Politics
Transcript

The most important exchanges of the vice presidential debate, annotated

Times journalists are annotating excerpts of the key exchanges between vice presidential nominees Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. If you see a passage highlighted in yellow, you can click on it to see what we have to say about it. You can also highlight passages and leave your own comments.

 

On their running mates and interruptions

MODERATOR ELAINE QUIJANO: Senator Kaine, on the campaign trail, you praised Secretary Clinton's character, including her commitment to public service, yet 60 percent of voters don't think she's trustworthy. Why do so many people distrust her? Is it because they have questions about her e-mails and the Clinton Foundation? 

KAINE: Elaine, let me tell you why I trust Hillary Clinton. Here's what people should look at as they look at a public servant. Do they have a passion in their life that showed up before they were in public life? And have they held onto that passion throughout their life, regardless of whether they were in office or not, succeeding or failing?

Hillary Clinton has that passion. From a time as a kid in a Methodist youth group in the suburbs of Chicago, she has been focused on serving others with a special focus on empowering families and kids. As a civil rights lawyer in the South, with the Children's Defense Fund, first lady of Arkansas and this country, senator, secretary of state, it's always been about putting others first.

And that's a sharp contrast with Donald Trump. Donald Trump always puts himself first. He built a business career, in the words of one of his own campaign staffers, "off the backs of the little guy." And as a candidate, he started his campaign with a speech where he called Mexicans rapists and criminals, and he has pursued the discredited and really outrageous lie that President Obama wasn't born in the United States. It is so painful to suggest that we go back to think about these days where an African-American could not be a citizen of the United States. And I can't imagine how Governor Pence can defend the insult- driven selfish "me first" style of Donald Trump. 

QUIJANO: Governor Pence, let me ask you, you have said Donald Trump is, quote, "thoughtful, compassionate, and steady." Yet 67 percent of voters feel he is a risky choice, and 65 percent feel he does not have the right kind of temperament to be president. Why do so many Americans think Mr. Trump is simply too erratic? 

PENCE: Well, let me -- let me say first and foremost that, Senator, you and Hillary Clinton would know a lot about an insult- driven campaign. It really is remarkable. At a time when literally, in the wake of Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, where she was the architect of the Obama administration's foreign policy, we see entire portions of the world, particularly the wider Middle East, literally spinning out of control. I mean, the situation we're watching hour by hour in Syria today is the result of the failed foreign policy and the weak foreign policy that Hillary Clinton helped lead in this administration and create. The newly emboldened -- the aggression of Russia, whether it was in Ukraine or now they're heavy-handed approach…

KAINE: You guys love Russia. You both have said…

PENCE: ... their heavy-handed approach. 

KAINE: You both have said -- you both have said Vladimir Putin is a better leader than the president.

PENCE: Well...(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: Well, we're going to get to Russia in just a moment. But I do want to get back to the question at…

PENCE: But in the midst -- Elaine, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Senator, I'll…

KAINE: These guys have praised Vladimir Putin as a great leader. How can that...(CROSSTALK) 

QUIJANO: Yes, and we will get to that, Senator. We do have that coming up here. But in the meantime, the questions…

PENCE: Well, Senator, I must have hit a...(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: I must have hit a nerve here. 

QUIJANO: Why the disconnect? 

PENCE: Because at a time of great challenge in the life of this nation, where we've weakened America's place in the world, stifled America's economy, the campaign of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine has been an avalanche of insults. Look, to get to your question about trustworthiness, Donald Trump has built a business through hard times and through good times. He's brought an extraordinary business acumen. He's employed tens of thousands of people in this country. 

KAINE: And paid few taxes and lost a billion a year. (CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: And why the disconnect with your running mate?

PENCE: But there's a -- there's a reason why people question the trustworthiness of Hillary Clinton. And that's because they're paying attention. I mean, the reality is, when she was secretary of state, Senator, come on. She had a Clinton Foundation accepting contributions from foreign governments.

KAINE: You are Donald Trump's apprentice. Let me talk about this...(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Senator, I think I'm still on my time. 

KAINE: Well, I think -- isn't this a discussion?

QUIJANO: This is our open discussion. 

KAINE: Yeah, let's talk about the state of...(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Well, let me interrupt -- let me interrupt you and finish my sentence, if I can.KAINE: Finish your sentence.

PENCE: The Clinton Foundation accepted foreign contributions from foreign governments and foreign donors while she was secretary of state.

KAINE: OK, now I can weigh in. Now…

PENCE: She had a private server…

KAINE: Now, I get to weigh in. Now, let me just say this…

PENCE: ... that was discovered...(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: ... Senator, you have an opportunity to respond.

PENCE: ... keep that pay to play process out of the reach of the public.

KAINE: Governor Pence -- Governor Pence doesn't think the world's going so well and he, you know, is going to say it's everybody's fault.

PENCE: Do you? 

KAINE: Let me tell you this. When Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, Governor Pence, did you know that Osama bin Laden was alive? 

PENCE: Yes. 

KAINE: Do you know that we had 175,000 troops deployed in the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you know that Iran was racing toward a nuclear weapon and Russia was expanding its stockpile? Under Secretary Clinton's leadership, she was part of the national team, public safety team that went after and revived the dormant hunt against bin Laden and wiped him off the face of the Earth. She worked to deal with the Russians to reduce their chemical weapons stockpile. She worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.

PENCE: Eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program? 

KAINE: Absolutely, without firing a shot. And instead of 175,000 American troops deployed overseas, we now have 15,000.

PENCE: Right and…

KAINE: These are very, very good things.

PENCE: And Iraq has been overrun by ISIS, because Hillary Clinton failed to renegotiate…

KAINE: Well, if you want to put more American troops in Iraq, you can propose that.

PENCE: Hillary Clinton -- Hillary Clinton -- Hillary Clinton failed to renegotiate a status of forces agreement…

KAINE: No, that is incorrect. That's incorrect.

PENCE: And so we removed -- we removed all of our…

QUIJANO: Gentlemen, we'll get to...(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: ... troops from Iraq, and ISIS was able to be conjured up in that vacuum.

KAINE: But I'd like to correct…

PENCE: ... and overrun vast areas of Iraq.

KAINE: Governor, President Bush said we would leave Iraq at the end of 2011. And, Elaine, Iraq didn't want our troops to stay, and they wouldn't give us the protection for our troops. And guess what? If a nation where our troops are serving does not want us to stay, we're not going to stay without their protection.

