Veep ‘Battle’ May Seem More Like a Love-Fest
The big news over the weekend is discussion of the vice presidential picks. Neither pick was official just four days ago. There are actually more stories being published about Kaine over the weekend, because he’s the “newer” news, and also because he and Hillary had a “coming out party” on Saturday. We have reviewed many of the articles being written, and will give you some highlights.
The most direct comparison we found was by CTV.
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, 58
• Previous jobs: Civil rights lawyer, Virginia lawyer, mayor, missionary in Honduras
• Religion: Catholic
• Views on abortion: “Personally opposed” to abortion but supports the legal status quo
• Ethnic background: Irish and Scottish
• Free trade record: Voted in Congress to oppose free trade barriers 67 per cent of the time, according to CATO Institute
• Position on guns: A gun owner who supports restrictions on combat-style weapons, high-capacity magazines etc.
• Interesting fact: Fluent in Spanish
• Controversial policy: Cut funding for universities and colleges, causing tuition to rise in Virginia
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, 57
• Previous jobs: Admissions counsellor, lawyer, congressman, radio show host
• Religion: Catholic
• Views on abortion: Passed some of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws in Indiana
• Ethnic background: Irish
• Free trade record: Congress oppose free trade barriers 66 per cent of the time, according to CATO institute
• Position on guns: Staunch defender of gun rights, says firearms make Americans safer, rated ‘A’ by National Rifle Association
• Interesting fact: Started life as a Democrat
• Controversial policy: Signed a ‘religious freedom’ law allowing business to refuse services to same-sex couples
Then, there’s Mic.Com, which compared their views on specific issues.
• Pence, an evangelical Christian, isn’t just against both same-sex marriages and civil unions — he has a track record of sponsoring legislation with damaging implications for the LGBTQ community. In 2007, he voted against the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which sought to “prevent job discrimination based on sexual orientation,” according to Mother Jones.
• Kaine, despite being hailed by the Clinton campaign as one half of a ticket with “unprecedented” support for the LGBTQ community, has a less-than perfect track record when it comes to gay rights. While Kaine and Clinton backed marriage equality in 2013, many consider it too little, too late.
• Pence’s track record on immigration is roundly conservative, and include a sponsorship for a bill denying citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants during his tenure as a Congressman.
Although Pence — like Trump — opposed the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana during his time as governor, he called Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims in the United States a bridge too far, tweeting that the suggestion was “offensive and unconstitutional.”
Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional.
• Kaine, on the other hand, supports the same comprehensive immigration protections that Barack Obama has long advocated for, including the option for full citizenship for undocumented immigrants as long as they pay taxes and a fine for entering the country illegally.
• Pence has long been one of the most vocal anti-choice crusaders in the United States, and has openly waged war on Planned Parenthood in his home state of Indiana. In 2011, he also said that he “… long[s] for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history, when we move past the broken hearts and broken minds of the past 38 years.”
• Kaine, meanwhile, despite being a devout Catholic who is personally opposed to abortion, has steadily voted in favor of policies supporting a woman’s right to choose since becoming a senator in 2012, according to Politico.
Speaking of Politico, they did their own comparison, saying, “Neither has a taste for smash-mouth campaigning. But both know how to draw blood when necessary.”
Pence has a famously disciplined and cautious style, marked by his rock-ribbed conservatism on fiscal and social issues. Kaine is a reliably liberal vote though also a deal-maker friendly with Republicans whose down-home style makes him instantly familiar to those who have just met him. . .
“He’ll [Kaine] give the answer that everyone wants to hear. The point Pence needs to remember is he needs to nail him down on issues,” Kilgore said in a telephone interview Friday. “He will play the victim. ‘I can’t believe you are attacking me on that.’”. . .
“Tim is a sunny positive kind of man. Pence, I think, carries that sort of doom and gloom that a lot of conservatives radiate, that I think is outputting,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a veteran politician in Northern Virginia. But “one should not confuse his positive visage and message and personality with weakness.”
By virtue of Trump’s campaign message, Pence is likely to to forcefully assert that America’s best days will remain in the past without a major Trump-like shock to the system. But beyond ideology and vision, Pence is equal to Kaine in preparation, a marked contrast to Trump, who openly admits that he reads very little.
In preparing for the 2012 debate, Indiana GOP operative Eric Holcomb (and later lieutenant governor) played Democrat John Gregg and adviser Tom Rose played Libertarian Rupert Boneham. They gave Pence no warning of the questions they asked, and attacked the Republican in prep sessions in a manner far more aggressive than actually played out in the mild race.
“He kicked our butts. He came in and eviscerated both of us,” Rose said in an interview. “He doesn’t throw first punches. What he does is he rope-a-dopes and counterpunches.”. . .
Pence “will attack Hillary. He will be friendly with Kaine and it won’t be in any way personal … If you’re Kaine, you probably have to criticize everything about Trump.” said a veteran GOP strategist working in Indiana politics. “It will be a fairly uneventful debate. Both men will come out well.”
Neither man is an “attack dog.” Both lie, quietly, in wait, but respond effectively to an ill-advised attack. In addition, since the top of both tickets don’t mind attacking, it’s likely that these two will attack the top of the other ticket, not the man next to him.
This vice presidential “debate” might be the biggest mutual love-fest since Lieberman “vs” Cheney in 2000.