Vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence squared off in Tuesday’s 2016 vice presidential debate. Who pulled off a victory? Who disappointed? Our Latino panel points out the hits and misses and whether the two men made their case.
Mike Pence Refused to Defend the Indefensible
Live from what Mike Pence mistakenly referred to as “Norwood University,” on Tuesday night it was Feisty vs. Folksy. Tim Kaine mounted an aggressive attack on Donald Trump, while Mike Pence attempted the seemingly impossible task of defending his running mate’s controversial comments. If the goal were to make this matchup a referendum on Trump, Kaine came away the winner.
Unlike the last debate, this one featured a spirited discussion of immigration. Kaine drove home the point that he and Clinton support immigration reform with a path to citizenship, though he might have added that this is supported by majorities of Americans too. Kaine smartly reminded viewers of Trump’s remarks about Mexicans and immigrants, and even worked in a mention of his unfounded allegations of bias against Judge Gonzalo Curiel. In response, Pence mentioned what he called an “endorsement” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). But ICE is a federal agency and cannot “endorse” any candidate. In fact, Trump was endorsed by an ICE officers union – which in any case is unlikely to win him more support among Hispanic voters.
Neither moderator Elaine Quijano nor Kaine brought up Pence’s support for Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which originally allowed discrimination against LGBT people on so-called religious grounds. LGBT rights is an issue that resonates with Latinos; a Public Religion Research Institute poll found that three-quarters of Hispanics support laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination. So here Kaine missed a …….
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