PENCE: It was a failure of the secretary of state…

QUIJANO: We need to move on to the next topic, gentlemen. 


On Trump's taxes

QUIJANO: On that point, Governor Pence, recently the New York Times released part of Mr. Trump's 1995 tax return and reported that he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for years. Yesterday, Mr. Trump said he brilliantly used the laws to pay as little tax as legally possible. Does that seem fair to you? 

PENCE: Well, first, let me say, I appreciated the "you're hired," "you're fired" thing, Senator. You use that a whole lot. And I think your running mate used a lot of pre-done lines. Look, what -- what you all just heard out there is more taxes, $2 trillion in more spending, more deficits, more debt, more government. And if you think that's all working, then you look at the other side of the table. I mean, the truth of the matter is, the policies of this administration, which Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine want to continue, have run this economy into a ditch. We're in the…

KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs? 

PENCE: ... slowest economic recovery since the Great Depression. 

KAINE: Fifteen million new jobs?

QUIJANO: Governor... (CROSSTALK)

PENCE: There are millions more people living in poverty today than the day that Barack Obama with Hillary Clinton at his side…

KAINE: And the poverty level and the median income…

PENCE: ... stepped into the Oval Office.

KAINE: ... improved dramatically between 2014 and 2015. 

PENCE: You -- honestly, Senator, you can roll out the numbers and the sunny side, but I got to tell you, people in Scranton know different. People in Fort Wayne, Indiana, know different. I mean, this economy is struggling. The answer to this economy is not more taxes. 

KAINE: But it's not the giveaway tax relief to the folks at the top.

PENCE: It's not more spending...(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: I am interested to hear whether he'll defend his running mate's not releasing taxes and not paying taxes. 

PENCE: Absolutely I will. 

(Andew Gombert / Pool Photo)

Even more Trump’s taxes

QUIJANO: Governor, with all due respect, the question was about whether it seems fair to you that Mr. Trump said he brilliantly used the laws to pay as little tax as legally possible. 

PENCE: Well, this is probably the difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine. And, I mean, Hillary Clinton and Senator Kaine -- God bless you for it, career public servants, that's great -- Donald Trump is a businessman, not a career politician. He actually built a business. Those tax returns that were -- that came out publicly this week show that he faced some pretty tough times 20 years ago. But like virtually every other business, including the New York Times not too long ago, he used what's called net operating loss. We have a tax code, Senator, that actually is designed to encourage entrepreneurship in this country.

KAINE: But why won't he release his tax returns? 

PENCE: Well, we're answering the question about -- about a business thing, is he…

KAINE: I do want to come back to that, but…

PENCE: His tax returns -- his tax returns showed he went through a very difficult time, but he used the tax code just the way it's supposed to be used. And he did it brilliantly.

KAINE: How do you know that? You haven't seen his tax returns.

PENCE: He created a runway -- because he's created a business that's worth billions of dollars today.

KAINE: How do you know that? PENCE: And with regard to paying taxes, this whole riff about not paying taxes and people saying he didn't pay taxes for years, Donald Trump has created tens of thousands of jobs. And he's paid payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes…

KAINE: Elaine, let me talk about something.

QUIJANO: Senator, I'm going to give you about 30 seconds to respond, and I have question on Social Security for you.

KAINE: OK.

PENCE: The only issue on taxes -- Hillary Clinton is going to raise taxes, and Donald Trump and I are going to cut them. 

KAINE: Donald Trump started this campaign in 2014 and he said, "If I run for president, I will absolutely release my taxes." He's broken his first…

PENCE: And he will. 

KAINE: He's broken his first promise. Second, he stood on the stage…

PENCE: He hasn't broken his promise. He said he's…

KAINE: He stood on the stage last week and when Hillary said, you haven't been paying taxes, he said, "That makes me smart." So it's smart not to pay for our military? It's smart not to pay for veterans? It's smart not to pay for teachers? And I guess all of us who do pay for those things, I guess we're stupid. And the last thing I'll say is this…

PENCE: Senator, do you take all the deductions that you're entitled to? 

KAINE: The last thing -- the last thing I want to ask Governor Pence is…

PENCE: I do. 

KAINE: Governor Pence had to give Donald Trump his tax returns to show he was qualified to be vice president. Donald Trump must give the American public his tax returns to show that he's qualified to be president. And he's breaking his promise. 

PENCE: Elaine, I have to respond to this. 

QUIJANO: You get very little time, 20 seconds. 

PENCE: I'll be -- I'll be very respectful. 

QUIJANO: Governor?

PENCE: Look, Donald Trump has filed over 100 pages of financial disclosure, which is what the law requires.

KAINE: But he said he would release his tax returns. 

QUIJANO: All right, Gentlemen…

PENCE: The American people can review that. And he's going -- Senator, he's going to release his tax returns when the audit is over…

QUIJANO: ... I need to ask you about Social Security…

KAINE: Richard Nixon released tax returns when he was under audit.

PENCE: They're going to raise your taxes. We're going to cut your taxes. 

QUIJANO: Gentlemen…

KAINE: If you can't meet Nixon's standard…

QUIJANO: The people at home cannot understand either one of you when you speak over each other. I would please ask you to wait until it is that the other is finished. 

KAINE: All right. We're having fun up here.

Fact-checking the vice presidential debate »

On police shootings

QUIJANO: ... to the issue of law enforcement and race relations. Law enforcement and race relations. After the Dallas police shooting, Police Chief David Brown said, quote, "We're asking cops to do too much in this country. Every societal failure we put it off on the cops to solve. Not enough mental health funding, not enough drug addiction funding, schools fail, let's give it to the cops." Do we ask too much of police officers in this country? And how would you specifically address the chief's concerns? Senator Kaine? 

KAINE: Elaine, I think that's a very fair comment. I think we put a lot on police shoulders. And this is something I got a lot of scar tissue and experience on.I was a city councilman and mayor in Richmond. And when I came in, we had one of the highest homicide rates in the United States.

We fought very, very hard over the course of my time in local office with our police department, and we reduced our homicide rate nearly in half. And then when I was governor of Virginia, we worked hard, too. And we did something we had really wanted to do. For the first time ever, we cracked the top 10, 10 safest states, because we worked together.

Here's what I learned as a mayor and a governor. The way you make communities safer and the way you make police safer is through community policing. You build the bonds between the community and the police force, build bonds of understanding, and then when people feel comfortable in their communities, that gap between the police and the communities they serve narrows.

