before the event.

"The debate will be a contrast between our campaign of big ideas and bold solutions for tomorrow, versus the small and petty Clinton campaign that is totally stuck in the past," Trump said.

But Trump has also warned that he will be "live tweeting the VP debate," potentially overshadowing his running mate during his moment in the sun.

Kaine, who served as Virginia's governor from 2006 to 2010, appears to have the easier task.

Since the first presidential debate, support for Clinton has risen to 44.3 percent against 40.6 percent for Trump, according to an average of recent national polls compiled by RealClearPolitics.

Kaine's role so far has been to attack Trump, and he will no doubt seek to force Pence into owning the controversial rhetoric of his running mate.

But Kaine too will likely be forced into defending Clinton, for using a private email server as secretary of state, as well as in other controversies that have undercut her trustworthiness among voters.

While the two men are seen as disciplined and far less blemished than Clinton and Trump, vice presidential clashes can be unpredictable, even though they rarely move the needle.

"Vice presidential debates often can be freewheeling, with so much ground to cover," Goldstein said.

Americans will have a second round of presidential debates on Sunday to look forward to. The format will be a bit different, with candidates fielding questions put to them by people in the audience.

Updated Date: Oct 25, 2016 09:54 AM

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