Vice presidential debate: Voters don't know the candidates, might not watch
9:03 p.m. That’s it for live coverage and reaction. Thanks for joining us. Keep an eye on IdahoStatesman.com and Wednesday’s Statesman print edition for more on the VP debate and the presidential race.
8:58 p.m.: AP headline on VP story: “Kaine attacks, Pence fights back in VP debate”
8:55 p.m., from Dave and Buster’s: “The winner of this debate is definitely Pence,” said Nolan Rehm of Middleton. But, he added, “It’s Hillary and Trump running for president, and I can’t vote for either of them. Hillary is definitely a liberal, and Donald Trump, I have not seen proof that he’s a conservative.” Miller asks Rehm who he will vote for. The answer: Ted Cruz.
8:47 p.m., from Dave and Buster’s: This crowd watched closely, and is grading the match-up intently. “I thought it would be more level-headed,” says Steve Ackerman, campaign coordinator for Russ Fulcher’s gubernatorial campaign. “Kaine left a few things on the table.”
“I’m concerned,” says Hilary Henson of Boise. Trump, she says, has to win over more people and “time is running out.
8:44 p.m., from Dave and Buster’s: “I think it was a really good debate this time around,” says another. “I’ll be interested to see how the mainstream media spins it tomorrow.”
“Does anybody think Tim Kaine won?” Miller asks. Near silence.
8:43 p.m. Kevin Miller is doing a live post-debate show at Dave and Buster’s, asking the audience who won. “Pence won the debate in the first five minutes,” says one woman. “Pence has won my vote for Trump-Pence,” says a man won over by Pence’s closing remarks on abortion.
8:40 p.m. We’ll have reaction and wrap-up from Dave and Buster’s in a few minutes.
8:39 p.m. Bloomburg headline on VP debate: “Pence attacks Putin in sharp break from Trump’s admiration for the Russian leader”
8:35 p.m. Debate ends and candidate families join principals on stage.
8:28 p.m. from the AP: Mike Pence says he’s “happy” to defend his running mate Donald Trump, but he’s still not doing it. Pence and Tim Kaine are clashing sharply in Tuesday’s vice presidential debate over the records of their running mates. Kaine has repeatedly accused Pence of not standing up to a variety of Trump comments and positions. Pence said he is “happy to defend” Trump – but then moved on to a discussion about Russia without addressing numerous issues raised by Kaine.
8:26 p.m. from the AP: Tim Kaine says Americans should wonder whether a President Donald Trump could meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and put national interests above his own. The Democratic senator from Virginia notes that Trump has praised Putin and that Trump’s former campaign aides had financial ties to the region. Kaine suggests Americans can’t be sure that Trump doesn’t have business ties to Russia himself, since the GOP nominee hasn’t released his tax returns. Kaine insists Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “stood up” to Putin for his invasion of Georgia in 2008 and his aggressiveness involvement in the Syrian civil war.
8:20 p.m., from the AP: Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are clashing over nukes. Hillary Clinton’s running mate suggested at Tuesday’s debate that Ronald Reagan was worried about someone like Donald Trump in the 1980s when he warned that “some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic event” with nuclear weapons. Pence responded that the comment was “even beneath you and Hillary Clinton – and that’s pretty low.” Kaine pressed Pence on Trump’s suggestion that more countries should be allowed to have nuclear weapons. The New York businessman has suggested that countries like Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea could be armed. Pence did not answer when Kaine asked whether “more nuclear weapons would make us safer.”
8:17 p.m., from editorial page Robert M Ehlert @IDS_HelloIdaho: This is a debate about next in line to the president? Who would win if these guys were the presidential candidates? #VPdebate #VPdebate2016
8:12 p.m., from the AP: Tim Kaine says Hillary Clinton is the only presidential candidate who can confront Islamic State group militants. The Democratic vice presidential nominee adds that Donald Trump’s temperament isn’t suited for the role. Kaine notes at the vice presidential debate that Trump engages often in verbal fights on social media. He says the Republican nominee “can’t start a Twitter war with Miss Universe without shooting himself in the foot.” He adds that Trump has said he “knows more about ISIS than the generals” and wants to “tear up” established international alliances. Kaine says Clinton is prepared to lead on the world stage, noting her experience as New York senator in the wake of terrorist attacks in 2001 and her tenure as secretary of state when the Obama administration carried out the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Mike Pence is promising Donald Trump’s administration would remove “criminal aliens” and enforce the nation’s immigration laws. The Republican governor of Indiana is not repeating Trump’s plan to implement a “deportation force” to remove immigrants in the country illegally, however. Pence is largely offering softer rhetoric on immigration than Trump often does. Democrat Tim Kaine says Pence is “trying to fuzz up what Donald Trump said.” Kaine notes that Trump said immigrants “will all be gone.” Pence says Trump would focus first on border security, remove “criminal aliens” and then “enforce the law” for people who overstayed their visas. The law calls for such people to be deported.