And when that gap narrows, it's safer for the communities and it's safer for the police. That model still works across our country, but there are some other models that don't work, an overly aggressive, more militarized model. Donald Trump recently said we need to do more stop-and-frisk around the country. That would be a big mistake because it polarizes the relationship between the police and the community. So here's what we'll do. We'll focus on community policing.

We will focus on -- and Hillary Clinton has rolled out a really comprehensive mental health reform package that she worked on with law enforcement professionals, and we will also fight the scourge of gun violence in the United States. I'm a gun-owner. I'm a strong Second Amendment supporter.

But I've got a lot of scar tissue, because when I was governor of Virginia, there was a horrible shooting at Virginia Tech, and we learned that through that painful situation that gaps in the background record check system should have been closed and it could have prevented that crime, and so we're going to work to do things like close background record checks. And if we do, we won't have the tragedies that we did.

One of those killed at Virginia Tech was a guy named Liviu Librescu.

He was a 70-plus-year-old Romanian Holocaust survivor. He had survived the Holocaust. Then he survived the Soviet Union takeover of his country. But then he was a visiting professor at Virginia Tech, and he couldn't survive the scourge of gun violence. We can support the Second Amendment and do things like background record checks and make us safer, and that will make police safer, too. 

QUIJANO: Governor Pence? 

(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

PENCE: You know, my uncle was a cop, a career cop, on the beat in downtown Chicago. He was my hero when I was growing up. And we'd go up to visit my dad's family in Chicago.

My three brothers and I would marvel at my uncle when he would come out in his uniform, sidearm at his side. Police officers are the best of us. And the men and women, white, African-American, Asian, Latino, Hispanic, they put their lives on the line every single day. And let my say, at the risk of agreeing with you, community policing is a great idea. It's worked in the Hoosier state. And we fully support that. Donald Trump and I are going to make sure that law enforcement have the resources and the tools to be able to really restore law and order to the cities and communities in this nation.

It's probably -- probably why the 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Donald Trump as the next president of the United States of America, because they see his commitment to them.

They see his commitment to law and order. But they also -- they also hear the bad mouthing, the bad mouthing that comes from people that seize upon tragedy in the wake of police action shootings as -- as a reason to -- to use a broad brush to accuse law enforcement of -- of implicit bias or institutional racism. And that really has got to stop. I mean, when an African-American police officer in Charlotte named Brentley Vinson, an all-star football player who went to Liberty University here in the state, came home, followed his dad into law enforcement, joined the force in Charlotte, joined the force in Charlotte in 2014, was involved in a police action shooting that claimed the life of Keith -- Keith Lamont Scott, it was a tragedy. I mean, I -- we -- we mourn with those who mourn.

We -- we grieve with those who grieve. And we're saddened at the loss of life. But Hillary Clinton actually referred to that moment as an example of implicit bias in the police force, where -- where she used -- when she was asked in the debate a week ago whether there was implicit bias in law enforcement, her only answer was that there's implicit bias in everyone in the United States. I just think…

KAINE: Can I -- can I explain…

PENCE: ... I just think what we ought to do is we ought to stop seizing on these moments of tragedy. We ought to assure the public that we'll have a full and complete and transparent investigation whenever there's a loss of life because of police action. But, Senator, please, you know, enough of this seeking every opportunity to demean law enforcement broadly by making the accusation of implicit bias every time tragedy occurs. 

KAINE: Elaine -- Elaine, people shouldn't be afraid to bring up issues of bias in law enforcement. And if you're afraid to have…

PENCE: I'm not afraid to bring that up.

Dispatches from the campaign trail »

KAINE: And if -- if you're afraid to have the discussion, you'll never solve it. And so here's -- here's an example, heartbreaking. We would agree this was a heartbreaking example.

The guy, Philando Castile, who was killed in St. Paul, he was a worker, a valued worker in a local school. And he was killed for no apparent reason in an incident that will be discussed and will be investigated.

But when folks went and explored this situation, what they found is that Philando Castile, who was a -- they called him Mr. Rogers with Dreadlocks in the school that he worked. The kids loved him. But he had been stopped by police 40 or 50 times before that fatal incident. And if you look at sentencing in this country, African-Americans and Latinos get sentenced for the same crimes at very different rates.

PENCE: We need criminal justice reform.

KAINE: Well, we do.

PENCE: Indiana has passed criminal justice reform.

KAINE: But I just want to say, those who say that we should not...

PENCE: But that's not what you're talking about.

KAINE: ... we should not be able to bring up and talk about bias in the system, we'll never solve the problem...

QUIJANO: Governor Pence...

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: Governor Pence...

PENCE: Senator, when African-American police officers involved in a police action shooting involving an African-American, why would Hillary Clinton accuse that African-American police officer of implicit bias?

KAINE: Well, I guess I can't believe you are defending the position that there is no bias and it's a topic we don't even...

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: Governor Pence, I have a question on that point.

PENCE: I did not make that statement. I...

QUIJANO: Your fellow Republican, Governor Pence, Senator Tim Scott, who is African-American, recently spoke on the Senate floor. He said he was stopped seven times by law enforcement in one year.

KAINE: A U.S. senator.

QUIJANO: He said, "I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness, and the humiliation that comes with feeling like you're being targeted for nothing more than being just yourself." What would you say to Senator Scott about his experiences?

PENCE: Well, I have the deepest respect for Senator Scott, and he's a close friend. And what I would say is that we -- we need to adopt criminal justice reform nationally. I -- I signed criminal justice reform in the state of Indiana, Senator, and we're very proud of it.

I worked when I was Congress on a second chance act. We have got to do a better job recognizing and correcting the errors in the system that do reflect on institutional bias in criminal justice. But what -- what -- what Donald Trump and I are saying is let's not have the reflex of assuming the worst of men and women in law enforcement. We truly do believe that law enforcement is not a force for racism or division in our country...

KAINE: Elaine, can I...

QUIJANO: So what would you say to Senator Scott, Governor?

PENCE: Law enforcement in this country is a force for good. They are the -- they truly are people that put their lives on the line every single day. But I would -- I would suggest to you, what we need to do is assert a stronger leadership at the national level to support law enforcement. You just heard Senator Kaine reject stop-and-frisk. Well, I would suggest to you that the families that live in our inner cities that are besieged by crime...

KAINE: Elaine, let me -- let me...

QUIJANO: Governor, the question is about Senator Scott. What would -- what would you tell Senator Scott?

