The vice-presidential debate on Tuesday night came across as a fast-moving boxing match in the last round with two battered contestants, frequented with interruptions, challenges, and well-planted one-liners. The debate covered a myriad of issues, from abortion to Trump's taxes, Hillary Clinton's emails, the economy, foreign relations, Syria, Russia ,Putin, immigration, racism, law enforcement, religious faith and character.
Kaine challenges Pence to defend Trump
Six different times #Tim Kaine, (D), challenged #Mike Pence, (R), to defend Donald Trump's statements and positions. At one point, Kaine challenged Pence to defend Trump's statement that women should be punished for having abortions. Pence then stated that Trump, who bragged about not paying taxes for eighteen years, "is not a polished politician." At another point, Kaine cited Pence's statement that Vladimir Putin is a "stronger leader" than Barack Obama. Pence steadfastly denied having said this and Kaine asked Pence if he wanted to "see the video again."
Kaine also challenged Pence for statements about Trump's policies regarding Mexican immigrants to the United States. Pence responded by stating, "There you go with that Mexican thing again." Pence then elaborated by saying that there are a lot of criminals who have immigrated to the United States. Pence also claimed that Trump had said that "many of them (Mexican immigrants) are 'good people'.
Kaine attacks Trump's MIss Universe comments
Kaine also attacked Trump for launching a "Twitter war" on Miss Universe, stating that Trump is "shooting himself in the foot" by so doing. During the first presidential debate, Trump attacked the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, stating that she had "gained weight" and was "very difficult" to work with. He also stated that Rosie O' Donnell "deserved" the insulting remarks that he had made about her early in his presidential campaign. This observer found it very disconcerting that a presidential candidate would use presidential debate time to denigrate two famous women who have never sought political office when there are so many serious issues to discuss in these very precarious times, including the threat of terrorism, war, and a beleaguered economy.
Reagan's maniac warning
At one point during the debate, Kaine cited Trump's irresponsible statements regarding arming multiple countries with nuclear weapons, and threats against Syria, Iran and other nations. Kaine attributed Trump's reckless statements to a comment by Ronald Reagan to the effect that the danger of nuclear proliferation is that some "maniac" may "trigger a catastrophic event." Kaine then stated that he believed that Trump is the "maniac" to whom Reagan was referring. Pence responded by stating that the comment was "below" both Kaine and Clinton, and that is was a "low blow."
This diatribe between the two vice-presidential candidates reminds this observer of the vice-presidential debate between Senators Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle in 1988. Quayle had stated that his breadth of political experience was roughly equivalent to that of #John F. Kennedy when he ran for President in 1960. Bentsen replied by stating that he "knew Jack Kennedy" and that he had "worked with" Kennedy. Bentsen then looked at Quayle directly and stated: "And Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." Quayle then replied by telling Bentsen that "that was uncalled for." In the climate of Trump, nothing is uncalled for and anything goes. Once a deck is thrown, the cards will land every which way.