8:10 p.m. from the AP: Tim Kaine has turned an attack on Hillary Clinton for her “basket of deplorables” comment back around on Trump. Kaine says that at least Clinton expressed regret for her comment calling some Trump supporters “irredeemable.” Kaine says “you will look in vain” to find a time when Trump has apologized for comments he has made that have offended people. Pence is blasting Kaine for calling Trump’s campaign an “insult-driven” campaign. Pence says what Trump has said is “small potatoes” compared to what Clinton said about Trump supporters.
8:05 p.m., from the AP: The two vice presidential candidates are clashing on immigration. Gov. Mike Pence is defending running mate Donald Trump’s proposal to deport millions of people here illegally and slamming Democrat Hillary Clinton for supporting what Pence calls “amnesty.” Sen. Tim Kaine responds that he and Clinton support comprehensive immigration reform and Pence and Trump are for a “deportation nation.”
Tim Kaine turned a question about police and what some perceive as the unfair targeting of black Americans by law enforcement into a string of verbal attacks on Donald Trump. Kaine says criminal justice is about respecting the law but also being respectful. He is reminding debate viewers that Donald Trump has previously suggested immigrants from Mexico are rapists and criminals. Kaine notes that Trump has referred to women as “slobs and pigs,” “dogs” and “disgusting.” He is also recalling Trump criticizing as a “Mexican” an Indiana-born federal judge overseeing a fraud case involving Trump University. Debate moderator Elaine Quijano moved onto other topics without giving Pence, a chance to respond.
Tim Kaine and Mike Pence agree that community policing should be a priority, but differ sharply in on other criminal justice issues. Pence is defending Donald Trump’s support for a police practice known as stop-and-risk, something Hillary Clinton opposes. Kaine says stop-and-frisk would be a “big mistake” because it divides communities and increases polarization between police and the people. Kaine is also calling for tighter gun control, referencing his experience as governor of Virginia at the time of the Virginia Tech shooting that left 32 people dead in 2007. Pence says Trump wants to “restore law and order,” and he says law enforcement should not be demeaned at “every opportunity.”
7:57 p.m., from the AP: Vice presidential nominees Tim Kaine and Mike Pence are assuming familiar partisan postures on the so-called third rail of American politics: Social Security. Democrat Kaine pledges that Hillary Clinton’s administration would never privatize Social Security and is blasting Pence for supporting such an idea as a congressman. The Virginia senator says Democrats want to shore up the popular program by raising the cap on income subject to payroll taxes. It’s currently $118,500. Pence is not directly answering the privatization charge. He is accusing Kaine of using on “old scare tactic” common in Democratic campaigns and says Democrats just want to raise taxes. The Indiana governor insists that he and Donald Trump will cut taxes and still pay for Social Security and Medicare. Those two programs approach 40 percent of all federal spending in some budget years.
7:55 p.m., from the AP: Mike Pence says Donald Trump used the tax code “brilliantly” to avoid paying federal income taxes for years. Pence is describing Trump as “a businessman” who faced some “pretty tough times” 20 years ago and used the tax code just the way it was intended. He is knocking Democrats Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton as “career public servants.”
The New York Times reported over the weekend that Trump may have avoided paying federal income taxes for nearly 20 years after suffering business losses of more than $900 million in 1996. Kaine is challenging Pence’s defense. He says, “I guess all of us who do (pay taxes) are stupid?” Kaine is also pressing Pence on why Trump is the first presidential nominee in decades not to release his tax returns. Pence promises Trump will release his returns once a routine audit is complete. Trump has said the same for more than a year.
7:54 p.m., at Dave and Buster’s: When Kaine says the terrorist threat against the U.S. has decreased, the folks in this room scoff. And when Kaine mentions Hillary Clinton and her plan for fight terrorism, they boo en masse. When it comes time for Pence to respond, he says to Kaine, “Did you work on that one a long time?” The crowd cheers.
7:47 p.m., from the AP: Hillary Clinton’s running mate is defending her tenure as secretary of state. Sen. Tim Kaine said during Tuesday’s vice presidential debate that Clinton helped revive the hunt for Osama bin Laden that led to the al-Qaida chief’s death. Kaine says Clinton also negotiated an agreement for Russia to reduce its chemical weapon stockpile and contributed to the Iran nuclear deal. And he argues the U.S. is better off with fewer troops in the Middle East. Donald Trump’s running mate is Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. He says Clinton is to be blamed for withdrawing troops from Iraq too soon. Kaine notes that President George W. Bush signed the agreement to pull American forces from Iraq.
7:42: p.m., from the AP: The vice presidential candidates have come out aggressively, frequently interrupting each other and questioning the trustworthiness of the presidential nominees. Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana opened a question about Donald Trump’s presidential worthiness by saying to his opponent, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, that he and running mate Hillary Clinton know a lot about “an insult-driven campaign.”