KAINE: Elaine, if I could -- if I could jump in. I've heard Senator Scott make that eloquent plea. And look, criminal justice is about respecting the law and being respected by the law. So there is a fundamental respect issue here.

And I just want to talk about the tone that's set from the top. Donald Trump during his campaign has called Mexicans rapists and criminals. He's called women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. I don't like saying that in front of my wife and my mother. He attacked an Indiana-born federal judge and said he was unqualified to hear a federal lawsuit because his parents were Mexican. He went after John McCain, a POW, and said he wasn't hero because he'd been captured. He said African-Americans are living in Hell. And he perpetrated this outrageous and bigoted lie that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

If you want to have a society where people are respected and respect laws, you can't have somebody at the top who demeans every group that he talks about. And I just -- again, I cannot believe that Governor Pence will defend the insult-driven campaign that Donald Trump has run.

(Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images)

On immigration

QUIJANO: All right. I want to turn to our next segment now, immigration. Your running mates have both said that undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes should be deported. What would you tell the millions of undocumented immigrants who have not committed violent crimes? Governor Pence?

PENCE: Donald Trump's laid out a plan to end illegal immigration once and for all in this country. We've been talking it to death for 20 years. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want to continue the policies of open borders, amnesty, catch and release, sanctuary cities, all the things that are driving -- that are driving wages down in this country, Senator, and also too often with criminal aliens in the country, it's bringing heartbreak.

But I -- Donald Trump has a plan that he laid out in Arizona, that will deal systemically with illegal immigration, beginning with border security, internal enforcement. It's probably why for the first time in the history of Immigration and Customs Enforcement their union actually endorsed Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, because they know they need help to enforce the laws of this country.

And Donald Trump has laid out a priority to remove criminal aliens, remove people that have overstayed their visas. And -- and once we have accomplished all of that, which will -- which will strengthen our economy, strengthen the rule of law in the country and make our communities safer once the criminal aliens are out, then we'll deal with those that remain.

But I have to tell you, I just -- I was listening to the avalanche of insults coming out of Senator Kaine a minute ago.

KAINE: These were Donald's -- hold on a second, Governor.

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: It's my time, Senator.

QUIJANO: It is, in fact, the governor's time.

KAINE: I apologize. It's your two minutes. I apologize.

PENCE: Thanks. I forgive you. He says ours is an insult-driven campaign. Did you all just hear that? Ours is an insult-driven campaign?

I mean, to be honest with you, if Donald Trump had said all of the things that you've said he said in the way you said he said them, he still wouldn't have a fraction of the insults that Hillary Clinton leveled when she said that half of our supporters were a basket of deplorables. It's -- she said they were irredeemable, they were not American.

I mean, it's extraordinary. And then she labeled one after another "ism" on millions of Americans who believe that we can have a stronger America at home and abroad, who believe we can get this economy moving again, who believe that we can end illegal immigration once and for all. So, Senator, this -- this insult-driven campaign, I mean...

QUIJANO: Governor...

PENCE: That's small potatoes compared to Hillary Clinton...

QUIJANO: Senator Kaine?

PENCE: .... calling half of Donald Trump's supporters a basket of deplorables.

KAINE: Hillary Clinton said something on the campaign trail, and the very next day, she said, you know what, I shouldn't have said that.

PENCE: She said she shouldn't have said half.

QUIJANO: Governor, this is Senator Kaine's two minutes, please.

KAINE: Yeah, that's right, so now we're even.

PENCE: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

KAINE: Look for Donald trump apologizing to John McCain for saying he wasn't a hero...

PENCE: Oh...

KAINE: ... to Donald Trump apologizing for calling women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting.

PENCE: She apologized for saying "half."

QUIJANO: Governor. It is his two minutes, please.

KAINE: Did Donald Trump apologize for taking after somebody in a Twitter war and making fun of her weight? Did he apologize for saying African-Americans are living in Hell? Did he apologize for saying President Obama was not even a citizen of the United States? You will look in vain to see Donald Trump ever taking responsibility for anybody and apologizing.

Immigration. There's two plans on the table. Hillary and I believe in comprehensive immigration reform. Donald Trump believes in deportation nation. You've got to pick your choice. Hillary and I want a bipartisan reform that will put keeping families together as the top goal, second, that will help focus enforcement efforts on those who are violent, third, that will do more border control, and, fourth, that will provide a path to citizenship for those who work hard, pay taxes, play by the rules, and take criminal background record checks.

That's our proposal. Donald Trump proposes to deport 16 million people, 11 million who are here without documents. And both Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to get rid of birthright citizenship. So if you're born here, but your parents don't have documents, they want to eliminate that. That's another 4.5 million people.

These guys -- and Donald Trump have said it -- deportation force. They want to go house to house, school to school, business to business, and kick out 16 million people. And I cannot believe...

PENCE: That's nonsense. That's nonsense.

KAINE: I cannot believe that Governor Pence would sit here and defend his running mate's claim that we should create a deportation force to -- so that they'll all be gone.

PENCE: Senator, we have a deportation force. It's called Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. And the union for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for the first time in their history endorsed Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States of America.

KAINE: So you like the 16 million deportations?

PENCE: Senator, that's -- that's nonsense. Look, what you just heard is they have a plan for open borders, amnesty. That's...

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: Our plan is like Ronald Reagan's plan from 1986.

PENCE: They call it comprehensive immigration reform -- they call it comprehensive immigration reform on Capitol Hill. We all know the routine. It's amnesty. And you heard one of the last things he mentioned was border security.

PENCE: That's how Washington always plays it.

KAINE: No, I...

PENCE: They always say we're going to do this, we're going to do that, we'll eventually get the border...

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: ... border security three years ago, and Governor Pence was against it.

QUIJANO: Governor, Mr. Trump has said...

PENCE: Ronald Reagan said a nation without borders is not a nation. Donald Trump is committed to restoring the borders of this nation and securing our nation, enforcing our laws.

QUIJANO: So, Governor, how would these millions of undocumented immigrants leave? Would they be forcibly removed?

PENCE: Well, I think Donald Trump laid out a series of priorities that doesn't ends with border security. It begins with border security. And after we secure the border, not only build a wall, but beneath the ground and in the air, we do internal enforcement.

But he said the focus has to be on criminal aliens. We just -- we just had a conversation about law enforcement. We just had a conversation about the -- the violence that's besetting our cities. The reality is that there's heartbreak and tragedy that has struck American families because people that came into this country illegally are now involved in criminal enterprise and activity. And we don't have the resources or the will to deport them systemically.

