The vice presidential candidates are spending much of their time advocating for their running mates. But as the debate turned to the economy, Gov. Mike Pence sought to contrast his record in one term leading Indiana to Tim Kaine’s tenure as Virginia governor.
I’m “proud of fact I come from a state that works,” Pence said, while arguing that Kaine left Virginia’s budget “in the hole.”
Virginia’s unemployment rate was more than double when Kaine left office in 2010 (10.8%) than it was when he was sworn in in 2006 (5.1%).
Indiana’s unemployment rate is now 4.5%, compared with 8.4% when Pence took office.
Governors can do a lot to boost their states’ economies, but national trends play a significant role here. Kaine has often referred to himself as “a hard-times governor,” noting that he had to make difficult decisions as the Great Recession unfolded nationally.
Pence took office just as the economic recovery was underway, and benefited somewhat from the decisions his predecessor, Republican Mitch Daniels, made.