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Vice presidential candidates solidify positions in debate


The first and only debate between vice presidential candidates of the 2016 campaign—Virginia Sen. Timothy Michael Kaine and former Indiana Gov. Michael Richard Pence— held Tuesday at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., was characterized according to analysts as fraught with bickering that really did not offer viewers anything new about their respective running mates nor did it seem to sway undecided voters.

The two veteran politicians, who often ignored the admonishments of moderator CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano regarding over time, met just days before the second presidential debate set for Sunday at 6 p.m. at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. ABC’s Martha Raddatz, and Anderson Cooper, of CNN will be the moderators.

Among the issues that the two combatants did discuss were how their respective presidencies might handle further incursions by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Pence continuously stressed the need to “go back and rebuild America’s military strength.”

Kaine also focused on the need for Trump to release his tax returns, which he felt would enable the American public to determine how extensive are the billionaire’s business dealings with Russia.

Among the domestic social issues, the two discussed the impact their faith might have on public policy decisions particularly abortion and the death penalty.

“For me, the hardest struggle in my faith life was the Catholic Church is against the death penalty and so am I,” explained Kaine. “But I was governor of a state, and the state law said that there was a death penalty for crimes, if the jury determined them to be heinous. And so I had to grapple with that.

“When I was running for governor, I was attacked pretty strongly because of my position on the death penalty. But I looked the voters of Virginia in the eye and said, look, this is my religion. I’m not going to change my religious practice to get one vote, but I know how to take an oath and uphold the law. And if you elect me, I will uphold the law.

“And I was elected, and I did. It was very, very difficult to allow executions to go forward, but in circumstances where I didn’t feel like there was a case for clemency, I told Virginia voters I would uphold the law, and I did.”

“For me, my faith informs my life,” said Pence. “I try and spend a little time on my knees every day. But it all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life.”

Sen. Kaine went on to say that he and Clinton support Roe vs. Wade and that government should trust American women to decide what is best for their bodies.

“Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that punished women who made the heartbreaking choice to end a pregnancy,” explained Pence.

Pence continued, “Because there is . . . a society can be judged by how it deals with its most vulnerable—the aged, the infirm, the disabled, and the unborn. I believe it with all my heart. And I couldn’t be more proud to be standing with a pro-life candidate in Donald Trump.”