Donald Trump has said we're going to move those people out, people who've overstayed their visas. We're going to enforce the law of this country. We're going to strengthen Immigrations and Customs Enforcements with more resources and more personnel to be able to do that. And then Donald Trump has made it clear, once we've done all of those things, that we're going to reform the immigration system that we have...

KAINE: I just have to correct Governor Pence....

PENCE: ... where people can come into this country.

KAINE: I have to...

PENCE: That's the order that you should do it. Border security, removing criminal aliens, upholding with law, and then -- but then, Senator, I'll work you when you go back to the Senate, I promise you, we'll work you to reform the immigration system.

KAINE: I look forward to working together in whatever capacities we serve in. But I just want to make it very, very clear that he's trying to fuzz up what Donald Trump has said. When Donald Trump spoke in Phoenix, he looked the audience in the eye and he said, no, we're building a wall, and we're deporting everybody. He said, quote, "They will all be gone." "They will all be gone." And this is one of these ones where you can just go to the tape on it and see what Donald Trump has said. And to add...

PENCE: He's talking about criminal aliens.

KAINE: And to add to it, and to add to it, and to add to it, we are a nation of immigrants. Mike Pence and I both are descended from immigrant families. Some things, you know, maybe weren't said so great about the Irish when they came, but we've done well by absorbing immigrants, and it's made our nation stronger.

When Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists and criminals, Mexican immigrants, when Donald Trump says about your judge, a Hoosier judge, he said that Judge Curiel was unqualified to hear a case because his parents were Mexican, I can't imagine how you could defend that.

In-depth coverage of the debate »

(Paul J, Richards / AFP/Getty Images)

On dictators

KAINE: Third, he loves dictators. He's got kind of a personal Mount Rushmore, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Moammar Gadhafi…

PENCE: Oh, please. Come on.

KAINE: ... and Saddam Hussein. And last and most dangerously, Donald Trump believes -- Donald Trump believes that the world will be safer if more nations have nuclear weapons. He's said Saudi Arabia should get them, Japan should get them, Korea should get them. And when he was confronted with this, and told, wait a minute, terrorists could get those, proliferation could lead to nuclear war, here's what Donald Trump said, and I quote: "Go ahead, folks, enjoy yourselves."

I'd love to hear Governor Pence tell me what's so enjoyable or comical about nuclear war.

QUIJANO: Governor Pence?

PENCE: Did you work on that one a long time? Because that had a lot of really creative lines in it.

KAINE: Well, I'm going to see if you can defend any of it.

PENCE: Well, look, I can defend -- I -- I -- I can -- I can make very clear to the American people, after traveling millions of miles as our secretary of state, after being the architect of the foreign policy of this administration, America is less safe today than it was the day that Barack Obama became president of the United States. It's absolutely inarguable.

We've weakened America's place in the world. It's been a combination of factors, but mostly it's been a lack of leadership. I mean, I will give you -- and I was in Washington, D.C., on 9/11. I saw the clouds of smoke rise from the Pentagon.

KAINE: I was in Virginia where the Pentagon's...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: I know you were. We all lived through that day as a nation. It was heartbreaking. And I want to give this president credit for bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.

But the truth is, Osama bin Laden led Al Qaida. Our primary threat today is ISIS. And because Hillary Clinton failed to renegotiate a status of forces agreement that would have allowed some American combat troops to remain in Iraq and secure the hard fought gains the American soldier had won by 2009, ISIS was able to be literally conjured up out of the desert, and it's overrun vast areas that the American soldier had won in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

My heart breaks for the likes of Lance Cpl. Scott Zubowski. He fell in Fallujah in 2005. He fought hard through some of the most difficult days in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and he paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom and secure that nation. And that nation was secured in 2009.

But because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama failed to provide a status of forces agreement and leave sufficient troops in there, we are back at war. The president just ordered more troops on the ground. We are back at war in Iraq. And Scott Zubowski, whose mom would always come to Memorial Day events in Newcastle, Indiana, to see me, and I'd give her a hug and tell her we're never going to forget her son and we never will, Scott Zubowski and the sacrifices the American soldier made were squandered in Iraq because this administration created a vacuum in which ISIS was able to grow.

And a reference to the Iranian deal, the Iranian deal that Hillary Clinton initiated, $150 billion to the radical mullahs in Iran.

KAINE: Stopping a nuclear weapons program without firing a shot?

PENCE: You didn't stop the nuclear weapons program.

KAINE: Yes, we did.

PENCE: You essentially...

KAINE: Even the Israeli military says it stopped.

PENCE: ... guaranteed that Iran will someday become a nuclear power, because there's no limitations once the period of time of the treaty comes off.


On extreme vetting

QUIJANO: Governor Pence, Mr. Trump has proposed extreme vetting of immigrants from parts of the world that export terrorism. But that does not address many of the recent terrorist attacks in the United States, such as the Orlando nightclub massacre and the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey. Those were homegrown, committed by U.S. citizens and legal residents. What specific tools would you use to prevent those kinds of attacks?

PENCE: Well, I think it's -- I think it's a great question, Elaine, but it really does begin with us reforming our immigration system and putting the interests, particularly the safety and security of the American people, first.

I mean, Donald Trump has called for extreme vetting for people coming into this country so that we don't bring people into the United States who are hostile to our Bill of Rights freedoms, who are hostile to the American way life.

But also, Donald Trump and I are committed to suspending the Syrian refugee program and programs and immigration from areas of the world that have been compromised by terrorism. Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine want to increase the Syrian refugee program by 500...

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: Elaine, I want to...

(CROSSTALK)

QUIJANO: Governor, the question was about homegrown.

PENCE: Yeah, and so -- but first, you know, let's make sure we're putting the safety and security of the American people first instead of Hillary Clinton expanding the Syrian refugee program...

KAINE: Or instead of you violating the Constitution by blocking people based on their national origin rather than whether they're dangerous.

PENCE: That's not -- that's absolutely false.

KAINE: That's what the Seventh Circuit decided just -- here's the difference, Elaine.

PENCE: The Seventh Circuit...

KAINE: We have different views on -- on refugee issues and on immigration. Hillary and I want to do enforcement based on, are people dangerous? These guys say all Mexicans are bad.

PENCE: That's absolutely false.

KAINE: And with respect to refugees, we want to keep people out if they're dangerous. Donald Trump said keep them out if they're Muslim. Mike Pence...

PENCE: Absolutely...

