Tim Kaine (R) and Mike Pence discuss, as moderator Elaine Quijano looks on, October 4.
Tim Kaine (R) and Mike Pence discuss, as moderator Elaine Quijano looks on, October 4.

Trump “Fool”, Clinton “Weak”, Say Veeps in Debate

The debate set the stage for a second presidential debate this Sunday in St Louis, Missouri, where Trump needs to rebound from a wobbly performance in the first match

Trump “Fool”, Clinton “Weak”, Say Veeps in Debate

Donald Trump was likened to a “fool or maniac” while Hillary Clinton was dismissed as “weak and feckless” in a punchy vice presidential debate. Democratic Virginia Senator Tim Kaine and Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence clashed on a series of topics ranging from abortion to Russia.
But they focused their sharpest exchanges on Clinton and Trump. The running mates tangled at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, 34 days before Americans go to the polls, BBC reported.
It set the stage for a second presidential debate this Sunday in St Louis, Missouri, where Trump needs to rebound from a wobbly performance in the first match.
In Tuesday’s 90-minute duel, the usually low-key Kaine went on the attack from the beginning. But while the two frequently talked across each other, Pence seemed imperturbable.
Kaine invoked Republican president, Ronald Reagan, when talking about the dangers of nuclear weapons under a Trump presidency. He said Reagan had once warned that nuclear proliferation could lead to “some fool or maniac” triggering a “catastrophic event”.
Kaine said the Republican commander-in-chief had been referring to someone like Trump. The 58-year-old senator also criticized Trump’s temperament, saying he “can’t start a Twitter war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot”.
It was a scattershot debate and at times the subjects changed so jarringly it felt like the speed round of a game show. In the end, however, Mike Pence did what he had to do.
The Republican vice presidential nominee’s goal was to reassure Republicans panicked by Donald Trump’s debate performance last week and his bungling in the days that followed that cooler heads will prevail. He did that.
His calm, steady style—honed over years as a talk show host—stood in marked contrast to Democrat Tim Kaine’s over-caffeinated demeanor and rapid-fire attacks.
At times, of course, it seemed like Pence was talking about a Donald Trump who doesn’t exist—one who doesn’t have a yearlong history of inflammatory statements and controversial stands. And Kaine was quick to call him on it.
Pence’s accomplishment, however, was to defend his traditional conservatism and make the case to wandering Republicans, particularly educated suburban voters, that they still have a home in the party. On Tuesday night, Pence stopped the bleeding.
At best, however, he has turned the page on a disastrous week and given Trump an opportunity to get back in the race. It is up to him to make the most of it.
The two candidates also clashed on Trump’s tax arrangements, which have come under scrutiny in recent days.
The property tycoon has refused to release his tax returns, but the New York Times reported he may have avoided paying taxes for the last 18 years.
Pence said his running mate had “used the tax code just the way it’s supposed to be used, and he did it brilliantly”.
Kaine shot back: “I guess all of us who do [pay taxes] are stupid?”
The debate was hosted by CBS News’ Elaine Quijano and followed last week’s presidential debate, which drew a record 84 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

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