Kaine Tears Into Trump, Pence Slams Clinton During US Veep Debate

While Kaine slammed Trump for allegedly not paying taxes, Pence criticised Clinton for “bungling foreign policy”.

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World
2 min read
Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine during the US vice presidential debate on Tuesday night. (Photo: AP)

During the US vice presidential debate on Tuesday night, Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine had America's political attention all to themselves, away from their much better known running mates. But both of them spent quite some time in bashing their rival parties' presidential candidates.

Democrat Tim Kaine accused Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of breaking a promise to release his tax records during the debate, which saw the vice presidential contenders bicker and constantly interrupt each other.

Trump's vice presidential nominee Pence stoutly defended him days after a New York Times report gave ammunition to the Democratic camp by reporting that the real estate mogul may not have paid federal taxes for 18 years.

The debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, was lively from the start. Kaine, the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, honed in on Trump's refusal to reveal his tax records, saying the businessman had broken a promise to do so.

Trump has said they are under federal audit.

Governor Pence had to give Donald Trump his tax returns to show he is qualified to be vice president. Donald Trump has to give his tax returns to show he is qualified to be president.
Time Kaine

Pence, who has a low-key style compared to Trump's signature bombast, said Trump as a New York real estate developer had created thousands of jobs and had used US tax laws as they were designed to be used.

"Why won't he release his taxes?" Kaine shot back.

The two candidates talked over each other so much in a bid to score points that the debate moderator, CBS News' Elaine Quijano, intervened.

"The people at home can't understand either one of you when you speak over each other," she said.

The debate came at a crucial time for both campaigns. Clinton is seeking to take advantage of Trump's tax report last week to build on her lead in national opinion polls. Trump needs to rebound from a rocky performance in his first debate with Clinton last week with their second encounter coming up on Sunday in St Louis.

The two vice presidential candidates wasted no time in launching broadsides against Trump and Clinton in the opening minutes of their debate.

“Donald Trump always puts himself first,” Kaine, a US senator from Virginia, said, pointing out that when Trump began his presidential campaign last year he called “Mexicans rapists and criminals” and had also voiced the “outrageous lie” that Democratic President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Pence, the governor of Indiana, shot back at Kaine that he and Clinton "would know a lot about an insult-driven campaign" and then accused Clinton, the former US secretary of state, of bungling foreign policy with large sections of the Middle East "literally spinning out of control".

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