KAINE: ... put a program in place to keep them out if they're from Syria. And yesterday an appellate court with three Republican judges struck down the Pence plan...

PENCE: Right. Right.

KAINE: ... and said it was discriminatory...

PENCE: And those judges -- those judges said...

KAINE: We should focus upon danger, not upon discrimination.

QUIJANO: Governor?

PENCE: Elaine, to your point, those judges said it was because there wasn't any evidence yet that -- that ISIS had infiltrated the United States. Well, Germany just arrested three Syrian refugees that were connected to ISIS.

(CROSSTALK)

KAINE: But they told you there's a right way and a wrong way to do it.

PENCE: But, look, if you're going to be critical of me on that, that's fair game. I will tell you, after two Syrian refugees were involved in the attack in Paris that is called Paris' 9/11, as governor of the state of Indiana, I have no higher priority than the safety and security of the people of my state.

KAINE: But, Governor Pence...

PENCE: So you bet I suspended that program.

KAINE: But, Governor Pence, I just...

PENCE: And I stand by that decision. And if I'm vice president of the United States or Donald Trump is president, we're going to put the safety and security of the American people first.

KAINE: Sure. Can we just be clear -- Hillary and I will do immigration enforcement and we'll vet refugees based on whether they're dangerous or not. We won't do it based on discriminating against you from the country you come from or the religion that you practice.

PENCE: But the problem with that...

KAINE: That is completely antithetical to the Jeffersonian values of...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Elaine, the director of the FBI, our homeland security, said we can't know for certain who these people are coming from Syria.

KAINE: Yes, we can, and when we don't let them know, we don't let them in.

PENCE: So -- the FBI...

KAINE: When we don't know who they are, we don't let them in.

PENCE: The FBI and homeland security said we can't know for certain. You've got to err on the side of the safety and security of the American people, Senator. I understand the...

KAINE: By trashing all Syrians or trashing all Muslims?

PENCE: ... the U.N. wants us to expand the Syrian refugee program...

 

 

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine defended running mate Hillary Clinton during the debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine defended running mate Hillary Clinton during the debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. (Julio Cortez / Assoicated Press)

On Syria

QUIJANO: I want to turn now to Syria. Two hundred fifty thousand people, 100,000 of them children, are under siege in Aleppo, Syria. Bunker buster bombs, cluster munitions, and incendiary weapons are being dropped on them by Russian and Syrian militaries. Does the U.S. have a responsibility to protect civilians and prevent mass casualties on this scale, Governor Pence?

PENCE: The United States of America needs to begin to exercise strong leadership to protect the vulnerable citizens and over 100,000 children in Aleppo. Hillary Clinton's top priority when she became secretary of state was the Russian reset, the Russians reset. After the Russian reset, the Russians invaded Ukraine and took over Crimea.

And the small and bullying leader of Russia is now dictating terms to the United States to the point where all the United States of America -- the greatest nation on Earth -- just withdraws from talks about a cease-fire while Vladimir Putin puts a missile defense system in Syria while he marshals the forces and begins -- look, we have got to begin to lean into this with strong, broad-shouldered American leadership.

It begins by rebuilding our military. And the Russians and the Chinese have been making enormous investments in the military. We have the smallest Navy since 1916. We have the lowest number of troops since the end of the Second World War. We've got to work with Congress, and Donald Trump will, to rebuild our military and project American strength in the world.

But about Aleppo and about Syria, I truly do believe that what America ought to do right now is immediately establish safe zones, so that families and vulnerable families with children can move out of those areas, work with our Arab partners, real time, right now, to make that happen.

And secondly, I just have to tell you that the provocations by Russia need to be met with American strength. And if Russia chooses to be involved and continue, I should say, to be involved in this barbaric attack on civilians in Aleppo, the United States of America should be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime to prevent them from this humanitarian crisis that is taking place in Aleppo.

There's a broad range of other things that we ought to do, as well. We ought to deploy a missile defense shield to the Czech Republic and Poland which Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama pulled back on out of not wanting to offend the Russians back in 2009.

QUIJANO: Governor, your two minutes are up.

PENCE: We've just got to have American strength on the world stage. When Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, the Russians and other countries in the world will know they're dealing with a strong American president. QUIJANO: Senator Kaine?

KAINE: Hillary and I also agree that the establishment of humanitarian zones in northern Syria with the provision of international human aid, consistent with the U.N. Security Council resolution that was passed in February 2014, would be a very, very good idea.

And Hillary also has the ability to stand up to Russia in a way that this ticket does not. Donald Trump, again and again, has praised Vladimir Putin. And it's clear that he has business dealings with Russian oligarchs who are very connected to Putin.

The Trump campaign management team had to be fired a month or so ago because of those shadowy connections with pro-Putin forces. Governor Pence made the odd claim, he said inarguably Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama. Vladimir Putin has run his economy into the ground. He persecutes LGBT folks and journalists. If you don't know the difference between dictatorship and leadership, then you got to go back to a fifth-grade civics class.

I'll tell you what offends me…

PENCE: Well, that offended me.

KAINE: Governor Pence just said -- Governor Pence just said that Donald Trump will rebuild the military. No, he won't. Donald Trump is avoiding paying taxes. The New York Times story -- and we need to get this -- but the New York Times suggested that he probably didn't pay taxes for about 18 years starting in 1995. Those years included the years of 9/11.

So get this. On 9/11, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's hometown was attacked by the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States. Young men and women -- young men and women signed up to serve in the military to fight terrorism. Hillary Clinton went to Washington to get funds to rebuild her city and protect first responders, but Donald Trump was fighting a very different fight. It was a fight to avoid paying taxes so that he wouldn't support the fight against terror.

QUIJANO: The question was about Aleppo, Senator.

KAINE: He wouldn't support troops. He wouldn't -- he wouldn't support -- this is important, Elaine. When a guy running for president will not support the troops, not support veterans, not support teachers, that's really important.

QUIJANO: Right.

KAINE: And I said about Aleppo, we do agree the notion is we have to create a humanitarian zone in northern Syria. It's very important.

QUIJANO: Governor Pence, you had mentioned no-fly zone. Where would you propose setting up a safe zone specifically? How would you keep it safe?

PENCE: Well, first and foremost, Donald Trump supports our troops. Donald Trump supports our veterans.

KAINE: He won't pay taxes.

PENCE: Donald Trump has paid all the taxes that he's -- do you not take deductions? How does that work?