Pence said the Middle East was “spinning out of control” because of Democratic leadership. When he mentioned Russia, Kaine interjected, “You guys love Russia.” That was a reference to Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. When Pence said Trump had made millions, Kaine claimed Trump “paid no taxes.”
Pence said: “There’s a reason why people question the trustworthiness of Hillary Clinton. And that’s because they’re paying attention.”
7:40 p.m., at Dave and Buster’s: “Shut your mouth and let ’im talk!” says Jason Bair of Meridian as Tim Kaine tries to get a word in against Mike Pence, who’s alleging that the Clinton-Kaine team plans to raise taxes while he and Donald Trump will cut them. (That debate will continue even past election day, no doubt. )
The two candidates are surprisingly combative. Bair says, with some derision, that they’re both “career politicians,” but he likes what Pence is saying about cutting taxes. “I would definitely prefer Trump over Hillary,” he says.
7:36 p.m. Says Statesman editorial page editor Bob Ehlert: “Kaine is more salty, more like Trump in these exchanges. Pence better be ready to engage.”
7:24 p.m.: With candidates interrupting and talking over each other, moderator Elaine Quijano is having trouble keeping control.
7:15 p.m., from the AP: Mike Pence is pitching his small-town Indiana upbringing as a key asset in his career in government, and says he can use it to help Donald Trump bring change to Washington. The Republican vice presidential nominee says he has a “lifetime of experience” steeped in values from his immigrant grandfather and his childhood. He said at the start of the vice presidential debate that he “never dreamed” he’d be able to parlay that start in life into the Indiana governorship or a spot on the national GOP ticket. Pence misidentified the host institution of Tuesday night’s debate. He said “thank you to Norwood University for their wonderful hospitality.” The Farmville, Virginia, school hosting the event is Longwood University.
7:10 p.m., from the AP: Tim Kaine says the thought of Donald Trump as commander in chief “scares us to death.” But the Democratic vice presidential candidate says he trusts running mate Hillary Clinton with his son’s life. The Virginia senator’s son is serving in the Marines. Kaine made the comments Tuesday night during his debate with Republican Mike Pence. He is also citing his own experience “at every level of government” to explain why he’s qualified. Kaine has served as a mayor, a governor and a senator. Kaine notes that he’s proud to be running with “a history-making woman.” Clinton would be the first woman elected president.
7:14: The candidates jump right into it. Pence hits some marks and the Dave & Buster’s crowd cheers. They are watching intently, and they’re getting some substance between these candidates.
7:12 p.m. Pence says Clinton is the “architect” of Obama foreign policy. The reason people mistrust Clinton? “They’re paying attention,” says Pence.
7:06 p.m. Kaine has home-field advantage in Virginia, recounts Farmville history in opening remarks.
7 p.m. The KIDO 580 vice presidential debate watch party at Dave & Buster’s in Boise has about 50 people attending, and it’s a polite, patient and eager crowd. At a similar event for the first presidential debate here on Sept. 26, more than 300 people attended. Host Kevin Miller from the radio station does some crowd warm up and walks around taking the temperature of attendees: Will Pence win? Kaine? It’s not a surprise that crowd’s mostly for Pence – and hence, Donald Trump.
6:49 p.m. The debate starts soon at a college in Virginia.
In a recent Associated Press-GfK poll, more than half of registered voters said they didn’t know enough about Tim Kaine to venture an opinion about him and about 44 percent said the same for Mike Pence.
According to the AP, Trump said he would be live-tweeting the debate. We’ll keep an eye on those through the evening. At a rally in Arizona, Tump said the contest would 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.”
Clinton, campaigning in Pennsylvania, said she’d been keeping in touch with Kaine over email about his debate preparations.
5 p.m. Tuesday is debate night again! Vice presidential candidates Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, Republican and Democrat respectively, will go head-to-head for 90 minutes starting at 7 p.m. Mountain time. The Stateman’s Bill Dentzer will be out at a debate watch party, posting live updates from the event on social media.
Tonight’s audience will be a decidedly partisan Republican crowd, and we chose that on purpose. Here in Idaho, a state that Trump lost in the primaries, we’re interested to see how Republicans react to his running mate, who’s expected to spend a fair amount of time tonight defending the top of the ticket.
Time, place: Longwood University, Farmville, Va.; 7 p.m. Mountain time; 90 minutes.
Broadcast: Live on all networks and C-SPAN and PBS. Or watch via Twitter.
What to watch for: “Pence-Kaine debate: longer on substance, shorter on sniping” at IdahoStatesman.com
The participants: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Republican, is a single-term governor and former six-term congressman. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Democrat, is a former Virginia governor and Richmond mayor.
Format: Nine 10-minute segments based on questions from the moderator. Each candidate will have two minutes to answer, with follow-up discussion based on the moderator’s questions.
History: The first VP debate was in 1976 between Democrat Walter Mondale and Republican Bob Dole.