Watch: US Vice Presidential Candidates Take the Stage

The vice presidential debate comes as Trump tries to recover from his turbulent presidential campaign.

2 min read

With the first presidential debate complete and its spin cycle nearly over, the two vice presidential candidates have taken centre stage.

The vice presidential debate is taking place on Tuesday night in the US is the only time Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine will have the nation's political attention all to themselves, away from their much better-known running mates.

The stakes are lower than the three presidential debates, but will give each largely undefined candidate a chance to make a mark on a national audience.

Pence and Kaine are practiced public speakers with lengthy political careers who should bring a high level of polish to the debate. Pence is a former talk radio host; Kaine a former Harvard-trained trial lawyer.

Pence has frequently been on the hot seat defending, deflecting and explaining his unconventional running mate Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments and views.

Pence's task has perhaps never been more critical than on the debate stage at Virginia's Longwood University.

The vice presidential contest comes as Trump tries to recover from one of the worst weeks of his turbulent presidential campaign. He delivered an uneven — and at times undisciplined — performance in the first presidential debate, then became absorbed in a controversy over comments he made two decades ago about a beauty queen's weight.

After Monday's presidential debate, Pence made the rounds on the television networks, where he disagreed with Trump on global warming. Trump had called climate change a hoax, while Pence said after the debate that "there's no question" human activity affects both the climate and the environment.

Kaine, by contrast, is much more in lockstep with Clinton and has rarely faced tough questions on a tightly managed campaign that's so far been heavy with private glitzy fundraisers and lighter moments on TV. He's called himself "boring", a quality Clinton said she loves about him.

(With inputs from AP.)

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