QUIJANO: Gentlemen, this is about Syria. I'd like to...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: Honestly, Senator. Honestly, Senator.

KAINE: It is about our troops. It is about our troops.

PENCE: I understand why you want to change -- I understand why you want to change the subject.

KAINE: How can you support the troops if you won't pay taxes?

PENCE: I understand why you want to change the subject. And let me be very clear on this Russian thing. The larger question here...

KAINE: Do you think Donald Trump is smart to not pay taxes?

QUIJANO: Gentlemen, we're going to have time to get to Russia here.


On Russia

QUIJANO: All right, gentlemen, let's talk about Russia. This is a topic that has come up.

PENCE: I'm very, very happy to defend Donald Trump. If he wants to take these one at a time, I'll take them one at a time.

QUIJANO: I will give you an opportunity to do that.

KAINE: More nations should get nuclear weapons. Try to defend that.

PENCE: Don't put words in my mouth. Well, he never said that, Senator.

KAINE: He absolutely said it. Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan.

PENCE: Most of the stuff you've said, he's never said.

QUIJANO: Gentlemen, Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, annexed Crimea, and has provided crucial military support to the Assad regime. What steps, if any, would your administration take to counter these actions? Senator Kaine?

KAINE: You've got to be tough on Russia. So let's start with not praising Vladimir Putin as a great leader. Donald Trump and Mike Pence have said he's a great leader. And Donald Trump has business...

PENCE: No, we haven't.

KAINE: ... has business dealings -- has business dealings with Russia that he refuses to disclose. Hillary Clinton has gone toe-to- toe with Russia. She went toe-to-toe with Russia as secretary of state to do the New START Agreement to reduce Russia's nuclear stockpile. She's had the experience doing it.

She went toe-to-toe with Russia and lodged protests when they went into Georgia. And we've done the same thing about Ukraine, but more than launching protests, we've put punishing economic sanctions on Russia that we need to continue.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, didn't know that Russia had invaded the Crimea.

PENCE: Oh, that's nonsense.

KAINE: He was on a TV show a couple months back, and he said, "I'll guarantee you this, Russia's not going into the Ukraine." And he had to be reminded that they had gone into the Crimea two years before.

PENCE: He knew that.

KAINE: Hillary Clinton has gone toe-to-toe with Russia to work out a deal on New START. She got them engaged on a meaningful way to cap Iran's nuclear weapons program. And yet she stood up to them on issues such as Syria and their invasion of Georgia. You've got to have the ability to do that, and Hillary does.

On the other hand, in Donald Trump, you have somebody who praises Vladimir Putin all the time. America should really wonder about a President Trump, who had a campaign manager with ties to Putin, pro- Putin elements in the Ukraine, who had to be fired for that reason. They should wonder -- when Donald Trump is sitting down with Vladimir Putin, is it going to be America's bottom line or is it going to be Donald Trump's bottom line that he's going to be worried about with all of his business dealings?

Now, this could be solved if Donald Trump would be willing to release his tax returns, as he told the American public that he would do. And I know he's laughing at this, but every president…

PENCE: But what's it got to do with Russia?

KAINE: Every president since Richard Nixon has done it, and Donald Trump has said I'm doing business with Russia. The only way the American public will see whether he has a conflict of interest...

PENCE: No, he hasn't said that.

KAINE: He has, actually.

QUIJANO: Senator, your time is up. Governor?

PENCE: Well, thanks. I'm just trying to keep up with the insult-driven campaign on the other side of the table.

KAINE: You know, I'm just saying facts about your running mate.

PENCE: Yeah.

KAINE: And I know you can't defend.

QUIJANO: Senator, please. This is the governor's two minutes.

PENCE: I'm happy to defend him, Senator. Don't put words in my mouth that I'm not defending him.

KAINE: You're not.

PENCE: I'm happy to defend him. Most of what you said is completely false, and the American people know that.

KAINE: I'll run through the list of things where you won't defend...

PENCE: This isn't the old days where you can just say stuff and people believe it.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine defended running mate Hillary Clinton during the debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine defended running mate Hillary Clinton during the debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. (Julio Cortez / Assoicated Press)

On Putin

KAINE: Well, this is one where we can just kind of go to the tape on it. But Governor Pence said, inarguably, Vladimir Putin is a better leader than President Obama.

PENCE: That is absolutely inaccurate.

KAINE: And -- and -- and I just think a guy who praises...

PENCE: He said he's stronger -- he's been stronger on the world stage.

KAINE: No, he said leader. And if -- and I'll just say this, Governor.

PENCE: You just said better.

KAINE: If you mistake leadership for dictatorship, and you can't tell the difference, a country that's running its economy into the ground...

PENCE: Yeah, here we go. This is the grade school thing again?

KAINE: ... persecuting journalists...

PENCE: Right, this is grade school.

KAINE: ... if you can't tell the difference, you shouldn't be commander-in-chief.

PENCE: Yeah.

KAINE: And with Donald Trump -- Donald Trump's sons say that they have all these business dealings with Russia. Those could be disclosed with tax returns, but they refuse to do them. Americans need to worry about whether Donald Trump will be watching out for America's bottom line or his own bottom line.

QUIJANO: Senator Kaine, what went wrong with the Russia reset?

KAINE: Vladimir Putin. Vladimir Putin is a dictator.

QUIJANO: And what would do you differently?

KAINE: Vladimir Putin is a dictator. He's not a leader. Anybody who thinks otherwise doesn't know Russian history and they don't know Vladimir Putin. Hillary Clinton knows exactly who this guy is. John McCain said, I look in his eyes and I see KGB. And Hillary kind of has that same feeling.

PENCE: Right.

KAINE: So how do deal with him? You've got to -- we do have to deal with Russia in a lot of different ways. There are areas where we can cooperate. So it was Hillary Clinton who worked with Russia on the New START Treaty to reduce their nuclear weapons stockpile. It was Hillary Clinton that worked with Russia to get them engaged in a community of nations to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons without firing a shot.

She's not going around praising Vladimir Putin as a great guy. But she knows how to sit down at a table and negotiate tough deals. This is a very challenging part of the world, and we ought to have a commander-in-chief who is prepared and done it, rather than somebody who goes around praising Vladimir Putin as a great leader.

The Times scored the vice presidential debate »

On faith and social issues

QUIJANO: All right. I'd like to turn to our next segment now. And in this, I'd like to focus on social issues. You have both been open about the role that faith has played in your lives. Can you discuss in detail a time when you struggled to balance your personal faith and a public policy position? Senator Kaine?

KAINE: Yeah, that's an easy one for me, Elaine. It's an easy one. I'm really fortunate. I grew up in a wonderful household with great Irish Catholic parents. My mom and dad are sitting right here. I was educated by Jesuits at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. My 40th reunion is in 10 days.

And I worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, now nearly 35 years ago, and they were the heroes of my life. I try to practice my religion in a very devout way and follow the teachings of my church in my own personal life. But I don't believe in this nation, a First Amendment nation, where we don't raise any religion over the other, and we allow people to worship as they please, that the doctrines of any one religion should be mandated for everyone.

For me, the hardest struggle in my faith life was the Catholic Church is against the death penalty and so am I. 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.

That was a real struggle. But I think it is really, really important that those of us who have deep faith lives don't feel that we could just substitute our own views for everybody else in society, regardless of their views.

QUIJANO: Governor Pence?

PENCE: Well, it's a wonderful question. And my Christian faith is at the very heart of who I am. I was also raised in a wonderful family of faith. It was a church on Sunday morning and grace before dinner.

PENCE: But my Christian faith became real for me when I made a personal decision for Christ when I was a freshman in college. And I've tried to live that out however imperfectly every day of my life since. And with my wife at my side, we've followed a calling into public service, where we've -- we've tried to -- we've tried to keep faith with the values that we cherish.

And with regard to when I struggle, I appreciate, and -- and -- and -- I have a great deal of respect for Senator Kaine's sincere faith. I truly do.

KAINE: That's shared.

PENCE: But for me, I would tell you that for me the sanctity of life proceeds out of the belief that -- that ancient principle that -- where God says before you were formed in the womb, I knew you, and so for my first time in public life, I sought to stand with great compassion for the sanctity of life.

The state of Indiana has also sought to make sure that we expand alternatives in health care counseling for women, non-abortion alternatives. I'm also very pleased at the fact we're well on our way in Indiana to becoming the most pro-adoption state in America. I think if you're going to be pro-life, you should -- you should be pro- adoption.

But what I can't understand is with Hillary Clinton and now Senator Kaine at her side is to support a practice like partial-birth abortion. I mean, to hold to the view -- and I know Senator Kaine, you hold pro-life views personally -- but the very idea that a child that is almost born into the world could still have their life taken from them is just anathema to me.

And I cannot -- I can't conscience about -- about a party that supports that. Or that -- I know you've historically opposed taxpayer funding of abortion. But Hillary Clinton wants to -- wants to repeal the longstanding provision in the law where we said we wouldn't use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

So for me, my faith informs my life. 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.

KAINE: Elaine, this is a fundamental question, a fundamental question. Hillary and I are both people out of religious backgrounds, from Methodist church experience, which was really formative for her as a public servant.

But we really feel like you should live fully and with enthusiasm the commands of your faith. But it is not the role of the public servant to mandate that for everybody else.

So let's talk about abortion and choice. Let's talk about them. We support Roe v. Wade. We support the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience, their own supportive partner, their own minister, but then make their own decision about pregnancy. That's something we trust American women to do that.

And we don't think that women should be punished, as Donald Trump said they should, for making the decision to have an abortion.

Governor Pence wants to repeal Roe v. Wade. He said he wants to put it on the ash heap of history. And we have some young people in the audience who weren't even born when Roe was decided. This is pretty important. Before Roe v. Wade, states could pass criminal laws to do just that, to punish women if they made the choice to terminate a pregnancy.

I think you should live your moral values. But the last thing, the very last thing that government should do is have laws that would punish women who make reproductive choices. And that is the fundamental difference between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump- Pence ticket that wants to punish women who make that choice.

PENCE: No, it's really not. Donald Trump and I would never support legislation that punished women who made the heartbreaking choice to end a pregnancy.

KAINE: Then why did Donald Trump say that?

PENCE: We just never would.

KAINE: Why did he say that?

PENCE: Well, look, it's -- look, he's not a polished politician like you and Hillary Clinton. And so...

KAINE: Well, I would admit that's not a polished...

(CROSSTALK)

PENCE: You know, things don't always come out exactly the way he means them.

KAINE: Well, can I say...

PENCE: But I'm telling you what the policy of our administration would be.

KAINE: Great line from the -- great line from the gospel of Matthew. From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.

PENCE: Yeah.

KAINE: When Donald Trump says women should be punished or Mexicans are rapists and criminals...

PENCE: I'm telling you...

KAINE: ... or John McCain is not a hero, he is showing you who he is.

PENCE: Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing again. He -- look...

KAINE: Can you defend it?

PENCE: There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally who are perpetrating violence and taking American lives.

KAINE: You want to -- you want to use a big broad brush against Mexicans on that?

PENCE: He also said and many of them are good people. You keep leaving that out of your quote. And if you want me to go there, I'll go there.

But here's -- there is a choice, and it is a choice on life. I couldn't be more proud to be standing with Donald Trump, who's standing for the right to life. It's a principle that -- Senator Kaine -- and I'm very gentle about this, because I really do respect you -- it's a principle that you embrace.

And I have appreciated the fact that you've supported the Hyde amendment, which bans the use of taxpayer funding for abortion, in the past, but that's not Hillary Clinton's view. People need to understand, we can come together as a nation. We can create a culture of life. More and more young people today are embracing life because we know we are -- we're better for it. We can -- like Mother Teresa said at that famous national prayer breakfast...

KAINE: This is important --

PENCE: ... bring the -- let's welcome the children into our world. There are so many families around the country who can't have children. We could improve adoption...

KAINE: But, Governor...

PENCE: ... so that families that can't have children can adopt more readily those children from crisis pregnancies.

KAINE: Governor, why don't you trust women to make this choice for themselves? We can encourage people to support life. Of course we can. But why don't you trust women? Why doesn't Donald Trump trust women to make this choice for themselves?

That's what we ought to be doing in public life. Living our lives of faith or motivation with enthusiasm and excitement, convincing other, dialoguing with each other about important moral issues of the day...

PENCE: Because there are...

KAINE: ... but on fundamental issues of morality, we should let women make their own decisions.

PENCE: 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.

@latimespolitics

ALSO

Our judges score the debate

Fact-checking the vice presidential debate

Video highlights from the debate

Transcript: The most important exchanges of the presidential debate, annotated

Round-by-round, our analysts say Clinton out-punched Trump

What we learned in the first presidential debate

Live coverage from the campaign trail

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
62°